10 Tips to Get Your Green On!

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Today I’ve got 10 simple tips to help you get your green on. What are you waiting for? No more excuses!

  • Envirosax. Each bag holds up to 44 pounds. They’re machine washable and come in a variety of cute colors & patterns. Fashionista-friendly Envirosax are fun for those who shudder at the cheaper varieties of grocery store chain bags (I own both kinds). They are small, soft, and easy to stuff into your purse. Plastic bags suck, so this is the best way to get your green on. For a gold star, check out these reusable produce bags on Etsy. There are tons to choose from, but these are like the ones I have. Easy for the cashiers to see through to get the codes off of your fruit. And if you use these sandwich wraps, you can stop buying so many Ziploc bags! Winner winner, chicken dinner!

 

  • Shatto Milk. Many of my readers are locals, so this is for you. If you’re not in KC, see if you have something comparable. This milk is beyond delicious thanks to the glass bottles that keep it extra cold. The glass eliminates the need for nasty plastic jugs. Shatto Dairy makes butter, ice cream, and cheese curds as well. I can’t go back to drinking milk out of plastic because it tastes horrible.

 

  • Teach your kids about being kind to our planet with this cute dvd, Wubbzy Goes Green. 
    Image courtesy of amazon.com

    You can also read them Michael Recycle, or Reduce, Reuse & Recycle. There’s a fun Jack Johnson song by the same title that my kids loooove to rock out to. I suggest putting it on your iPod immediately. You can find it here. Kids are little sponges, and they learn so much by watching us. My girls constantly point out litter, remind me to grab my reusable bags, and help me sort things in our recycling bins. I’m glad they’re picking up on this stuff because sadly, it’s going to be their problem, too.

  • Unplug it. Even if it’s not on, it’s using up energy. So ladies, unplug that Chi, curling iron, and hairdryer. My toaster and laptop are often unplugged, as are the girls’ nightlights and white noise machine. Hubs gets irritated with me for following him around and unplugging his cell phone charger from the wall, but I can’t help myself!

 

  • Turning off the water while you brush your teeth can save up to eight gallons of water per day, 240 gallons per month. Take shorter showers. Consider investing in a rain barrel, too.

 

  • Turn your kitchen scraps into compost for your garden. I bought my tumbler from Soil Service. If I can compost, anyone can! I was so nervous at first, but it’s really easy. Now all your fall leaves, grass clippings, banana peels and apple cores can go back into the earth and nourish the soil.

 

  • Ditch the cereal box and save a tree: try some 3 Sisters Cereal.  I’ve been thinking a lot about packaging lately and it really bugs me how much excess there is. Cereal in a bag is fine. Why do we need the cardboard box, too? We don’t.

 

  • Recycle at the curb. Check out Ripple Glass and  The Recycle Spot here in KC for various drop-off locations for glass and other odd items like laptop batteries. Another great company based out of New Jersey is Terracycle. They recycle juice pouches, candy wrappers, chip bags, corks, cameras, laptops, etc. and you can earn money for the charity or school of your choice in the process.

 

  • Wash all your clothes in cold water and dry them on the lowest heat setting. I bought a drying rack like this one which I love because it’s better for our clothes and for the environment.

Image courtesy of www.amazon.com
  • Pay your bills and shop on-line. Check out Catalog Choice, a free service that allows you to stop all those annoying catalogs from coming your way. All you need to do is create an account, then start entering the source codes from the backs of the ones you don’t want.

What would you add? What are your favorite go green tips? Please share in the comments!

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  • Anonymous

    The washing your clothes in cold water one? Easiest thing in the entire universe to do. I started when we moved into the new house and I’ve never looked back.

    • Anonymous

      me too. been doing it forever. better for your clothes AND your bills. xoxoxoxo

  • Anonymous

    If you MUST use a dryer take the lint filter out once a month and wash it off in warm soapy water. The excess oils from dryer sheets and fabric softener build up on the little holes in the lint screen blocking air flow. Cleaning that once a month can improve power, heat and lower electric costs associated with drying. A clean filter uses less energy to heat and dry clothes.

    • Anonymous

      YES YES YES! Also, lint can go in the compost bin! WOOHOO! ;-)
      awesome addition, Angel. Thanks!

    • Theinquisitivemom

      You can also use wool dryer balls that cut down on drying time (I need to get mine made!) and eliminate the need for dryer sheets.

  • http://www.theumbels.com Evonne

    These are great tips! At a recent Girl Scout meeting, we made green cleaners. If you want the ingredients, let me know.

    You can also use roll an old towel and use it to stop drafts from coming in under your doors. It can help with the gas bill.

