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Q: Our blue-grey concrete steps and porch don’t go with any colours on our house. How can we disguise them without replacing them?
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Kitchen Eco-MakeoverIt doesn’t take a sea change to make your home more eco-friendly. In fact, the new green chic is relatively hassle-free, can save you money, and looks pretty darn nice, too. Here are some options to get you started in the kitchen, a major source of excess waste.

Photograph of a kitchen counter with illustrated eco-accessories atop it.

Air fresheners
Quick and easy: Mix 1 tsp baking soda with 2 cups of hot water, then add 1 tsp lemon juice. Put in a spray bottle.
The money option: Buy plants—they’re natural air purifiers.

Cleaning products
Quick and easy: Make your own non-toxic, all-purpose cleaner using 1 part water and 1 part vinegar in a spray bottle.
The money option: Buy ready-made enviro-friendly cleaning products (mrsmeyers.com).

Food
Quick and easy: Once in a while, choose fruits/veggies instead of meat.
The money option: Buy organic.

Food waste
Quick and easy: Use your green bin or make your own composter.
The money option: >Buy a composter. For countertop, try a compost pail (3rliving.com), or if you have room, try a floor-standing one (naturemill.com).

Paper packaging
Quick and easy: Wipe counters with cloth rags.
The money option: Buy reusable spongecloths.

Plastic grocery bags
Quick and easy: Reuse plastic bags.
The money option: Buy reusable bags, like the Acme Workhorse bag (reusablebags.com).

Plastic packaging
Quick and easy: Reuse plastic tubs.
The money option: Buy Tupperware.

Recyclables
Quick and easy: Use your blue box.
The money option: Store used containers in cute steel step cans (holdeverything.com).

Stove
Quick and easy: When cooking with a pot, use a tight-fitting lid.
The money option: Buy a slow cooker (cuisinart.com).

Water
Quick and easy: Reduce excess water usage.
The money option: Buy a water-flow restrictor (gaiam.com).