Friday, February 5, 2010

Go Ahead and Go Green

There are so many companies out there advertising to go green and buy their product or use their services, but are they really green? How do you know and who can you trust? There are plenty of ways to even go a little green without killing your budget and changing your entire lifestyle because going green in the past hasn't always been good to your budget. In the long run, it can reduce your energy and gas bills, but right now (when you need your paycheck to go to rent and other bills) its not always affordable. Here are some simple tips to help you Go Green and help your wallet stay green!

1. Take a walk- Most of us live close to a grocery store or shopping center, so the next time you need to pick up a few things, ditch the car and take a walk. While your at it, bring your re-usable grocery bag with you. They are more durable than plastic or paper bags for the walk back and most of the stores will give you a few cents back for using your own bags, which is money back in your pocket for doing a good thing!
2. Make your own meals, Stop eating out so much- I know what your are work 8-10 hours a day, then you run errands after work. By the time you come home, the last thing you want to do is cook a meal. I know exactly how you feel..that's why I plan ahead. Cook the bulk of your meals with on the weekend. Pick a day (my day is Sunday) and cook a few meals out for the week. Place a couple servings in the fridge and then a couple in the Freezer and VOILA- you are set for fresh, home cooked meals anytime you get home!
3. Use fresh fruits and veggies- I don't always have time to use fresh veggies and half of mine seem to end up in the bottom of the fridge as a science experiment, but using fresh fruits and veggies for even one meal (preferably from local farmers or co-ops) can really help reduce the amount of energy used. Canning and freezing veggies uses a lot more energy to pack and deliver then buying the local fresh stuff. By using fresh fruits and veggies, you also creates less waste, which is good for everyone.
4. Ditch the bleach and other harsh chemicals- Its great to live in such a time when phosphate free detergent and eco-friendly cleaner no longer cost an arm and a leg. Companies like Seventh Generation and even Target have a complete line of eco-friendly products that you can use to clean things from the laundry to the dishes and everything in between.
Harsh chemicals like bleach, toilet cleaners
and so much more can not only hurt the environment, but can harm you as well. Breathing in those chemicals can put a small child or person with a respitory problem in danger or a small pet could lick up some of it. Detergents laced with perfumes can throw sensitive skin into a rashy nightmare...trying switching just one of your household products to something eco-friendly and see how you feel. I love the fact that I clean my house without a terrible smell of chemicals filling the air.
5.Save the Polar Bears, one light bulb at a time. Thats right, you too can help fight the growing concern of Global warming affecting so many animals in the world like the polar by changing out one of the light bulbs in your house to the more enegry effecient light bulbs...Most of the companys who make light bulbs now have an more energy efficent bulb. Looking for another way to save a little energy in your home? Don't forget to unplug your cell phone charger and turn off the lights when you leave. Aside from saving the earth, think how much money you will save the next time your enegry bill comes?
6. Buy Used- Why create more waste in the world then you have to...many Consignment shops are turning into more upscale boutiques where you can turn in your old, but in good condition clothing and household items for cash or get something new (well new to you). It's a great way to save money and give that shopping habit a fix.

Of course, these are just a few simple steps you can take to help reduce your carbon footprint, but if you want do more in your community here are some helpful links:
Looking for a way to earn money and be green???

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Vintage Earring Magnet