30 Tips for Going Green and Saving Money

No Impact Man published this article of mine last year, I wanted to repost it…
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Thirty-one tips for reducing your impact while saving money

I was reading through comments here on the blog last night and I found this great list of tips by reader Millie Barnes, who writes a blog about health and gardening called Optimum Nutrition. Her tips were just too comprehensive to let them languish in the comments. So here they are (I don’t even mind including the plug for her products). Thanks Millie!
My Level of Living Green
by Millie Barnes

1) Air dry all laundry–had to put a lock on the dryer cord to convince my daughters I was serious–they have learned to plan ahead! I wash all laundry in cold water, always wash full loads, and use a drying rack inside if it is raining. It’s good for the earth and great for your skin, a free humidifier in the house. Which also makes it feel a few degrees warmer in winter, and cooler in summer. I use soapnuts for laundry.http://www.zamuta.com/

2) Buy all organic food, beauty and cleaning products.

3) Buy all organic non-toxic beauty care products and make-up. I make my own skin care cleanser and moisturizers. I make my own soap. My beauty products can be purchased athttp://ezchef.net/spacuisine/

4) Use baking soda and vinegar for cleaning the bathroom. I use Ms. Meyer Clean Day for dishes, Citri-Clean for counters and general purpose cleaning. I use a loofah for scrubbing dishes (I am growing my own right now so I won’t have to buy them anymore!) My sister is making scrubbies by crocheting them, we will offer these for sale soon!

5) Take cloth bags to store for groceries and all other purchases. Take muslin bags I made to grocery store for produce.

6) Recycle, re-use, make my own and have stopped buying anything I don’t really need.

7) Don’t use paper towels, never have. Used cloth diapers for all 5 kids.

8) Don’t buy stuff in plastic, I try to buy all glass. Store all food in glass. Re-use glass jars. I mostly buy real food (meat, produce) try to not buy anything that needs a label, so no packaging.

9) Have been using recycled toilet paper for years but am considering switching to cloth at home. (don’t freak, we all used that same choice when we used cloth diapers and wash clothes on our baby’s tushes!)

10) Make my own gluten free granola, make my own mayonnaise, salad dressings, spice blends.

11) I use a compost toilet, no toilet paper (think cloth baby wash clothes).

13) Use very low flow shower heads. Ace Hardware has a 1.5 GPM with a shut-off valve.

15) Use all CF light bulbs…and use them as little as possible. I have one evening a week that I use no lights..on Shabbat! Dinner by candlelight!

16) Use grey water from shower (I keep a 3 gallon bucket in shower and use it throughout the day to flush the toilet, take what’s left to the flower beds.

17) Use water from rinsing dishes to water flower beds.

18) Use a broom on all my wooden floors instead of using vacuum cleaner.

19) Run as few errands as possible, car pool and combine trips.

20) Use micro-cloths to clean with, even on glass you do not need cleaning products!

21) NEVER buy bottled water. I bought a Kleen Kanteen for each person in the family, we refill and take with us. I’ve had mine over a year.

22) Go paperless or CD-less as much as possible. I provide my clients with emails of my book, but still put cookbook software on CD.

23) Unplug all appliances not being used. Yes, that cell phone charger and TV are using power when you aren’t using them! I use power strips to keep them plugged in, turn them off at night, or when I’m gone all day.

24) Use only a hurricane lamp when we sit outside at night. It gives enough light to read by…but is perfect turned low …for just hanging out. Very romantic, too!

25) Use candlelight at dinner, not just on Shabbat!

26) I have an outdoor solar heated shower that I built.

27) I put in a raised bed garden, square foot garden I have green leaf lettuce in a grow box, cherry and big sweet tomatoes, basil, thyme. I have sweet potatoes growing, beets (mmmm, beet greens), onions, Swiss chard, purple flowering kale, nastutiums, broccoli, cucumbers, peppers, red potatoes, a banana tree. Inside I am growing cucumbers and strawberries hydroponically.  UPDATE_ I have quit using raised beds to grow veggies as it wastes a lot of water and is labor intensive for organic growing.  I now use sub-irrigated containers…

28) I use a non-disposable razor, an old-fashioned stainless steel, very high quality razor that uses double edged blades. It was 24.00 from ClassicShaving.com. The blades are 10 for 5.99, and they are double edged! They give the closest, smoothest shave you can imagine! No disposable blade can compare.

29) Wash dishes with 2 dish pans in the sink, one for hot soapy water, one with warm rinse water. Do glasses first, pause a moment to let the soapy water drip off, then move to rinse water. Stop when rinse water is almost full and rinse quickly. Repeat with silver, plates, then pots and utensils. All with 2 dishpans full of water. Then I pour the soapy water, with all that organic matter, onto my plants in the garden. It helps repel pests and loosens the soil. And good for the biceps when you carry it outdoors.

30)
I water my garden with buckets from the rain barrels that are under the eaves of my garage. 10 feet from my garden. The front flower garden gets watered entirely from the dish water.
30) I work out at home, no expensive gym memberships that I never used anyway. I save all the expense of membership, and gas and time driving. I have a set of weights, two exercise balls, a yoga mat and a chin-up bar.

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