Oh Bumbling Band—please to forgive me.
To know MizFit is to be painfully aware I’m not the greenest of bloggers.
I recycle, I reuse, I walk whenever possible, I bring cloth bags to the grocery when I remember, & I’m working to teaching the Tornado all about loving Mother Earth as well (Hello, The Lorax).
I do stumble greatly, however, as evidenced by the fact I still purchase more than my fair share of individually packaged snacks for the Toddler among myriad other violations I’m certain.
In honor of Earth Day tomorrow I wanted to brainstorm a little.
Both green & non.
Me? I’ll handle the non.
I figured Id start a list of ways to save money (some of which are almostgreen!) in this less than certain economy & you could chime in with your saving-ideas or toss some green thoughts our way instead.
I give you MizFit’s When Is This Economy Gonna Turn ‘Round Tips for Maximizing Our Spending Dollars:(W.I.T.E.G.T.R.T.M.O.S.D. for short):
- Before you go grocery shopping check your store’s homepage for sales & plan meals accordingly. I just started doing this and have been amazed at the money Ive saved by being prepared before I hit the H.E.B. With the Tornado in tow I tended to grab things willynilly (the technical term) & planning ahead has really helped save money.
- Snip off the end of your toothpaste tube and s-q-u-e-e-z-e out more when it appears to be all gone. Do I really do this? Yes, sadly I do.
- FreePetTreats.com (ruff, errr, ’nuff said).
- Buy in bulk from a warehouse club is an obvious tip. If you are like we are and not a big family it also helps to organize a neighborhood/friend group to buystuff & split! Ive found this works really well with places like Oriental Trading company, too. 99 times out of 100 I r-e-a-l-l-y dont ‘need’ a dozen cardboard guitars for the Tornado to color.
- Find free phone. Im a Skype user–you? Anyone ever tried Gizmo Call? I have friends who rave about it and, like Skype, it’s free from your computer.
- I tweeted this a few weeks ago but it’s a Little Known Frugal MizFit Fact which bears repeating: I never spend money on perfume. I love magazines (hello stationary bike treat!) & before I dress I merely snag a scented insert & swipe across my bod. This is definitely a ‘consider the source’ tip, but one that has saved me a *lot* of money over the years.
- Sometimes you need to spend. Big. Certain things arent worth skimping on. Take my word for the fact that the “almost George Forman-like” store brand grill isnt worth the little you will spend on it. AND you’ll end up buying the real thing soon thereafter anyway. I was fortunate enough to win a Vita-Mix Blender & that machine is pricey but AMAZING. The money I’ve saved by making my own meals/smoothies at home makes it, in my opinion, well worth the price of blendmission.
- Keep your eyes peeled for neighborhood freebies. Kids Eat Free!times at restaurants & random other gives around your ‘hoods.
- TODAY is free icecream cone day at Ben & Jerrys!
- TODAY is .50 cent iced coffee day at Dunkin Donuts!
- April 29th from 5p-10p Baskin Robbins is having a .31 cent scoop night.
- And word on the proverbial street is 7/11stores are reprising their free 7oz slurpie on July 11th.
That’s about all Ive got (baring a semi-inappropriate & rather adult freebie upon which I stumbled in my searches).
How are you saving money in these tightening EVERYTHING times?
Any thoughts on Payless announcing they’re going GREEN (but mass producing aforementioned greenery in China)?
What top 3 tips can you lob my way in an effort to green things up around here?
Id love the former & need the latter.
Please to hit us all up in the comments.
Ashley saysApril 21, 2009 at 2:13 am
I wash all my clothes (except towels) in cold water. I’ve planted a “garden” on my patio–if all goes well, my favorite veggies and herbs will be free (minus start up costs) and organic!
To save money when buying online, I’ll google for coupon codes before making a purchase. I almost always find % off coupons, extra gifts, or free shipping that the website doesn’t advertise.
Moonduster (Becky of Skinny Dreaming) saysApril 21, 2009 at 2:41 am
I plant things like strawberries, carrots andnother herbs and fruit and veggies when they are in season. Helps with my budget. 🙂
I wash and reuse ziploc bags.