    • Anonymous

      I’d love the ingredients on the cleansers—that would make another great blog post! ;-)

  • Theinquisitivemom

    I really want to get my husband to hang a line to dry our clothes on this summer. I have been washing in cold water for a long time (except when hot is a must). I also like to use vinegar and water as a cleaner and reuse bottles for this. We are big recyclers and I am interested in composting. I’ve been shopping at Aldi much more often, so this helps me to remember the growing stack of reusable bags – now I just have to bring them to Walmart and watch them roll their eyes and poorly pack my groceries in them. ;0) We also use cloth diapers and wipes – I usually air dry everything but the inserts. I also think that buying larger quantities of items you use quiet often and then putting them in reusable containers (rather than mini prepackaged ones) is a great way to save on excess packaging. Thanks for some additional tips and reminders!

    • Anonymous

      I’ve always thought you were a rockstar for using cloth diapers, Mindy. That really speaks volumes about you and I admire you for it. I feel like a criminal for the 2 1/2 years of diapers x 2 kids we used……ugh….

  • Tamara

    Love the post, Erin! My birthday is next month and I’m one of those people who never “wants” anything when family asks for gift ideas – this year I actually have one…. a counter-top composting container!!!! I actually can’t wait for my birthday this year because of it. LOVE Shatto milk, but can’t afford it right now as we go thru about 4 gallons every week and a half or so, but, Shatto farm gives tours of the dairy and you can taste-test the milk and ice cream – I’ve got an article on it on my fridge so when it warms up we’re gonna call and set up a tour. (potential group outing, lemme know if you’re interested). And, yes, I get the eye-rolling cashiers at WalMart who see me coming with my re-usable bags…just makes me want to say, “just do your f*&%ing job and lemme get outta here!! Keep recycling folks – my family of 4 sets out 2 recycling containers full every week and ONE sack of garbage.

    • Anonymous

      I’ve been wanting to do a Shatto tour, but I think it’s pretty far away? I have a countertop compost container I got at World Market that I love. Stainless steel so I can toss it in the dishwasher when it gets gross!

  • Ally

    You know I love your green! We have a shower rod hung in our laundry room for hanging clothes. I air dry a lot and then just a quick 5 minute fluff in the dryer. It really does save your clothes. We’re lucky to live where we have curbside recycling – and we can recycle everything. Even juice boxes and milk cartons if we’re not lucky enough for glass. Also all kitchen & yard waste – it all gets composted – food waste, paper napkins, those pizza boxes that you can’t recycle because of the grease – they get composted! I love it! We also use only organic fertilizers in our yard. Our yard drains directly into a storm detention pond behind our property, which drains directly into the wetlands behind it. I see hawks and owls and coyotes and other creatures, and just can’t dump poison into their water source – into our land!

    • Anonymous

      The yard fertilizer is a good one. Will have to discuss w/ hubster. Feel badly because I hadn’t thought much about that. YIKES!

  • MiMi

    I’m too poor to NOT be green. We always buy our own locally grown, organic beef. From my parents. :) We buy cereal in a bag cuz we can’t afford the extra packaging of the box. LOL

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, I’m in love with the cereals in the bags. SOOOO easy, plus with the built in zippered closure? Awesomesauce.
      Locally grown beef is awesome, too! Yay, Macey!

  • http://twitter.com/PamelotH PamelaFaganHutchins

    I brush my teeth in the shower while my conditioner conditions. Fills the dead time. I love the unplug tip. I need to do a much better job of this.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, there’s a lot more I could be doing, but these are the basic things I’ve been working on!

  • Anonymous

    My daughter loves Wubzy so I definitely gp to check that out! I do work with the kiddos but I am always looking for more ways to model and teach.

    Terracycle rocks! They have programs to work with schools to collect juice pouches. They recycle the pouches into products and then give our cash-strapped schools money! It’s a win-win! If it’s not already in your kid’s school, talk to your principal.

    Great post (as always), Erin. :-)
    Traci

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Traci! I forgot to mention that company you were working with on your blog—-oh yeah, Heifer International! Damn. Will have to save that one for next time!

  • http://twitter.com/tsonoda Terri Sonoda

    Love the Envirosax suggestion and the cereal in a bag. I also use a drying rack for our clothes, especially the dark colors because the dryer seems to fade them.
    Good post!

    • Anonymous

      That is so true, Terri. I hate how faded things get in the dryer. I’m glad you have a drying rack, too! MWAH!

  • http://www.snugglewasteland.com Snuggle Wasteland

    You know I’m on the green wagon with you. Don’t forget to ditch the paper towels and napkins. Use cloth napkins and dish towels/rags for clean up. You can switch your light bulbs to the CFL kind. They use less energy and are brighter, too.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, but the thing about those CFL’s that bugs me? The mercury. And how you have to dispose of them, esp. if one breaks. Freaks me out!

