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P2 House - Living Room

Pollution Prevention (P2) House

Living Room

Revised On: April 30, 2024 - 8:20 a.m.

Common living room products contain ingredients that are considered household hazardous waste. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines household hazardous waste as anything corrosive or toxic that can explode under certain circumstances or can catch fire and react. This may include lighting, pesticides or bug repellants, window and floor cleaners, and aerosol products. Avoid disposing of such waste in a landfill by:

  • Purchasing environmentally friendly products for window and floor cleaning | Learn More >
  • Disposing of electronic waste such as computers, printers, televisions, and phones at appropriately designated e-waste events or disposal areas | Learn More > | View Recycling Locator >
  • Disposing of items such as old lighting, mercury-containing bulbs, batteries, and chemicals (e.g., cleaning products, pesticides, and aerosols) through your local household hazardous waste event

Additional tips for sustainable living: 

A comfortable home needs appropriate furniture, supplies, and even stylish decor. Here are some things to consider when purchasing products for your space: How far does the product need to travel to arrive at your home? Can it be purchased secondhand? Is it built to last? Is it made from recycled materials? Is it sustainable? When buying furniture for your home, consider pieces produced with sustainable products, style, and function. Producing furniture involves raw materials such as wood, springs, and cloth assembled using many chemicals, including glues, dyes, sealants, plastic, laminate, and padding. Other potentially harmful chemicals include flame retardants, stain repellents, and formaldehyde. Many manufacturers and retailers offer eco-friendly alternatives, so shop around and ask questions before purchasing, and always consider using locally sourced products when upgrading home furnishings. Waste is inevitably minimized by designing your space with sustainable materials, secondhand furniture, low-VOC paint, and smart equipment. 

Insulation improvements are a cost-effective tool to improve your home's energy efficiency. Ensuring your home is free of air leaks leads to energy and utility bill savings, especially during summer. Using weather stripping to seal up any drafts is an effective and affordable DIY project.  For step-by-step instructions, visit the EPA's Energy Star Seal and Insulate site | View >


Reduce energy usage and utility costs by furnishing your home with window treatments. Curtains, blinds, and shades help keep the sun out during Arizona’s hot months when temperatures can climb to 110-plus degrees.  Investing in double-pane windows offers additional benefits like noise reduction, UV protection, and improved energy efficiency. If you live in colder regions, add insulated drapes or curtains. These act as a barrier that keeps your warm and cold air out. It’s especially helpful as a quick and effective project if you have single-pane windows.  When upgrading windows, doors, and skylights, look for the EPA's Energy Star label to make the most of your savings | Learn More >

Solar Window Screens

Replacing old screens with solar window screens can block up to 80 percent of the sun’s rays. This not only keeps your home cooler and reduces energy costs, it also protects furniture and carpets from fading.


Curtains both block sunlight during the summer heat and create privacy. Blackout curtains reduce light, noise and energy costs with many brands advertising up to a 99 percent reduction of light and a 40 percent reduction of outside noise. Homes in colder regions of Arizona can enjoy these same benefits and retain warmth indoors with insulated foam drapes and curtains.


Unlike other window treatments, shades allow you to block solar light while maintaining an outside view.

Low Emissive Glass

Treated with an invisible coating (metal or metallic oxide), low emissive glass reflects solar heat while still allowing light to enter the window. This not only reduces heat that enters your home during summer, it also prevents heat loss in winter.


Though a higher investment, skylights take advantage of natural light, reducing the need for artificial lighting and thus reducing energy costs. Research glass coatings that allow light, but not too much heat, from entering your home.

Changing just 15 bulbs to energy-saving models can save about $50 per year on your home energy bill. Traditionally, light bulbs were purchased by looking for the wattage measure, but when purchasing new bulbs, look for Lumens, which measure brightness.

There are a few different options when shopping for bulbs. Incandescent bulbs use a wire filament made from tungsten metal. Since much of their energy is converted to heat, and only a small percentage is converted into visible light (about 15 lumens per watt). In August 2022, President Biden’s Department of Energy (DOE) banned the manufacturing and selling of bulbs that produce fewer than 45 lumens per watt. The DOE has estimated that the new rules will impact U.S. residents by saving $3 billion on utility bills. According to a recent report, this ban will cause a significant decrease in carbon emissions, with an estimated reduction of 222 million metric tons. You are still permitted to use existing incandescent bulbs, but we recommend safely disposing of them and using them more efficiently.

Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) use less energy and maintain a longer lifespan than incandescent bulbs; however, they are gas discharge lamps that contain mercury. Special care must be taken with broken bulbs and should never be thrown in the trash. Contact your local neighborhood recycling center for details on safe disposal. LEDs are the newest bulbs with a lifespan and energy efficiency superior to both incandescent bulbs and CFLs. While their initial cost is higher, most bulbs last about 15 years. LEDs are the most cost-effective and energy-efficient.

Learn more about energy-efficient lighting | Watch Video >

There are many ways to reduce your home’s energy footprint: 

  • Opt to share and sign essential documents digitally to avoid excess paper use. If you must print, use double-sided printing, recycled paper, and black ink. Make sure discarded paper products are recycled.
  • Ensure your computer’s Power Saving Mode is on and shut it down when not in use. When unattended, individually turn off and unplug speakers, monitors, printers, and scanners. Using a power strip makes this easy; smart power strips are available.
  • Open your windows for natural lighting when possible, swap out old bulbs for LEDs, and invest in automatic motion-censored lighting for both indoor and outdoor spaces (solar-powered, where feasible).
  • Old electronics, like printers, monitors, and TVs, can be donated! Visit ADEQ’s Recycling Locator | View eMap >
  • Add indoor plants for air purification and cooling air. Pothos, Snake plants, and Aloe help cool the air through transpiration.
  • Unplug appliances, chargers, hair dryers, etc., as they continue to use energy even when not in use.
  • Keep blinds/curtains drawn to help retain internal temperature.
  • Hang your clothes outside to dry! This will reduce your electricity bill, especially in the summer months.