I use re-usable bags when I shop.
7 kids. Hand-me-downs. No more explanation needed.
We got rid of our car several years ago. We walk or bike most places. It is not just better for the environment; it also saves us a ton of money on maintenance, gasoline, tax, registration…
We recycle everything that we can.
I have lost a lot of weight, so I have a bunch of clothes that are too big for me. I have a friend who sews (wish I could sew) who is going to use the material from the skirts and such to make into smaller versions for my younger two girls.
Lance saysApril 21, 2009 at 3:50 am
Love the tips (especially the toothpaste!!)
A couple to add?
Bike/walk when you can – I bike to work during the nicer months (i.e. no snow)
Pack a lunch – I do this daily. My kids do this most days of the week for school. Healthier. And cheaper.
Buy a reliable car and maintain it. We’ve had car #1 for over 8 years, and car #2 for over 4 years. No car payments. Maybe more repair costs, although that has definitely been outweighed by not having payments to make.
Sean saysApril 21, 2009 at 3:50 am
I can’t say I ever thought of the ‘toothpaste’ suggestion, but otherwise we do the majority of your suggestions!
I would add… and maybe it’s not a ‘greener’ suggestion… But yard sales save you time and money. And spring is when the ‘spring-cleaning’ sales are in full effect.
Bea saysApril 21, 2009 at 3:56 am
Wow. That’s a great money saving list.
I try to be as green as I can all the time. I recycle and bring bags to the grocery.
I do plant my own veggies etc.
Hannah saysApril 21, 2009 at 4:08 am
LOL @ the adult freebie!
I hadn’t though of going to the grocery website but I always always shop sales and plan my week’s meals around them.
Thanks for the freebie stuff!!
Kim saysApril 21, 2009 at 4:24 am
I’ve wondered about that Vitamix!
I keep buying cheap blenders and break ing them.
Could you show us how it works in a video?
Greg at Live Fit saysApril 21, 2009 at 4:30 am
Good list, and there’s an excellent point here. Going “green” just for the sake of it generally doesn’t make financial sense. Having said that, there are lots of “green” things you can do in a household that saves a lot of cash. Here are two of my suggestions:
1. Ditch using bottled water. Those plastic bottles are insidious.
2. We have three boys. Consignment is a wonderful thing.
Natalia Burleson saysApril 21, 2009 at 4:40 am
We buy store brand on a lot of food items. Or buy bulk instead of individually wrapped stuff. Sometimes I have to go to 2 different stores. Here in Florida we have Albertsons and they have the BEST deal on chicken every week. I’ve gotten it for as cheap as $1.69 a pound for boneless skinless. When they have a sale like that I buy 10 pounds and then freeze it in 8oz portions.
Planning ahead on meals does save a lot of impulse buying. When I plan dinners I always know what I’m having for lunch the next day! 🙂
ttfn300 saysApril 21, 2009 at 5:06 am
wow, going hardcore with the toothpaste! i have started to try and use tupperware as much as I can instead of putting individual servings in plastic baggies…
i also do the cold water wash, as was already mentioned. i’m all about coupons and sales, too! except i’m still trying to not buy everything on sale even if i don’t need it!
ps- i was the same way with brie until i got it for free!
MizFit saysApril 21, 2009 at 5:07 am
I giggle when I do the toothpaste thing as it isnt as though I take those extra pennies and put em in the bank. The go to fund my EXPENSIVE SNACK HABIT.
Linda saysApril 21, 2009 at 5:11 am
Great ideas. We don’t have H>E>B> 🙁
I’m sure there is an equivalent, but not in my woods.
thanks for the nudge to hug Momma Earth
Leslie saysApril 21, 2009 at 5:11 am
I reuse baggies and have been known to wash them multiple times.
(Now that I say that out loud it sounds sort of nasty 🙂 but it is green!)
Miz. saysApril 21, 2009 at 5:12 am
DebNg@MizFitOnline My best green & money saving tip is to compost. Compost is the gift that keeps on giving!
I OFT THINK I SHOULD DO THIS AS WELL—DO ANY OF YOU?