  • http://www.theflyingchalupa.com The Flying Chalupa

    Great ideas. And WHO runs their water while brushing teeth? Ridiculous. I really should try milk out of glass bottles. Hmmm…

    • Anonymous

      Um, actually? It took me FOREVER to get my husband to stop running the water when he was brushing. I nagged and nagged and he likely thought about divorcing me several times! ;-)

  • http://twelvedaysold.blogspot.com Katie Bray

    I was JUST thinking last week about how much I wanted a new green post from you. You read my mind!

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, it’s been wayyyyyy tooo long. Must get back on the bandwagon. ;-)

  • @bransonlee

    I love this post! I would love to feature a couple tips from you in an upcoming post! I will email you about it :)

    • Anonymous

      Perfect! Thank you so much!

  • Dwmatty

    I already follow some of these tips. I’m still getting shut out by my wife on the idea of the reusable bags. (Sigh)

    P.S. Just heard your amazing voice on a Twitter Singup.

    • Anonymous

      oh boy! must’ve been an oldie, LOL! and certainly my voice is anything but amazing. Still, it’s fun to do that sort of thing every once in a while!

  • Elena @NaynaDub

    Great tips Erin! I’m good about unplugging phone chargers, etc. but I never thought about the things in my kids rooms that are only used overnight – night lights, noisemakers, etc. Duh! I really want to do a compost this summer – it’s a goal and I hope I stick to it!

    • Anonymous

      Composting is new to me, and I wish I’d started a whole lot sooner. I’d also like to get our own veggie garden going, but I don’t have good luck growing things!

  • shorty

    We’ve been using cloth bags for grocery shopping for years. We’re fortunate here because the city offers composting – which mean we collect any and all food scraps for the city to collect. I also hang dry clothes in the summer (just don’t have the space set up for the indoors in the winter).

    I would add limiting water while washing dishes – don’t let the water run and run and run. Fill a sink part way, do the scrubbing and turn the faucet to rinse quick. I would also add to buy local – that is think about the produce and where it’s coming from. You also can support a lot of local farms by purchasing the fruits and veggies that they provide.

    • Anonymous

      I do love farmers’ markets!!!
      It’s nice that the city does the composting for you and collects it. Wish more places here would start doing the same.

  • http://www.cathyhasantsypants.com Antsy Pants

    Great tips! I’ve started using my Envirosax bag ALL the time! I carry three in my purse.
    I follow a lot of your tips, so that makes me feel good. I think I’m greener than I realize!

    • Anonymous

      I adore my Envirosax, too. I have some fun ones and plain ones. I give them a lot as gifts, too!

  • Tulpen Elefanten

    I unplug everything. And recycle everything. Hubs gets annoyed that I nag him about throwing away his sandwich bags. And I only do laundry in cold water, unless there is lots of poop, then HOT!!!

    Oh. And I clean the shower while I’m taking one. Which Hubs also thinks is crazy.

    • Anonymous

      Oooh, I like your idea about cleaning the shower while in it. My hubs throws away lunch bags daily. He’s a surgeon and eats on the go, and can’t stash tupperware anyplace where it won’t get ripped off. I get it, but it still irks me.

  • http://thelittlehenhouse.com/ Morgan B.

    You are so right about the composting! I was finally forced to start doing it because I needed to do something with my chicken’s droppings and I did not want to contaminate the groundwater by throwing it away. It’s so incredibly easy and quite rewarding. Great post Erin! PS I’ve been meaning to tell you that every time I click over here, I love your new design more and more. It really wonderful.

  • http://goodgirlgoneredneck.blogspot.com Andrea B.

    Love the tips and reminders, Erin. I unplug hubby’s charger, too!!! I unplug the toaster oven, any appliances (except the microwave, can’t get back there!) and whatever else I can catch. Take out nightlights during the day and so forth. I agree about the cereal boxes, I do try to either recycle them or create something out of them. Sometimes. When I’m super motivated. A friend made dollhouse toys with them for her daughter and they came out adorable. I’m not that motivated yet …

  • http://www.kleendrybh.com Air Duct Cleaning Kendall

    Thanks, I found just the info I already searched across the whole internet and just couldn’t find. What a perfect website.

  • http://wordsdonewrite.blogspot.com Words Done Write

    I knew I liked you, but now that I know you’re an Eco Warrior, I like you even more, Erin! ;-)

    I’ve been turning off the water when I brush my teeth way before anyone ever did it. I tell people to do that, and even today they think I’m crazy. You don’t need the water folks! And I bought my first canvas bags eons ago when they were impossible to find. A small bag for $10. I bought four and I spent all my mad money for the month.

    Two things I would add:

    1) Turn off the water while you’re lathering your hands during washing. You’ve wet them, put soap on them, now lather. The water does not need to run while you lather.

    2) Don’t use styrofoam or plastic cups in the workplace. Bring your own mug or water bottle. It blows me away that folks have no qualms about using 2 to 6 cups a day and just throwing them out. Ugh.

    Save the planet!