Saturday, April 11, 2009

Green tips for any family

I just read a wonderful article in the "Family Fun" magazine. I just love this magazine. I recieved this subscription for free which makes it even better. They have a article on ways for your family to be greener, and all tips are from readers all over the usa.  I really did get alot of info from these tips and thought I would pass it on. 
1. Buy local food. This supports our economy and cuts down on fossil fuel used to transport food across the world.  
2. Use reusable shopping bags for more things that just bags. Use them to put gifts in. You can get a reusable bag cheaper than pretty paper and a bow. Plus they can reuse it over and over.
3. Make your own laundry detergent. You can find my recipe in my past post. Soap for 1 load of laundry will only cost you 1 cent verses 10-50 cents for big brands. Plus you can make it natural and smell like anything you want. Stop buying fabric softner or dryer sheets. Instead use vinegar.
4. Buy used things for gifts. Example: I love all things vintage Tupperware. My family knows Tupperware is how you get to my heart. Think to what that person truly loves and go nuts with it. You will spend way less this way. Plus they will wonder how you found these things. 
5.  Extra paper put to use. Use your childrens papers they bring home from school for scraps to do crafts with. Blank on one side? Use it in your printer. Reuse anything you can.
6.  Buy a kilowatt tester that shows  you how much electricity you use in differant deviced around your home. You will see what you are using when and where. You will rethink next time you leave the lamp on in a room no one is in.
7.  Use reusable plastic bottles instead of buying bottled water. Just make sure its a safe plastic bottle, there are many choices out there now. This will cut down on water bottles litering our planet.
8.  Look for the free National Wildlife Habitat Program near you. www.nationalwildlifefederation.org  click on "Outside inNature," then "Garden for Wildlife". This will help you change your back yard into a wild life friendly place. Your kids will benefit from this.
9.  During the summer, limit your oven and stove time. Try cooking outside on the bbq, or plug in your crock pot outside. Keep the heat outside so your home doesnt heat up. 
10.  Pack "No Trash" lunches. Dont have money to buy new plastic containers? Use 2nd hand Tupperware or Rubbermaid containers. I always see these in thrift stores for cheap. Try www.snacktaxi.com for reusable fabric sandwich bags. Pack fabric napkins. Stop using Ziplock bags that fill up our landfills and make our animals sick.
11. Use a pitcher or 5 gallong bucket to collect the cold water that comes out while you are waiting for your water to get hot in the shower or sink. Use this to water your plants, pets, bird baths and more. 
12. Instead of buying scrapbook paper chipboard, use cereal boxes. Just cut into shapes and cover them with patterned paper. Use magazines, newspapers, and junk mail for craft paper too.
13. Try to not buy paper towells. Invest $4 in fabric ones and just wash them after each use. Save yourself over $100 a year by just doing this one thing.
14.  Use rain barrels hooked up to your gutter for watering your plants. You can get by using large trash bins too. There are hundreds of easy cheap ways to make these on the internet.
15. Invest in a SHARE. Its a program farmers started. You pay a monthly fee, they grow your produce, you just pick it up each week. Most are organic farmers. 10 minutes of internet research and you will find tons of them.
16.  Put a paperbag in each bathroom, kids room, and laundry room. the kids can decorate these each week. These bags are for recycling. You would be amazed how much you can recycle from these places. Toilet paper rolls, tooth paste packaging, etc. 
17. Organize a Put and Take. Maybe with a church or just all your friends and family. Everyone puts things into one place and takes what they want. Do the same with coupons, freebies, and magazines. 
18. Pick a few days where you dont drive. You will reduce your carbon footprint, suppport local businesses and get extra dose of fresh air. 
19. Put a timer in each bathroom. Showers 10 minutes or less. Watch how your electricity bill falls by up to 30%. 
20.  Line dry your clothes. You can do this anywhere. Homes, apartments, condo's, etc. Shower rod works well. There are even devices you can screw into the wall and a nail in another wall. Just retract your wires when done. Have room outside, install a actual drying rack. No money to get one? Tie string around each fence picket alternating until you get the desired amount of cross strings. I did this for years. Or just find or go buy a wooden foldable one. Usually around summer you can find these, college kids use them. 
21. Assign every family member their own towel. When done, they can hang dry them and use them a few times before you wash them. This will cut back in laundry and save on your energy bill.
22. Shop strickly thrift stores. Everything from clothes, toys, kitchen stuff, books and much more is there all the time. Try www.craigslist.org . You can find 2nd hand anything there. Or maybe www.freecycle.org and find your local freecycle group in your town. Everything is free for the taken there. Must act quick, they go fast.
23. Styrofoam isnt recyclable in most places. Use cut up styrofoam to fill up a bean bag. Maybe use it to pack into a box your shipping. 
24. Use solar items. Flashlights, walk way lights, etc. There are so many solar products out there now. Spend a little more cash up front but save your a bundle down the road. Even christmas lights are solar now. 
25. Instead of using the rechargable swiffer vacume, try sweeping. Yep, good old elbow greese will get you far. Try sweeping your driveway instead of using your hose. 

Have any green tips for me? Send anything you want to share with others to me
survivingandthrivingonpennies@yahoo.com

1 comment:

Sasha said...

Very cool list - and mega cheap too. Simply Green Solutions provides alot of companies and individuals with reusable bags and canteens, and we've used canteens for sauces in the fridge, soups, protein drinks and more. Some of the bags have even been used as laundry hampers, trash containers for the office, lunch bags - basically, alot more than just taking to the grocer. We have a fold and snap bag too thats easy for storage - plus, most importantly, our price point has helped the pennysavers really save...