Lisa saysApril 21, 2009 at 5:31 am
We grow a vegetable garden in summer & are working on (thinking about) building a root cellar to save overflow in! Of course canning the tomatos and making applesauce/apple leather from our apple trees.
Also thinking about installing rain barrells to catch run off rain from our roof to use for said vegetable garden. To build structures in our yard we head over to the Solid Waste Drop Off i.e. “The Dump” and get gently used wood, take out a few nails and voila!
Gotta love composting too. Oh I could go on and on.
Great question Miz!
One Gillian Reasons saysApril 21, 2009 at 5:36 am
Great ideas! I also use reusable bags, try to take advantage of coupons, and store promotions ($1 Jamba Juice oatmeal in March). As for the perfume idea, sometimes before I go out after work…Ill stop by a Sephora or department store and try out a new perfume. I have a fresh, lovely scent right away for free!
I also use Restaurant.com for $25 gift certificates for $3 bucks – cant beat it!
chocolatecoveredkatie saysApril 21, 2009 at 5:36 am
Earth Day’s tomorrow?? Oops, how can I call myself a good vegan; I had no idea! Must brainstorm…
Marianne saysApril 21, 2009 at 5:43 am
Meal Planning? What a NOVEL CONCEPT…
I also reuse plastic bags – using them once seems so wasteful! Instead of fabric softener or dryer sheets, I invested in dryer balls (love ’em). I take a friend to Costco and we buy in bulk and split things. Same friend ripped up her deck and we used the wood to make garden beds. Lately I have taken to crocheting my own kitchen washcloths (hate sponge stank) it keeps my hands from putting things in my mouth…
So…no one is going to make any cracks about today’s freebie as a follow up to the “jump rope”???
Couchto5KWoman saysApril 21, 2009 at 5:45 am
I need a Miz Intervention.
I had a panic attack when your site was down this morning.
Couchto5KWoman saysApril 21, 2009 at 5:46 am
I compost too!
Crabby McSlacker saysApril 21, 2009 at 5:47 am
These are great suggestions!
I’m too cheap and lazy… er… conscientious to do a lot of shopping for clothes or gadgets or knick-knacks etc.
And I walk or bike a lot.
The grocery shopping bag thing is complicated by the need for paper bags to hold newspapers for recycling, and the need for plastic bags for cat poop. Or perhaps that’s just an excuse because I never remember to bring the darn tote bag with me.
Miz saysApril 21, 2009 at 5:49 am
HEB is just where I grocery shop.
99.99% of stores have a website.
Only an example….
Linda saysApril 21, 2009 at 6:02 am
I’m sort of a compost gal, but I could do better.
I’m also expanding my garden this year so I can can and freeze for the winter and next spring. I love it!
Gena saysApril 21, 2009 at 6:06 am
One tip I inherited from my great depression-era grandmother is to wash out your plastic sandwich baggies and reuse them. This is really easy if you’ve just used them to hold some carrots or celery. Rinse them in the sink, arrange them open in the drying rack (or over a cup) and use them the next day. You cut down on plastic waste and you don’t have to buy bags nearly as often.
For Miz’s grocery store tip, lots of stores have an email alert! You can get their weekly specials delivered right to your email, and you can plan the week’s meals around them. Not only will you save some money by planning ahead, you’ll save time!
Marianne saysApril 21, 2009 at 6:07 am
Crabby, I buy paper lunch bags from the dollar store and use those for the cat box – the plastic ones take too long to break down in the landfill. : )
Rupal saysApril 21, 2009 at 6:16 am
I LOVE THE HEB..can’t emphasize that enough…how I miss the heb…
ANYWAYYYSS– public transport is a must in these parts, I do also try to walk EVERYwhere mostly bc I think the tube is icky…i mean for the earth! Always have my jute bags in tow to all stores not just the grocery store. No lunch baggies, only containers. Recycled paper products.
VeggieGirl saysApril 21, 2009 at 6:20 am
I recycle and always turn off the lights when I leave the room.
MizFit saysApril 21, 2009 at 6:20 am
Rupal, why did I not even THINK of public transport!
