In honor of Earth Day, here's a list of some things that I personally do to help the Earth. Most of these help my wallet also! A couple of these are a little embarrassing for me to tell strangers, but if someone can learn a new way to help our environment from it, I guess it can be alright!
All things cloth: diapers, wipes, “mama cloth”, towels (not paper towels), grocery sacks, and produce bags. There are things that I have NOT ventured into, such as what some call “family cloth”, aka, cloth toilet paper. I haven't switched over to cloth snack bags (my husband mostly uses them for lunches at work and since his lunches get stolen sometimes, I'd rather have something disposable in there), but I do wash out the plastic baggies and reuse!
Cleaning: Already mentioned towels, but just wanted to throw it out there that you may have seen these amazing things called “un-paper towels”, I have never tried them, nor do I plan to because I have these other amazing things called “old t-shirts” and “rags”. If you're looking to save money, don't spend it on something you probably already have in your home. I also use a steam mop! I love it, it cleans and I am using zero chemicals!
Reuse: I very rarely buy things new. Reusing or re-purposing an item reduces waste and means that the thing you needed didn't need to be made brand new in a factory, causing pollution and using up energy and even gasoline for transportation. Looking for something specific? Check thrift stores, Craigslist, yard sales, even Ebay for used items instead of buying new.
Local: Have to buy something? Try and buy local. This revisits the pollution idea of transportation of items. The recent jump in gas has also led to a jump in some basic necessities too, and you may get it cheaper buying locally anyway! Buying from local businesses means your money is staying in your town and it's just an awesome thing to do regardless!
Basics: Turn the lights off and open the windows when the sun is out. Turn the TV off if you aren't watching anything. Go for a walk around the block instead of going for a drive. Eat a vegetarian meal once a week. Recycle what you can. Only run your dishwasher when it is full. Don't stand with the fridge door open all the time. Plan your meals and eat your leftovers. Wear more layers if you are cold, wear tank tops and shorts if you are hot. Drink water from the tap (or a filter) instead of bottled water, soda, or even milk. Turn the light off when you leave a room. Simple things like this do make a difference, in your bills and in your wonderful world!
Merry Savings to all and to all some spare change,