We have known for a while now that the Earth is warming. Granted, there was still some debate as to whether global warming was caused by human actions or not up until a few years ago. But now, it is generally accepted that mankind has at least contributed somewhat to global warming. That is why it was so shocking to see that in a recent survey in National Geographic, the U.S. ranked last in terms of green lifestyle choices.
With all of the advertised green household products we see in advertisements, and the campaigns for environmental sustainability and the drastic weather changes we have seen over the past few years, you would think that the U.S. would be on its way to becoming one of the leaders in global sustainability. Granted, the 2008 financial shock and lingering recession definitely dampened the ability of some U.S. families to be able to spend a little bit more for greener options. However, as we have noted in some of our other posts, being green sometimes does not have to cost anything. In fact, being green can save you money.
Here are five ways that you can save money and easily go green.
If you think about it, and take a look at your trash and recycling when you are taking it to the curb every week, we use a lot of stuff in a modern lifestyle. Almost everything we buy now is wrapped in some plastic or packaged in a container. While we feel good that we recycle and try to buy items that are packaged in recyclable containers, we still end up with a lot of stuff to recycle.
While we are working on reducing the amount of stuff we have to recycle by buying items that are not packaged, in today’s modern world, that is pretty hard to do. So, we decided to see what we could do on the other end of things, to reuse what we would normally end up throwing into the recycling bin. We started keeping some of the items that we would normally recycle (like cereal boxes, shoe boxes and some plastic containers) to see what we could do with them.
I started looking around and found that there are a bunch of great ideas out there to reuse stuff that is just lying around the house or destined for the recycling bin.
Wasps, one of nature’s most feared and gruesome creatures. Their long thin and thick bodies often remind us of something almost primeval. Anyone who has ever done battle with wasps around their home knows what awful creatures they can be. I am one of those people.
Last spring, there were wasps everywhere around our house. They were buzzing by our front porch, hovering around our cars, flying over our heads and pretty much constantly around us anytime we were outside. As we try our best to be green, we tried to live with them, knowing that if we did not bother them, they would not bother us. However, they were everywhere, so it was very difficult. Then, one day, a wasp got trapped between the storm door and the front door of our house. When our daughter came home and opened the storm door to get into the house, the wasp darted out and stung her. I will never forget the sound of her cry when that happened.
That was the day that I decided that the wasps had to go. But, I still wanted to be green about it, so I looked into how to get rid of wasps naturally and here is what I found (we recently wrote about how to get rid of ground bees naturally as well).
It’s that time of year again. The Holiday season is winding down, which means that it is time to ring in the New Year. However, traditional New Year’s Eve parties can be pretty damaging to the environment. From glitter and noisemakers to disposable plates, cups and silverware, to plastic tablecloths, most New Year’s parties generate a lot of trash.
In fact, in 2009, the New York City New Year’s Eve party generated about 40 tons of trash. When you stop to think about how many cities and towns hold New Year’s Eve parties, and then include all of the corporate parties and the smaller friends and family parties, you can start to see how huge of an impact New Years parties can have on the environment.
However, it does not have to be that way. There are many easy ways to reduce the environmental impact of your New Years Eve party so that you can have a green New Years. Read more on Green New Years Eve Party – 5 Tips…
Christmas is a great time of year, filled with joy, friends, family, fun and, of course, shopping and gifts.
All of that shopping, wrapping, driving and mailing takes quite a toll on the environment. Each Christmas season, more than 1.9 billion Christmas cards are sent. Those cards require almost 300,000 trees to be cut down. If you laid the cards end to end, they would stretch around the Earth five times. We use over 8,000 tons of wrapping paper, the equivalent of 50,000 trees. Add in 125,000 tons of plastic packaging too. And all of the toys we buy for the kids? Within three months, 41% of them will be broken and thrown away.
The above statistics do not even take into account all of the oil used to create, package and deliver all of the products. If you start to think about it, it becomes pretty easy to see how huge the environmental impact of Christmas can be.
Your personal environmental impact does not have to be that huge though. Luckily there are many ways to have a green Christmas. Here are our top ten tips for a Green Christmas.
The toilets in our house are old. They are the original toilets from when the house was built in the mid-1980′s. From doing research on toilets and water saving, I know that they are horrendous water wasters. I have looked into replacing the toilets and have come close to doing so several times. New toilets only use 1.6 gallons per flush and only cost about $100 – $150 depending on the brand and model you buy. However, when you replace old toilets, those old toilets usually end up in the landfill. So, even though I knew that our old toilets were wasting water, I still felt like replacing them was not worth it unless I could get the old toilets recycled somehow.
I was pondering this exact issue when I went into our local Home Depot a while ago. As I was walking the aisles, I came across the Hydroright Dual Flush Converter, a device that converts your existing toilet into a dual flush toilet. I wanted to jump for joy, but I was skeptical… would it actually work, especially on our ancient toilets? It was only $19, so I decided to buy one and install it on our worst toilet to see if it would really work.
Rain barrels are a great way to collect rain water for use in your yard. It is actually pretty easy to build a rain barrel. There are many different tutorials out there that can help you build a rain barrel, including our own step-by-step guide on how to make a rain barrel. However, not many of those guides take the next step and show you how to install the rain barrel. It can be pretty tricky to modify the ground where the rain barrel will go and change your gutters and downspouts in order to accommodate the rain barrel. In this post, we will show you exactly how we installed our rain barrel on our gutter downspout in our backyard. Read more on How to Build a Rain Barrel and Install it on your Gutter Downspout…
This year is our first attempt at having a raised vegetable garden bed. We are complete novices to vegetable gardening, so we decided to start small by using a raised garden bed. Using a raised garden bed allowed us to set aside a very small space in our backyard to devote to our raised vegetable garden bed. This meant that our backyard could stay almost like it was and we did not have to clear out a bunch of space or pull up grass or make other drastic changes. We also have moles in our yard, so using a raised garden bed helped us protect the garden from them.
Obviously, if you want a raised vegetable garden bed you have to build it, so I set aside a few hours one weekend a few weeks ago to build it. It turned out that it was pretty cheap and easy to build, but there were several decisions that had to be made along the way that greatly impact how successful your raised vegetable garden bed will be. Read more on Build a Raised Garden Bed – A How To…
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Not soon after we started thinking about growing our own vegetable garden, we stumbled upon the idea of using a rainwater barrel to help water it. We thought it was a great idea and starting learning all that we could about rain barrels. It turned out that it was not that hard to build your own rain barrel and doing so helps keep the cost of the rain barrel down considerably. So, we decided to make a rainwater barrel ourselves. Here is a step by step guide on how we did it. Read more on Make a Rain Barrel – A How to Guide…
Recently, one of our master bathroom sinks backed up. I was about to buy a bottle of Draino or Liquid Plumber when I remembered watching a documentary on how millions of man-made chemicals are dumped into the environment each day and how we do not have the capability to study the billions of possible interactions that could occur between these chemicals. However, we do have studies linking a good deal of them to cancer in both animals and humans. That being the case, I decided to look for a way to naturally unclog our drain.
Read more on Naturally Unclog a Drain…