Chris saysApril 21, 2009 at 6:21 am
I had not seen that Payless is going green!!
(and I rhymed lol)
Leamur saysApril 21, 2009 at 6:23 am
No one’s mentioned unplugging electronics when they aren’t in use. This is actually a bit of a pain. I count 6 electronic clocks in our house, for instance, but only 1 that I can see unplugging without having to reset it every night. The laptop, OTOH…
Shelley B saysApril 21, 2009 at 6:24 am
Thanks for the tips – I’ve signed up for the free dog treats (Paco says “thank you, Miz”) and I did not know that HEB had such a great website!
I use a nalgene plastic water bottle when I workout – refill that vs. use a new plastic cup each day. I should be better at remembering to bring in those darn cloth grocery sacks, but 90% of the time my cart if halfway filled before I have my Homer “Doh!” moment.
I never thought about how bringing my lunch to work saves gas and emissions – I was just all about the healthy part. Now I can feel extra pious when eating it! 😉
MizFit saysApril 21, 2009 at 6:27 am
oooh and this all makes me remember about phantom energy!
no time to look up statistics but Ive started UNPLUGGING things that are OFF (computer/lamps etc) and our electric bill has gone down!
Marsha @ A Weight Lifted saysApril 21, 2009 at 6:27 am
I’m a composter. Even in winter. The bags of frozen scraps piling up in our screened-in porch b/c I don’t want to take the trip through the snow to the composter is quite attractive (not). I’m not sure, tho, that I’m really being green by doing this. 1) It takes me a while to get the compost actually into my gardens. It’s a lot of work and I get a bit lazy. 2) I think I rationalize throwing away more veggies because I can compost them. Still, this year I’m hoping to put in a dedicated vegetable garden (most of my others are flowers), and plan to rethink the whole compost thing. To make it easier. Guess that’s my mantra — ease of use.
I’m also a plastic bag washer. Learned that from a group of kids in Woodstock, VT who have been working to save part of the rainforest in Costa Rica for several years now (my daughter was a member in high school). They even make plastic bag driers — wooden thingies that you can drape your bag over so it can dry. The kids are called “Change the World Kids.” You can read about them here http://www.changetheworldkids.org/.
Thanks for reminding us about Earth Day, Miz!
Fab Kate saysApril 21, 2009 at 6:39 am
Green and cheap don’t always go hand in hand, but here are a few ways they do:
Epay. Don’t get paper bills… save trees and save on postage.
Forget reusing the plastic bags, use small tupperware type containers instead: They last even longer.
Don’t use paper towels/ napkins. Use cloth and wash.
Ditto for disposable dusters and mops.
Buying in bulk is good, buying minimally packaged items is better. Stores like Trader Joes has minimally packaged items (like ground beef) for less than bulk at other stores.
ecoupon. Only print the coupons you need: save paper while saving money.
Read your news online. Just about anything you can get in a print newspaper you can get online. Sometimes I get the sunday paper for the coupons, but if I can get them elsewhere, I don’t. Think of the trees used to print all those newspapers, not to mention the savings if you subscribe online!
Plant a tree. Rather than go out to dinner, or off to a movie this weekend, take part in an Earthday celebration. There are tree plantings and cleanups all over. A lot of these places have festivals and a party atmosphere, so it’s fun as well as useful.
And one thing I’ve done which isn’t terribly cost effective for me is to offer a series of totes in my online store (http://www.cafepress.com/dorid/6574012) that I sell at cost to me. Hopefully people will start using totes rather than disposable bags.
That being said, once a month I do use store bags (paper) to use for garbage disposal, craft projects, and book covers. Reduce, Recycle, REUSE.
Holly saysApril 21, 2009 at 6:42 am
I love the tips! I need to print this off. 🙂
For me (probably like much that I do), being green is almost contagious. The more I do, the more I WANT to do to be green. I recycle, conserve energy at home (wash clothes in cold, dishwasher is set to air dry, conserve lights), use reusable grocery bags, and I just bought a house and my yard is in DESPERATE need of trees, so I’ve planted a few. (Or, um, had people plant them FOR me – that counts?)
