Thursday, December 11, 2008

Living Green AND Saving Money!!

We have made some major changes lately to living GREEN... while saving money!!

Here are some of the things we have already done!
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  • Replaced Windex, and Household Cleaners with vinegar and water- I love this. The smell of the vinegar isn't the greatest, but making sure Emma, and our food isn't in contact with harsh chemicals keeps my mind at ease. Plus a gallon of vinegar is 1-2 dollars, and will take you FAR, vs. the bottle of Windex thats $3 alone. We have a plastic spray bottle that we reuse, so it also cuts back on waste.
  • Replaced our laundry detergent with homemade detergent- Not only is it saving money on plastic containers, but it is SO much cheaper to use. If anyone has allergies to the soap in laundry detergent, try this! I have a recipe in my blog. Just search my blog for Homemade Laundry Detergent. Its amazing, and DIRT CHEAP to make! We use vinegar for the softner. You can also use essential oils for a great scent added to your laundry. If you don't want to use the vinegar, you can opt out using hair conditioner. It is way cheaper and works the same! As far as using the dryer- take an empty wipes container, put hair conditioner in it, with a sponge. Before drying your clothes, throw the sponge into the dryer, and it acts like dryer sheets! Being in the dryer, it kills and mildew, or bacteria that could buildup on the sponge. Place it back in the container when done for future uses.
  • Cutting back on the dishwasher- We have been washing all of our dishes by hand. Dishwashers use WAY too much water, and electricity each cycle. Not only are you preventing damage to our ecosystem, you are saving yourself TONS of money by not using it!!!
  • Changing all your lightbulbs to the Energy Efficient bulbs- They last longer, preventing waste, they use less energy, which in the end SAVES YOU money! We have changed EVERY light in our house to EE bulbs.
  • Using Cloth Napkins, Washrags, etc.- Do NOT use paper napkins, plastic throwaway utensils! It is WASTE, and is costly. We don't even use paper towels. We have tons of cloth napkins, washrags, towel rags, etc. Try to eliminate throwaway items!
  • Using JARS in replacement for sandwich bags, gallon bags, etc.- Not only does it look nicer, but it cuts back on waste! When your trying to store foods but them in jars! Jars are completly reusable.
  • Buy in BULK!- When you buy your foods, try to buy in bulk. We buy cereal in bulk, and place it in our jars. Buying bulk cereal saves paper in the long run. Also meat, meat, fruit, vegetables, etc. Freeze them! You'll save money, and it will be so convienient to have more food stocked up.
  • Hang your clothes to dry!- Using a dryer takes up alot of energy. Hang your clothes up in your laundry room to dry, or even along your shower rod! We just started doing this lastweek. I can't wait to see how much lower the bill is from this alone.
  • Use your lamps-If you are in a room where you switch the light, and there are 4-5 ceiling lights that come on, opt to use the lamp. Your saving electricity, and you don't really NEED all those lights on.
  • Unplug EVERYTHING- Completely unplug things you aren't using. When things are plugged in, your STILL using energy by them sitting there in the circuit. The only thing to leave plugged in is your alarm clock.
  • Turn your Thermostat down!- In the winter, people dress warmer. You don't need your thermostat above 70-72 degrees. At night when your sleeping your under blankets, turn your thermostat down before you go to bed. When your not home for more than a couple of hours, completely turn your thermostat off! If no one is at home during the day it doesnt need to be on. Invest in a thermostat that stops once your house gets to a certain degrees.

We are still looking into doing even MORE things, like replacing our heater, etc. with an Energy Efficient one. We are slowly replacing our appliances as well. If you have any more ideas, leave a comment! :)