9 ways to be green without also being broke

Kermit got it wrong: Being green can be easy — at least when it comes to owning a green home.

Though some eco-friendly improvements can be expensive — installing a home solar panel system, for example, costs an average of $23,113, according to HomeAdvisor — there are a number of budget-friendly changes you can execute to make your house better for the environment.

Here are nine expert-recommended moves that will make your home more sustainable without draining your bank account.

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9 home maintenance tasks you should do before spring

Though spring is still more than a month away, there are important tasks you can do around the house this month to prepare your home for the coming season.

“It’s vital to start on your ­winter-recovery checklist as soon as you start to feel the first shy breezes of spring blow in,” says Rob Morelli, chief executive of HomeKeepr.com, a referral network for home-service professionals.

These home maintenance tasks deserve your attention now, not later.

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How to be a good neighbor

To live in a great neighborhood — and enjoy all the comforts that come with being part of a tightknit community — you have to be a good neighbor yourself.

There’s certainly no shortage of examples of bad neighbors in TV shows and films (think Homer Simpson or any neighbor from “Desperate Housewives”). But what does it mean to be a genuinely good neighbor?

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For an affordable kitchen update, try painting your cabinets.

Want to give your kitchen a facelift without draining your wallet? Consider painting the ­cabinets.

Wood cabinet refinishing entails removing the existing paint, sanding the surface (depending on the type of paint you are using) and applying new paint to the bare wood. This cosmetic project revives cabinets that have become scratched, faded or discolored, and breathes new life into an old kitchen.

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Home-security systems aren’t just for the wealthy. Here’s how to choose one.

In 2016, there were an estimated 1,053,000 home burglaries in the United States, according to FBI data. That means there’s a burglary about every 30 seconds.

These numbers alone help build the case for implementing a good security system in your home, but they aren’t the only reason for the urgency. After all, burglars don’t discriminate.

“Criminals are creatures of opportunity and wherever there’s an opportunity to strike, they will, be it in a big city or small suburb,” says Lee Walters, founder of FortifyMyHouse.com, a home-security education website. Translation: Even if you feel like you live in a “safe neighborhood,” you ought to have some type of security system.

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10 tips to keep your swimming pool safe this summer

On a sizzling summer day, there’s nothing better than taking a refreshing dip in a swimming pool. But that private oasis in your backyard can be a big safety hazard for kids.

More than 3,700 people drowned in the United States in 2016, the National Safety Council (NSC) reports. Drowning deaths are particularly prevalent among babies and toddlers. In fact, it was the leading cause of preventable death for 1- to 4-year-olds in 2016.

However, there are precautions you can take to protect your children while still letting them have fun in the pool this summer.

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