There are so many interesting things you can do with your windows to make them attractive and eco-friendly. A well-designed window treatment not only adds a decorative touch to a room, it also enhances energy conservation.

A green window treatment lets in enough natural light to minimize the use of electric indoor lighting. It also acts as a barrier against the infiltration of cold air. And you need not look any farther than your backyard for some inspiration. Here are some ideas on how to do a green DIY treatment on your windows.

1. Curtain rods can be made from natural materials and even recyclables. Bamboo rods, for example, make straight, strong curtain rods. Natural branches can also be used. To avoid the sloughing of bark and other problems, you will want to peel the bark off any branch you use, and allow it to air-dry for a few weeks. Then you can coat it with wax or some other protective coating. You can even paint it.

Then use pine cones, teasels, seed pods, or other natural materials for the ends (finials) of the rod.

2. The materials for your curtains do not have to be fancy. You can use old tablecloths or sheets, or even burlap. Don't be tempted to use environmentally-hostile materials in your curtain-making ventures. Shower curtains, for example, or sheets made from synthetic fibers and dyes are not eco-friendly options. Look for organic cotton, linen, or other natural fibers. Yard sales and antique stores are great for this.

3. Tie back your window treatments with creative recyclables. Old trouser socks can be tied around a curtain panel and the ends tucked into a rosette. Leftover ribbon from the holidays can make attractive, waste-reducing tie-backs. You can also use baling twine (such as the sort that is used to tie hay and straw bales) and even fresh vines like ivy. (You will have to replace the ivy vines with fresh ones periodically.)

4. Make window shades with square pieces of cloth that are sheer enough to let in light but thick enough to provide some draft protection (and shade when you need it). Old sheets and tablecloths are, once again, good choices in this regard.

If you know anyone whose baby has outgrown his crib, a crib sheet may be just the size. With a bit of sewing, you can stitch the end of the sheet around a curtain rod of your choice. Do the same thing at the other end. Then hang the shade. To each end of the bottom rod that is sticking out, tie ribbon, twine, or strips of cloth. When you want to raise the shade, roll it up from the bottom and tie the ribbons around the top rods. Untie to put the shade down.

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