Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Going Green!

I've been wanting to write about this for a couple months now, but haven't gotten around to it! I always want to find more links but still don't have them all. So here's a run down of some of my favorite tips for now:

  • Go to the library! I borrow 10 books at a time, and take in a reusable tote to carry them home in. They also have CDs and movies if we want

  • Use reusable bags: I am SO good about bringing these in to the grocery stores. However, many of the times I run in to CVS or Walgreens I forget my bags in the car. I need to keep them on the seat, or front floor, rather than the trunk. That way I can grab them. However, I still get plastic bags for my fresh meat, for sanitation purposes.

  • Walk when you can. We live within walking distance of several grocery stores and parks, so we walk when it is nice out. If I am feeling adventerous, the library and train station are 2 miles away, and doable.

  • Buy containers for leftovers and your lunches. Oftentimes I will still freeze items in plastic wrap or bags (mainly fresh meat) as it fits better. However, I generally leave things like bread in their original wrapper and then put that in a ziploc. This means the bag is not dirty and I reuse it over again. I also make pudding and jello and pour into serving-size containers, and buy large containers of applesauce and yogurt to divide up.

  • Make your own cleaning supplies. I picked up spray bottles from the dollar store and picked up vinegar, baking soda, borax and washing soda. I made an AP cleaner, window cleaner, and you can use straight up (or water diluted) vinegar for SO many things. Buying bulk means less packaging as well, and we bought a glass jar to keep a convenient amount of baking soda out for cleaning (to sprinkle) and baking. This means no more annoying boxes when you need a teaspoon for your cookie dough!

  • Shop local/small stores. This saves gas, and also saves money becuase they are generally cheaper. While one of my local stores sometimes doesn't have the best quality, the prices are right and they often have markdowns of still-decent produce.

  • Grow your own! I love gardening. We had a large one in the backyard growing up. Last year we had a lonely jalapeno plant, which didn't produce much. But this year we are going to try bell peppers and tomatoes, exciting! This is great fun and can be done cheaply if you are careful not to go overboard

  • Compost...this is something I want to look into. We have plenty of coffee grounds, eggshells and carrot peels on a weekly basis, and it'd be great for the plants. Nitrogen, calcium...return the earth back to the Earth!

I also wrote this to plug a blog I have been reading for several years now. I think I got to Allison's blog from Laurie's blog. (Laurie also gardens, and she's started on a crazy adventure for this summer!) I admire all that Allison has gone through and wish her the best. So when I saw she had made reusable mesh produce bags, and is selling them on Etsy, I had to go buy some. I try to cut down on plastic produce bags, and when I buy apples or tomoatoes or bulky items, I don't use them, which surely the cashiers don't appreciate. But when you buy grapes or green beans you need a bag of some sorts. Her mesh bags come in a cute carrying case, and I'm pushing you to go get some! I did read yesterday about making your own, but I think tulle would tear easily. Plus, I guess you could consider me a little lazy to not want to pull out my sewing machine. But this seemed like a great option ;) So I finally signed up on Etsy, and maybe some day I will sell my own stuff. However, I hope I am not first going to be enabled into buying knitterly things!!!

Enjoy :)


Allison said...

Great suggestions, Helen. Many thanks for the link love!!

Anonymous said...

Try growing some green beans from seeds. If you keep the beans picked off, they keep producing. You'd be surprised how many beans you get from a few plants.