Create an Eco Friendly Home, Save the Planet & Money #green #frugal

How to make your Home More Economical, Help Save the Planet and Save Money!  #green

We all want to do our part to protect the environment, but without a large paycheck, that can be seem difficult, if not impossible. But doing your part doesn't have to be hard. Small steps add up to a big difference, you just have to know which ones to take.   Here's what we do in our home.  
Use less water.

Saving water is all about small steps, here are a few that will help save big.

- Shut off the water while you brush your teeth
- Take showers that are a minute or two shorter. Shut off the water when you shave your legs.
- Buy low flow shower heads.  This one from Niagra is only $8.00!   Click here to check it out
- Only flush the toilet when you need to  (that translates to yellow is Ok in the middle of the night..sorry)
- Only run full loads of laundry and dishes!  This is a big one around here.  Hubby thinks I "overload the          dishwasher" but I have convinced him that it works and saves money.
- Dry your clothes on a clothes line.  I bought mine from the dollar store along with the pins..I guess that should fall under energy.  Oh well, I got ahead of myself!
- Buy from sustainable producers. These are farmers, ranchers, and other producers that use techniques that pollute less and use less water. You can do some research online or ask at your local organic market to find these products.
-We have a local organic CSA in our area that we love. Here's a link to find a CSA in your area.    Local Harvest 
-Make a rain barrel.   Here's a good tutorial from Twotwentyone
-What's your favorite tip for saving water?

Use less energy.

If you don’t have the money to buy a hybrid car or convert your house to solar power, you can make a big difference with other small energy changes.

- When the old ones wear out- Buy energy efficient appliances.  They may be a little more expensive, but they make up for it in the long run.  We got a new fridge and now have much lower energy bills.
- Unplug chargers, lamps, printers, and small kitchen appliances, just to mention a few, when you’re not using them.  It's amazing how many things you will find in your home that you can unplug! Many of these use up power even if they are not used or turned off.
- Put devices with remotes, like T.V.s, VCRs, and stereos, on a power strip (click to see the one we use) and turn it off when you’re not using them.  These devices use a lot of power to run the remote receiver even when the device is off.
- Walk or ride your bike for errands if you can.
-TURN THE LIGHTS OFF!  I run around turning off lights every day.
Buy local products. It takes energy to transport food and other products across the country. Buying local not only supports your local economy, it helps them use less energy.  Again I urge you to find a CSA in your area and support local farmers.
-How do you use less energy?

Reuse, Reduce & Recycle

Most of us know the three R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle, but when we work on conserving, we often leave reuse out of the picture. While you can often find tips on how to reuse common products from other people, what you need most is creativity. With a little thought there are many items around your home that can be reused –
Toilet paper holders can be used to sow seeds for the vegetable patch and protect sharp knives in the knife drawer.
Old yogurt containers can be cut into strip to make plant labels.  I use mine for my Homemade Greek Yogurt.  Making my own yogurt and much of our own food saves us a great deal of money too.  You can see all of my recipes by clicking here
Food jars can be sterilized and refilled with homemade foods or can make great impromptu vases.
Egg cartons make great seed starters or hold nuts and bolts in the garage.  We also love them as junk drawer organizers.
Reuse your old plastic bags when you grocery shop or buy large cloth reusable bags.  
Don't throw out your coffee grounds!  I use mine in the garden and my plants love it.  They also ward of insects.
There's tons more great ideas on the web.  What do you reuse?

Use environmentally friendly products. When you go to the grocery store, you probably see more and more “natural” or “eco friendly” products every time.  There are generally two big problems with these products: 1. Just because they’re more natural than regular products, doesn't mean they’re entirely natural.
2. They’re often expensive.

If you want inexpensive, natural, safe products, why not just make them yourself.
Vinegar is a streak proof way to clean and disinfect glass and other surfaces.   It also kills weeds in the garden and eliminates the danger to our lakes and oceans caused from using commercial weed killers.
Need to remove stubborn stains? Just add some baking soda to your vinegar cleaner. It's great for tile and shower scum.
Hydrogen peroxide is great for cleaning too.  We use it to clean the kitchen counter tops, vegetables and it's a natural disinfectant for the refrigerator shelves and drawers. I even pour it in the toilets.
Some quick searching online will lead you to hundreds of other natural safe home-made cleaning products.

Please share your favorite green tips!

We all knowing that going green means better for the environment, but it’s also better for you and your family.  Conserving resources helps save you money and teaches your children a better way to live.

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