July 23rd, 2010

15 Ways to Be Green Without Spending a Dime

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Photo used under a Creative Commons by Ed Kohler

Check out these simple changes you can make in your everyday life that won’t cost you anything and will send you on your way to a greener lifestyle.

  1. UNPLUG-Things all around us are plugged in – phone/iPod charger, computer, toaster, TV, microwave.  When not in use, unplug anything that uses electricity.  These are all sucking power even when you are not using them. Using a power strip would make this easier-just one flick of a switch. Watch that electric bill go down.
  2. RECYCLE– Make the effort and throw anything that can be recycled into a recycle bin for pick-up, if available, or take it to the dump.  Recycling saves landfill space, saves natural resources and energy, creates jobs, saves money and creates less pollution.  For recycling electronics check digital tips.
  3. FORGO THE SHOWER –Not completely, just switch out your shower to every other day.  It’s better for your hair, your pocketbook and the environment.
  4. WALK OR CYCLE-Try to walk or cycle to a place that you would normally drive.  You can do it, I know you can.
  5. TAKE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION-Check out the train system or the bus system in your area.
  6. MAKE SURE THE DISHWASHER AND LAUNDRY MACHINES ARE FULL-Before running the dishwasher see if you can squeeze in that last dish or fit that pair of pants into the washing machine.
  7. WASH YOUR LAUNDRY IN COLD WATER-80-90 percent of the washing machines energy is used to heat the water.  Your clothes will be just as clean-honest!
  8. TURN DOWN THE HEAT, TURN UP THE A/C– Turn that heat down and turn the a/c off or way up when you leave for the day.
  9. DON’T BUY BOTTLED WATER-Check out your tap water-it could be better than you think.  Just click on http://www.epa.gov/safewater/dwinfo/index.html to find out information on your local tap water. Those plastic bottles are BAD, leaching chemicals into your water  that goes into your precious body.

    Photo used under a Creative Commons by Steve Johnson

  10. TURN OFF THE WATER WHEN YOU BRUSH YOUR TEETH– Don’t let it run-be aware.
  11. TURN OFF THE WATER WHEN DOING DISHES-Does it really need to run the entire time you are washing dishes?
  12. DITCH UNWANTED CATALOGS-If you are like me, your mail box is full of junk mail.  I laugh every time the American Girl catalog shows up-since I have three boys they must think that I would like a doll for myself.  Go to http://www.catalogchoice.org/ to stop those unwanted catalogs.
  13. USE REUSEABLE SHOPPING BAGS-You don’t have to use the fancy bags the stores sell.  Use any bags you have at home-old totes work just fine! I keep smaller bags with me all the time for trips to the pharmacy, bookstore or any other store.
  14. USE FREECYCLE, CRAIGSLIST OR OTHER SITES THAT HAVE FREE STUFF– It’s all about reusing and keeping good stuff out of landfills.
  15. TURN OFF THE LIGHTS WHEN LEAVING THE ROOM.

So many simple ways to be green without spending.  Do you have any more to add to the list?

For more information on ditching catalogs check out Hip Moms Go Green.

13 Responses to “15 Ways to Be Green Without Spending a Dime”

  1. Done, done, and done. 😉
    Do you have any advice for dealing with #8 in a corporate environment? Everywhere I’ve worked, I seem to be the only one interested in this. The same people who think that 72 is too warm in the summer, though, always seem to think 80 is too cold in the winter.

  2. Oh, and the big one that will save you a fortune, help your health, improve the environment, and put off antibiotic resistance for the whole world? Don’t eat meat!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_effects_of_meat_production

  3. Take old tshirts and towels and turn them into cleaning rags. No need to use so many paper towels. Also, I’ve cut back on the amount of detergent I’m using in the washer. That saves money and my clothes are still getting clean.

  4. true……or eat meat that comes from animals that were treated fairly and not administered unnecessary antibiotics! I am reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan ……certainly causes us to think about where the food we eat comes from…..not just the market! More to come on this in a later blog post.

  5. hmmmm-always interesting when lots of people are involved. any chance you could raise the issue at an office meeting? that way you could get the issue out on the table-l discuss the situation and possibly come up with a solution that works for all? maybe if you had an opportunity to explain to others the impact of turning down the heat and up the a/c when not needed it would make more sense. Good luck and keep me posted 🙂

  6. Love these ideas Hillary. Thanks for sharing.

  7. it was very interesting to read groovygreenlivin.com
    I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
    And you et an account on Twitter?

  8. thank you……yes, i am on twitter @groovygreenlivi. Where r u posting from?

  9. […] At Groovy Green Livin’, Lori has a great list of “15 Ways to Be Green Without Spending a Dime.” One that has saved me a bundle over the years is her #14: “use Freecycle, Craigs List or other sites that have free stuff.” It’s all about reusing and keeping good stuff out of landfills,” she says. Amen to that! […]

  10. […] off the Lights, Turn Off the AC. Save energy by remembering to turn off the hotel room lights when you head out for the day. Open up a few windows and turn off the air conditioner (provided the […]

  11. […] with eBay, the world biggest online second-hand marketplace, to encourage their customers to “reduce, reuse and recycle” by buying their gear second-hand rather than […]

  12. Tips that work today as much as they did 5-years ago. I especially love the idea of ditching junk mail! I just wish we could come up with a reasonable solution to this that could be applied nationwide.
    Norman Brown recently posted..Environmental Impact of Junk Mail.My Profile

  13. […] At Groovy Green Livin’, Lori has a great list of “15 Ways to Be Green Without Spending a Dime.” One that has saved me a bundle over the years is her #14: “use Freecycle, Craigs List or other sites that have free stuff.” It’s all about reusing and keeping good stuff out of landfills,” she says. Amen to that!  […]

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Hi! I’m Lori, a recovering attorney, writer, and mom to three boys. Join me as I uncover and share the latest info on healthy living. Learn more.

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