Felice saysApril 21, 2009 at 6:44 am
I try really hard to be green — recycle, use cloth bags, unplug appliances, etc.
I’m working on buying locally. I joined a local CSA (community supported agriculture) farm and I shop at my local co-op and farmers market. I could do better, but I’m trying! I try to buy USA-made items whenever possible, too.
charlotte saysApril 21, 2009 at 6:53 am
I make only reasonable effort to be green although I know I should be better. But right now all I can think about is how badly I wish we had a ben & Jerry’s scoop shop nearby! Sigh.
My best green tip? http://www.localharvest.org
Trish @IamSucceeding saysApril 21, 2009 at 6:59 am
1. I no longer buy paper towels, we have a basket under the cabinet with old towels that I cut up into paper towel size.
2. we buy from our co op bulk bins
3. I use canvas bags for grocery shopping or any shopping, they are stored in the back of our van.
4. I map out errands for the least amount of travel in van and walk when errands are close together and we have suitable weather.
5. we have most electric outlets furnished with power strips and turn all off when not in use.
6. we use approved water bottles.
7. I reuse glass jars for water, leftovers, packaging gifts.
8. when we get it, I will be hanging laundry on clothesline th dry instead of using the dryer
9. I am having a container garden on our porch and around the perimeter of our home. Not ready to do the regular garden will plan it for next season though.
10. I buy local when possible.
11. we use rechargeable batteries in items requiring batteries.
12. I will re use plastic ziplocs when appropriate
13. I cook in bulk. I make planned leftovers so we can simply re-heat and I have a go to meal on those hurried days when we would end up eating out instead.
14. I compost, then use it in my planters for rich soil and will use it next year in the actual garden.
15. I too plan my meals around what is on sale for the week.
16. I also buy more when on sale and keep a price book of things we eat regularly, there is a pattern to when things go on sale and if I am running low i will look to see if it should possibly be going on sale soon with this. It is a great tool.
17. We eat more meatless meals than meat.
That is all I can think of, though I will probably think of more! 🙂
Love the toothpaste idea…will have to adopt that one!
Great post, really got me thinking…yet again!
Terrie saysApril 21, 2009 at 7:00 am
I will be green tomorrow.
TODAY I am going to Ben & Jerry’s.
MizFit saysApril 21, 2009 at 7:01 am
one word: DAMN.
other word(s): PRINTPRINTPRINT.
Tanya saysApril 21, 2009 at 7:02 am
I could do better too. I unplug electronics – mostly because it cut the electricity bill in half though. I also no longer leave my laptop on all the time (even in hibernation it’s using electricity). I started taking a reusable bag to the grocery store (I need to invest in 1 or 3 more) – did you know Shop Rite gives you $0.10 for each reusable bag you use as well as $0.02 for each plastic bag you reuse?!
Berni saysApril 21, 2009 at 7:04 am
Love the toothpaste tip, I actually feel guilty if I don’t do this. Shopping at a local food co-op helps me use less plastic. They’re all so super green and eco fabulous I would shudder to think what they’d say if I strolled in with my plastic bags.
Co-ops are also a great way to buy/consume less packaging because you can just fill your own cloth bags with flour and goodies from the bins. It’s often cheaper if you become a member and all the food is source locally where possible as well as organic where possible.
Marste saysApril 21, 2009 at 7:12 am
Wow, lots of good stuff here. I’m afraid I don’t have anything I haven’t already seen, but I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who washes and re-uses plastic food storage bags! LOL!
Shelley B saysApril 21, 2009 at 7:17 am
…so unplugging appliances, etc. really makes a noticeable difference in your electric bill? I will have to rethink my “it’s not worth it” stance on this one!
the Bag Lady saysApril 21, 2009 at 7:21 am
There are some great tips here today!
I have nothing much to add…. except shameless self-promotion regarding my CartSmart bags, which I won’t do. Really. so I shall highlight it for you!! check em out, People! Now get your partnerincrime to promote herself as well!!
Leah J. Utas saysApril 21, 2009 at 7:25 am
We have a garden in the back yard (mine) a cold frame for tomates, cukes, etc., and Mike grows many things, some edible, in the front.
