Ways to “Be Green” in your Home!

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In honor of Earth Day today, I asked my friend Missy to share some of the tips that she & her family do regularly in their household as part of their goal to be more environmentally friendly but also frugal as well!!

Guest Post by Missy from Are You There God? It’s me.

The current theme in our society is about how we can be more “green” and more environmentally friendly to help preserve the planet we live on. I have definitely tried to change my own habits as well as try to instill lifelong habits for my children. Not only do a lot of these things help save our environment, but they end up saving our family money as well.

Here are some of the things that I do to try to “be green”:

  1. Recycle, recycle, recycle. Just about everything goes into the recycle can; even the cardboard tubes from the toilet paper rolls.
  2. We use cloth napkins that I put together with some cheap fabric that I bought on clearance at the craft store.
  3. We use cloth diapers and cloth wipes for the baby.
  4. I use the plastic sacks you get at the grocery store for the small garbage cans in the bathroom instead of buying them.
  5. I use the paper bags we get from the grocery store to throw our recyclable items into.
  6. I hang my clothes to dry on a clothesline (as much as possible in the Seattle area.)
  7. I use cold water to wash 95% of our clothes. The clothes get just as clean in cold water as they do in hot water.
  8. We reuse the water that our vegetables were boiled and cooked in to water the houseplants.
  9. I try not to run the dishwasher or the washing machine unless it is completely full.
  10. I try to do all of my errands in one trip to conserve on my use of gas.’
  11. We do some shopping at garage sales and Goodwill. I re-purpose things (see below,) find clothing for the kids, and some kitchen items as well. It is better then having those items filling up our landfills for the next 100+ years.
  12. Re-purposing; I reuse a lot of things. I wash out mayonnaise jars, pickle jars, peanut butter jars, baby food jars etc and use them to store things. Things like art supplies for the kids; a mayonnaise jar is perfect for holding paintbrushes. I save small yogurt containers to start my plant seeds in. I have baby food jars in my bathroom drawers to hold all of my daughter’s ponytail holders and clips. My husband uses a lot of the peanut butter jars in the garage to hold loose nuts, bolts, screws, nails, etc.
  13. Most of our table scraps and yard waste gets fed to our chickens; whatever is leftover from that, we use for compost.
  14. I use vinegar and baking soda as natural cleaners.
  15. We collect rain water runoff from the gutters to water the garden and our flowers.
  16. We pay all of our bills online if the option is available to save on paper and stamps.
  17. We use energy saver light bulbs and make sure to turn off the lights in the room if they are not in use.
  18. We do not leave energy zapping appliances plugged in if they are not in use. I unplug the coffee maker every morning after I am done with it.
  19. If we do ever have to buy a new appliance, we make sure that it has the energy star sticker.
  20. We use reusable water bottles and fill them up using our filtered water pitcher.
  21. I try to buy the kids toys that do not require batteries. If we have used batteries, we take the used ones to a recycle drop off.
  22. I use canvas tote bags to carry my groceries home.
  23. I use  net produce bags that I got from Love for Earth. I hope to get these cute snack bags soon too.
  24. Our family has quite a large garden. We grow enough for the summer as well as some to can, freeze and dehydrate for the winter. What we cannot grow, we try to buy locally at our Farmer’s Market.

I know that there are many more small things that I do to make sure I’m being green. The possibilities to help the world we live in are endless.

What do you do to “go green?”

Missy is a stay-at-home mom to a 6 yr old boy, 4 yr old girl, and a 10 month old boy. She has been married for 9 years. She can be found at www.areyouthere-god.comwhere she blogs about homeschooling, cloth diapering, parenting and motherhood, coupons and recipes, religion and spirituality, saving money, autism and anything else in between.

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