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    Ready to Make Your Home and Yard More Eco-Friendly?

    Follow our tips to make your house greener and healthier -- inside and out.

    The Eco-Friendly Yard

    Walking through a lush garden is an idyllic way to pass the time -- just be sure your flower beds are maintained the way nature intended.

    Green pest control. Bugs are a nuisance, and the typical way to get rid of them is chemical pesticides. Fortunately, the answer to your pest problem just went “au naturel.”

    "Diatomaceous earth is a rock powder that kills bugs like fleas, ticks, and slugs," says Rea. "It's completely natural and a harmless way to eliminate pests."

    Diatomaceous earth is made up of tiny fossilized water plants, and it works by dehydrating bugs that inhabit your garden and devour your plants. The mineral-based pesticide's flower power comes from its all-natural composition, which chemical counterparts can't compete with.

    Shoes off inside. Leave your yard outside. Before you step into your home, remove the dirt and germ magnets from your feet and take off your shoes. "When you wear your shoes in the house, you are introducing all kinds of chemicals into the environment," Bark says. "There's no point in making big changes if you don't start small and take your shoes off."

    If you filled up your car with gas on the way home, you just trekked gasoline into your kitchen, where you prepare food, she explains.

    Or if you entered a public bathroom, the industrial cleaners used to disinfect the floors are now on your carpet.

    One of the cheapest and simplest solutions to going green is to invest in a nice pair of slippers and leave your shoes at the front door.

    Coffee grounds for your garden. Coffee grounds are a little-known wonder for enriching the soil and fertilizing your flowers. According to Bark, the grounds are filled with nutrients like nitrogen that plants love. So the next time you brew a pot of coffee, just toss the grounds into your compost pile and sprinkle the nutrient-rich mixture right on top of your flower beds before watering, about once a week. It's an excellent way to boost your garden and recycle waste, Bark says, without any chemical fertilizers.

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