We hang laundry outdoors in good weather and in the basement in bad. We buy flour in bulk. We wash and re-use plastic bags. We do most our our big grocery shopping on the 10 per cent off day. Old, unusable clothes that are only good for rags become cleaning rags.
That’s all I can think of now.
MizFit saysApril 21, 2009 at 7:27 am
it did here.
we (ok *I*) were leaving a LOT of stuff plugged in.
Id definitely recommend starting!
tricia2 saysApril 21, 2009 at 7:28 am
1. Stock up on non-perishables when they’re on sale
2. Use Flourescent light bulbs (they use way less energy than incandescents, so you go green, and save $)
3. You can use coffee grounds as an exfoliant (the caffeine will firm up your skin).
4. Turn down your hot water heater by 10 degrees (you won’t notice a difference, but it will save energy)
5. Remember that the batteries in Hybrids have a vastly larger carbon footprint than regular cars. It’s more environmentally concious to get a regular car with great gas mileage.
6. Make several large meals on the weekend, then portion & freeze them.
7. Get a Library card. If you read a lot (and I do) you can save way more than you think ($260 this year so far).
8. Turn off your computer when you’re not using it.
9. We walk to the hardware and grocery store (unless we’re buying a grill or something cumbersome).
10. Pretty much anything in your vaccum can be composted (and not thrown out).
Angie (Losing It and Loving It) saysApril 21, 2009 at 7:39 am
I have been trying hard to be more green. We have a great collection of bags now that we use for groceries and other stores (when we remember them LOL), I gave up buying paper plates boo hoo hoo and I’m TRYING to use less on the paper towel front but I just can’t let go quite yet. Can’t see myself using towels for some of the messes, I just can’t.
We tried the unplugging of appliances but there was no difference in our bill so it’s not something we choose to do.
WOW from some of these tips, I have a long, long way to go.
Oh yea, I reuse gift bags, does that count? LOL
I just found out that the Jamaican resort we go to has made a ton of changes to be more earth friendly. It’s so cool to read about some of the things they are doing.
Annette saysApril 21, 2009 at 7:41 am
I make my own laundry soap
I have ditched the toxic cleaners and now use vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice for everything!
We go meatless for dinner 2-3 times a week now —doing and egg or bean meal saves a ton
POD saysApril 21, 2009 at 7:51 am
One big way to go green is to buy local because to buy local means in most cases, your foods aren’t trucked in from South America or some other part of the globe. Buying local means you stop buying from the BIG BOX stores because their stuff is mass produced and brought in from far away locations. There is nothing green about supporting a big box that sends most profits to corporate where your local economy doesn’t benefit but for paltry wages.
Another green thing is to definitely remember those bags going to the store. Shop farmer’s markets. Shop farms (if and when possible). If you’re more concerned about greening up than freeing up, buy organic where pesticides aren’t used. Raise as much produce as you can yourself.
Go green with an ebook.
Pick up bottles and cans along the road and not just cans and bottles but litter in general.
There are a lot of good suggestions on these posts but sometimes free is NOT green. (Dunkin, Baskin etc are all big box stores).
Ride a bike.
Andrea@WellnessNotes saysApril 21, 2009 at 7:56 am
I plant herbs, tomatoes & cucumbers in my patio. They are organic and sooo good. And the toddler is really into caring for the plants…
I drive to the grocery store once per week. For anything else, the toddler and I walk to the grocery store (40 minutes each way) and pick up what we need. Good for the environment and for my health.
Diana saysApril 21, 2009 at 7:56 am
I’m with Leamer (and anyone else that said it). I try to save money by unplugging electronics when not in use. I also keep the AC and Heat either off (if possible) or down at least. Hmm…I also use grocery bags (the re-useable kind) when possible otherwise I use the plastic bags from the store to clean up doggie poo so that I don’t have to buy them. Never just throw them away. I just got rid of my cable tv (I think that’s not only good for the earth, but for my brain as well! lol). I’m with the crab (think she said it) in using containers as much as possible instead of baggies.
