Wednesday, April 17, 2013

25 Simple Ways to Go Green

I shared about why we have made greener decisions in our lifestyle choices last week, and I thought I'd share a few ideas for how you can start taking steps to "green" your lifestyle in simple, cheap, and low-stress ways. Remember it is a step by step process, and go at your own pace! Try to make too many changes, and you'll probably just overwhelm yourself. Instead, take on what you can handle, and remember each change preserves our earth, saves you money, helps keep you healthier, and in the end, keep your lives simpler.

25 Simple Ways to Go Green

Use Reusable Shopping Bags at the grocery store. Next step: take it up a notch, and use them everywhere! You can also buy Reusable Produce Bags and reduce those many plastic bags you stuff fruits and vegs in.

Make your own household cleaners or just purchase more eco-friendly options such as Seventh Generation Multi -Surface Cleaner.

Scrap paper equals art supplies! Save those magazines, catalogues, and other colorful "trash paper" and reuse it in collages and the like.

Switch to cloth diapers. So, perhaps this one doesn't count as "easy," but it is healthy and saves loads of monies.

Recycle your cans, plastics, and paper. Many areas offer local weekly pick-up. Look into it, and make a point of filling your bin weekly!

Recycle your batteries, electronics, and old medication. This one requires a little more work than the above, but I sure don't want my water supply to have these items leaching their chemicals into it. The effort is worth it.

Go Vegetarian once a week. Even omitting meat once a week from your meals can save you money. Check out this website just to see how much you can affect the environment around you by going vegetarian just once a week.

Hang your laundry out to dry. As the sun starts to shine more and bring some warmth, think about hanging clothes outside and forgo the dryer. Added bonus: sunshine is a natural bleach - just make sure to hang bright and dark colors inside out.

Start using a reusable Water Bottle, and stop buying plastic bottles. Most bottled water has been proven to be no different and or little difference to the water that comes out of your tap. Save the many plastic bottles from the landfill AND save tons of money by having your own bottle.

Buy Cloth Napkins instead of paper. Not only are you brightening up your dinner table, but you can save tons of money and lots of paper by going cloth.

Use rags and dishcloths instead of paper towels. Paper towels, like napkins, cost tons of money and fill the garbage pretty quickly. Try going 50% reusable at first.

Shop at your local farmer's market. So many great reasons here: promote community, see where your food comes from, eat fresh, and support your local economy.

Turn your heat (or AC) down or off when you aren't home. Make this one a habit. Check your thermostat before heading out and switch it off or turn down as you leave. It'll save you money and use less energy.

Compost your food scraps. A Compost Pail on your kitchen counter makes it easier than ever. Use it in your own garden, share with friends, or see if your area has a community compost program.

Put your dryer lint outside for the birds. Cut your kid's hair, and put the hair out, too!

Take your own Reusable cup (with lid) to the coffee shop or work. Many local coffee shops offer a discount for this green action.

Pay your bills online. Get reminders in your email and save piles of unwanted paper. Win-Win.

Unsubscribe from all that junk mail and unwanted catalogues, and while you're at it, delete your scheduled phone book delivery, too.

Take shorter showers. Save water and energy. I often will shower every other day, and then combine what otherwise would be two quick showers into a little bit longer shower.

Pack your lunch in Reusable Sandwich and Snack Bags and containers. There are so many cute options available to pack food in reusable packaging. Saves money and plastic that ends up in landfills.

Don't buy food in individual packaging. Use the reusable containers to portion out food yourself into individual snacks.

Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Healthier for you and saves energy from not running the elevator.

Purchase used. Clothes, toys, household items, and more are easily purchased used through consignment shops, Craigslist, and yard sales. Save money, and reuse something that someone else no longer needs. 

Freecycle or Craigslist items you don't need. On the flip side, when you are done with something, Craigslist it or drop at Goodwill instead of throwing away.

And lastly,

Keep educating yourself AND your children. This one is so important. It's always good to have a "Why" to go with your actions. Watch documentaries, read articles, keep up with what is going on in the world around you. And pass the information onto your family. Keep them informed of why you make the lifestyle choices you do.

Have you employed any of these "Going Green" methods in your home? Which ones? What are some other simple and low cost methods you would recommend?

Linking up at Frugally Sustainable!

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This post 25 Simple Ways to Go Green first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 17 April 2013

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