Thursday, April 23, 2009

Budget Wednesday: Going Green!

Happy Belated Earth Day!

Going green is a great way to save money as well as resources. Not only will you help the planet by implementing this type of lifestyle, you will help yourself by creating a simpler lifestyle and attitude.

Although there are many ways to go green, and it can seem daunting at first, the best thing to do is to start out slow. Pick one or two ways that you can go green, and practice them until they become a habit. Then try new ones, slowing building on the base you first built. Before you know it, you'll be greener than you ever thought possible!

Here are some of the ways we go green in our lifestyle. We have worked on implementing them into our daily lives the past 6 months or so:

1. Use Reusable Bags. We first started this because we lived on the third floor, and the reusable bags were much stronger than plastic ones. It took about 1.5 months for me to always remember to bring the bags to the store when I went grocery shopping. Now, its second nature for me! We have saved what seems like thousands of plastic bags from ending up in the trash by doing this. The great thing is that every time we bring them to the grocery, we get a 3 cent credit towards our total! Although that may not seem like much, it will pay for the original cost of the bag in about a year or two.

2. Recycle! Recycle! Recycle! You don't have to try too hard for this one. Just find a box or some other container to put paper trash in. Place it next to the trash can so you are always reminded that its there. As someone who buys quite a bit of newspapers for couponing, I can't bear the thought of throwing them all in the dump when I know they can be recycled. When the box or bag becomes full, simply take it a local school or library- most have paper recycling services at the very least.

3. Stop using Paper Towels. This might seem like its impossible, but try it for a week and you'll change your tune. I have always used quite a bit of paper towels in the kitchen (as well as napkins), and just became frustrated with constantly buying more. I started putting it off, and realized to my astonishment that kitchen towels can actually do the same things! Since I have a large pile of cute kitchen towels, I enjoy using them instead of the paper ones. But perhaps the greatest thing is how much money I have saved by ditching them- approximately 6 dollars a month. (That's two tickets to a Danbarry Movie!)

4. Make your own cleaners. This is next on my going green list. After reading on how easy it is to make them (and inexpensive!), I've decided to give it a fair shot. Cleaning supplies are just one of the those things that can easily cost a bundle. I have tried my best to conserve what we have, but I hate paying 4 dollars or more for a bottle of cleaner. The thought of having such toxic chemicals in the house also does not sit well with me. If something is clean, it seems to me it shouldn't be toxic! For all-purpose window cleaner, all you need is a couple tablespoons of vinegar, liquid vegtable soap and 2 cups of water!! Now that I can handle! Click here to learn how to make your own cleaners.

Stayed tuned for more on the 'Going Green' Series! I hope this inspires you to consider going green!

What are other ways in which you save money by going green?

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