Friday, April 22, 2011

Going Green

Today is Earth Day. Yep. Save the planet and all that. And you know what, saving the planet could save you some cash too. Don't believe me? HA! Let me tell you how we do it around these parts.


Yep. For starters, we get back about $20 every 8 weeks or so when we take all of our recyclables to the redemption center.
There our old bottles, cans and jugs can be used to make new ones, cutting down on waste and giving me enough for maybe ½ a tank of gas or two days worth of groceries, if we shop smart.

Next, I don't know about your town, but here in my town, they charge for garbage pick up. It costs about $20 a month for them to come each week and empty 1 green trash can like this one
Just the one. They charge more for each additional one. I don't know about your family, but the four of us in this house use more trash than that in a week.

However, they will give us an unlimited amount of recycle bins, provided you only put items that can be recycled in them. Of course. We have two blue recycle bins.
We put in cereal boxes (not the liners, but just the boxes, flattened), cans that once contained tomato sauce or green beans (rinsed), plastic shampoo bottles, and other plastics that they don't take at the recycling center. This seriously cuts down on waste put out by our household.

2. Water Conservation

There are many things we can do to save water, which you have to pay for. Save more, spend less. Turn of the faucet when brushing your teeth. Take shorter showers. Only run the dishwasher or clothes washer when it's full. Water your plants in the evening to allow the water time to soak in and not evaporate. Displace some of your toilets water with heavy objects in the tanks. You can used anything water proof... large Ziploc bags full of sand, water bottles or here, I have used a large rock David's mom brought back from the beach.

3. Compost

We are not doing this yet, but as soon as we move to our own home, we will. You can put leaves, vegetable peels, egg shells, fruit bits, coffee grinds, tea bags and more into your compost pile to make a rich soil for your plants. Think about the money you will save by not having to buy potting soils, fertilizers and plant foods. Plus think about the waste you will reduce.

4. Garden

I love to garden. But here, it is not allowed. I don't own this house. But when I move, look out green thumb! And since I will have all that nice composted soil, my garden will be fabulous. You can grow your own vegetables and herbs. It will add green to your yard, help give back oxygen quality to our air, and save yourself the money you would have spent buying those same tomatoes and basil at the supermarket.

5. Carpool

If you can find people in your area to car pool with, think of the money you'll save in gas. Buy car pooling with just 1 other person, you will save 50% of your usual gas costs. The more people you get involved with, the more you save. It is kind of hard with my job and my working varying shifts. But if you can, do it. Unless you have to car pool with this guy...

Of course, I would car pool with that guy. Twice.

So with just a few simple ideas, we can save money and save the planet. Happy Earth Day everyone!

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