Going Green has gone mainstream. This is a great thing if you ask me. I have always cared about being kind to my planet and I am thrilled to see so many people jumping on board. Not only is going green good for the planet, it can also be good for your wallet. There are several easy changes that you can make to go green, save money, and help our planet. Read below for to find out what you can do to reduce your carbon footprint and save some dough in the process:
- Ditch the bottled water and purchase a water filter. I purchased a Brita filter that was on sale at Walgreens for only $14.99. I found a manufacturer’s coupon in my Sunday newspaper for $4 off, making it a super deal. I love my Brita filter. You will also want to purchase a quality reusable water bottle to go along with your filter. I found mine at Target for around ten bucks. I carry it with me everywhere.
- Become a Brew Master. Do you stop at and buy coffee on your way to work each morning? Save money and trees by brewing your own at home and bringing it with you in your own travel mug. Don’t like plain, boring coffee? It’s easy to make gourmet style coffee at home. Try sprinkling a teaspoon of cinnamon on top of your coffee grounds before starting your brew for an extra flavorful cup of joe. Or, consider adding a drop of vanilla or almond extract to your morning cup of java.
- BYOB (Bring your own bag). Target and many other stores will even give you a few cents for each bag you bring. Check with your local grocery store to see if they will reward you for bringing your own bags. Just remember to actually bring your bags with you to the store. I always forget!
- Drive less and save gas. Personally, I really dislike driving. There are many days when I intentionally do not drive because I don’t want to but also because I don’t want to waste gas and pollute the environment anymore than I have to. Ask your boss if you can work four, ten-hour days so you can conserve gas. Or, if you are fortunate to have access to public transportation, use that. Better yet, ditch the commute altogether and work from home.
- Learn how to reuse.
- If you get your clothes dry-cleaned and usually throw away the plastic bags that cover your clothes, stop. Those bags can be re-used as trash can liners. I worked at a cleaners for a while and that is exactly what we used for all of the trash cans in the store. They are perfect for this purpose. Just remember to tie the bottom of the bag so you don’t drop coffee grounds or banana peels everywhere, like I did once. Plastic grocery store bags are great for this too!
- How often do you throw away Ziploc baggies? I used to throw them away without even thinking until my boyfriend asked me why I didn’t rinse and reuse them. Ever since then, I started reusing my Ziplocs and haven’t looked back. Just be mindful when deciding which ones to reuse, you probably don’t want to reuse any baggies that had raw meat in them…
- Do you have any old bridesmaid dresses lying around? I know I do – I was bridesmaid/maid of honor EIGHT times! That is a lot of dresses. Most often, these dresses can’t be worn again but that doesn’t mean they are worthless. The fabric is costly and can be (re)used to make photo frames, decorative pillows, or fancy lampshades.
- Get rid of your air fresheners. They are not worth the money and bad for your health. Instead, open a window or light a match. Another idea is to mix a few drops of essential oil (lemon is an excellent choice) diluted with water in a spray bottle for your own, non toxic air freshener. If there is something foul that is causing a stink, locate the problem and get rid of it. Sprinkle some baking soda in your trash can to cut down on the odor. Or, you could try this trick for deodorizing the air: leave a bowl filled with white vinegar out for thirty minutes. Baking is an effective and tasty way of creating a pleasant aroma all throughout your house. Chocolate chip cookies and cinnamon rolls are my favorites. If baking is too much work for you taste, you could simmer spices such as cinnamon on the stove.
- Buy used, borrow, and trade. There are many things that we buy everyday and pay full price for when we could have easily purchased them used at a fraction of the price. If you are looking for books, Half.com is a good resource. Or better yet, we could have borrowed it for free. Did you know that your local library has a collection of DVDs and CDs for your renting pleasure? Many of them are recent too. Garage sales, thrift stores, eBay, and craigslist are super resources for finding pre-loved clothes and other items at rock bottom prices. Don’t forget to ask your friends, family members, and neighbors if they have would sell, give, or loan you what you are looking for. Chances are, whatever it is you need might be collecting dust in their garage. It never hurts to ask.
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
~Native American Proverb