I re-use water bottles I buy and then refill the jugs of water (5 gallons each) at the water station things at the grocery store. A big thing is that I wait until there is a full load for clothes and dishes each and every time. Never a half job.
I guess I’m a lot more green than I thought I was! It was all so gradual that I didn’t realize it all. Thanks!
Natalia Burleson saysApril 21, 2009 at 8:03 am
I would love to take the bus, but embarrassed to say I can’t figure out the bus schedule. I’ve looked online and I’ve picked up schedules from the library and they make NO sense! Need to pick up the phone and call……
FLG saysApril 21, 2009 at 8:05 am
Unplug the treadmill (if powered) and run outside?
Get a bike instead of driving?
I’m not great with the tips 😀
Sagan saysApril 21, 2009 at 8:21 am
I do pretty much all those things! I’m all about the frugality of student living hehe.
I also like to ask for Safeway gift cards for birthdays/Christmas etc. I have to say that one of the best presents I ever got was when my mum picked me up an orange pepper “just because”- they’re so expensive so I never get them. Funny how I appreciate something like that more than some big elaborate hundred dollar gift… 😀
PS Not having MizFit in my life yesterday threw my whole day off. Darn computer…
Melany saysApril 21, 2009 at 8:21 am
Great ideas! I love hearing creative ways to be more “green” and especially ways to save $$$. A lot of my ideas focus on my kids/home right now…
1. I save things like egg cartons, random containers, envelopes for their art center. We do projects, play post office, etc.
2. I don’t throw out old clothes right away – you can sew ruffles on jeans that are too short, put an applique on a stained shirt, etc.
3. Lately – I’m all about finding ways to decorate and reorganize without buying new things – but instead repurposing old things. A coat of paint, a new cover for an ugly chair, decorate an old container to hold my sewing supplies, etc.
Amiee saysApril 21, 2009 at 8:25 am
Miz, you have the best readers.
I have nothing to contribute and am stealing all these ideas 😉
Kristi Summer saysApril 21, 2009 at 8:27 am
Got my 50 cent iced coffee at my desk as we speak. I have been trying to conserve by unpluggling things that do not need to be plugged in all the time, wearing my jeans and reusing my towels a few times prior to washing, washing everything in cold water, and cleaning with rags instead of using a million paper towels. I have also went paperless with a lot of bills in hopes to save not only the excess paperwork but possibly a tree!
tfh saysApril 21, 2009 at 8:37 am
Making note to self to stop at Ben & Jerry’s on my way home… 🙂
Unfortunately I always have to weigh the inconvenience of saving $$$/going green vs. the benefits, esp. as a woman b/c I feel like some of these burdens still fall on us.
E.g.: line drying my clothes instead of tossing them in the dryer = more work for me
And soaking beans vs. buying ’em canned = more work for me = I end up eating fewer legumes
So I am jotting down some of these tips that don’t seem too burdensome– thanks, everybody!
VRaz60 saysApril 21, 2009 at 8:38 am
Cloth grocery bags, water reduction shower heads, energy saving light bulbs, using lawn clippings as mulch and this year maybe a rain barrel for watering herbs and tomatoes, wash in cold water (clothes, not me), try to make use of the oven efficiently. That’s about it for us. But I did like the toothpaste idea. That’s a really good thought. Thanks.
Christine saysApril 21, 2009 at 8:40 am
I don’t know how helpful it actually is but yesterday I installed a “green” shower-head that is supposed to use alot less water but feel like a normal shower. It definitely felt like a normal shower hence my skepticism towards its decrease in water use. Got it at Home Depot for $15 yesterday, they were having some sort of “green” sale (and got a free lightbulb! I love free things!)
Besides that I use alot of reusable bags, I always save plastic bags to reuse them (I’m going to be really sad when my stockpile is gone, I use them for everything!). My momzie and I compost and my favorite thing we compost is tea bags. We are both addicted to tea and by the end of the week have a huge pile of tea bags to go in the compost (a huge pile that as of last year was just thrown out!)
Graized saysApril 21, 2009 at 8:44 am
Is the magazine going to be printed or e-zine? There’s one thing.
