Most Americans wake up Jan. 1 with at least one New Year’s resolution. The problem is many will break those resolutions before the first week of January is over. I’m hopeful that those of you making resolutions to build and live green remain committed all year long.

Even if you are not building certified green houses, you can resolve to make simple changes in your product selections that will save energy and water, and that will make your homes more comfortable and healthier for their occupants--and even a little friendlier to our planet, too. And I promise you can easily keep these.

Resolve to install:
1. low-flow showerheads and WaterSense-rated ultra-low-flow faucets
2. aerators in existing bathroom faucets
3. high-efficiency toilets or dual-flush toilets
4. higher than 13 SEER HVAC equipment
5. zoned heating systems
6. programmable thermostats
7. Energy Star-rated appliances
8. no- or low-VOC paints, stains, and coatings
9. low-VOC caulks, adhesives, and sealants
10. light fixtures that accept CFLs
11. dual-pane windows with low-E glazings and gas fill
12. extra insulation (even blow in if the client can afford it)
13. products that contain no or low formaldehyde
14. natural flooring materials
15. adequate ventilation in bathrooms and kitchens
16. native, drought-tolerant plants
17. products that are biodegradable, recyclable, or reusable

Simple product switch-outs can go a long way to achieving green goals without too much interruption to your day-to-day business.

I haven’t broken any of my New Year’s resolutions yet--and I know you won’t break your green product selection resolutions either.

Jean Dimeo is Chief Editor, Online for EcoHome.