If you don’t want to go outside, but do want to be green on the treadmill, do some pushcarts. MUCH harder than jogging, different muscles are challenged and it takes no electricity.
As for giveaways, Disney Stores will give you a refillable water bottle if you bring 3 disposable bottles for them to recycle.
Reynold’s Wrap is doing a rebate on their <a href=”http://www.reynoldsrecycled.com/rebate.aspx”100% recycled aluminum foil.
Also, Home Depot was totally giving away compact fluorescent light bulbs the other day.
Graized saysApril 21, 2009 at 8:44 am
bah… please to fix my link. My html-fu was not strong this morning.
Diana (Soap & Chocolate) saysApril 21, 2009 at 9:07 am
I have to admit to not having the greenest asparagus tips, but I do try. I unplug as much as reasonable and definitely employ YOUR first tip to the max – I receive my grocery’s circular via email and combine the sales with a full meal plan for the next week and shop for ONLY what I need to execute said meal plan (and sometimes I can actually stick to it). Then I shop for those items with reusable bags. This has deeeefffffiinitely made a huge difference in my grocery costs, so I’m motivated to keep trying to stick to it!
chiarunner saysApril 21, 2009 at 9:14 am
I can barely keep up with you speedy miss post alot :-). I’m still working on my personal first aid kit *lol*
Here are some of my fav ways to give back to the Earth…
1.) Composting — I just can’t justify throwing an apple core into a plastic bag that will take 20 million years to disentegrate. We get these bio-bags that are biodegradeable and throw all of our food bits into those then throw them in a little compost heap the roomie created in the back yard.
2.) Recycling rain water to water the plants
3.) Make your own household cleaning products using more natural base ingredients — you’ll find it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than brand name crap and really doesn’t take that much time to concoct a shine-inducing elixir.
deb saysApril 21, 2009 at 9:22 am
Three things I do:
1. hang my clothes on a line to dry (unless it’s raining). Yes, I did in Ohio in the winter. It’s called freeze-drying.
2. I compost. Kitchen scraps and the paper from the shredder.
3. I buy large packages of snacks then repackage them into individual servings. It’s more economical, but for me, it keeps me only eating one serving.
4. I refashion clothes. It’s amazing what a little bleach, dye or paint will do to a stained t-shirt. Or fun appliques…
5. I have been bringing my own bags to the grocery store for over 20 years. Yes, I’m still often the only person who does this.
6. when I don’t need something anymore -but someone might use it – I list it on craigslist or freecycle. (anybody want a slight used -re open – can of MetRX? Turns out I’m allergic).
7. I use the sun for advantage inside. Open curtains/blinds in the winter, keep them closed in the summer.
8. Run my dishwasher when it’s full. Which means -for my household every 3-4 days.
9. Shower at the gym. Ok. Doesn’t save any energy or water, but I’m under water restrictions and water use there doesn’t show up on MY bill.
BeckStein saysApril 21, 2009 at 9:23 am
I’ve found the best thing for my bod and my budget is preparing meals at home and not going out drinking. This is hard in NYC and pretty expensive if you do go out on a regular basis. I pratically live on trader joe’s raw nuts, organic part-skim string cheese, 0% greek yogurt, and sadly I’m addicted to soychips (can’t be too good for me…it still has processed flavors and such). I do buy my coffee every morning, something that I should remedy soon…I figued that I spend about $550 on my morning coffee in one year and that doesn’t include the other coffee’s I might purchase throughout the day on a whim…and if you drink Starbucks, then forget about it, you’ve just tripled your yearly expense…whew. That adds up!
Ok…I just rambled, but you get the point…make your own stuff and take it with you…you’ll be healthier, wealthier and happier for it!
K saysApril 21, 2009 at 9:23 am
I ADORE this list!! Thank you for the free pet treat one – we have three dogs who are WAY to spoiled in the treat department!
My tips: buy lots of produce and clean the coffee maker with a 2:1 ratio of water and vinegar!
BeckStein saysApril 21, 2009 at 9:27 am
OH…and one more thing: Put everything that you plug into the wall on power strips. Put the power strips where you can easily reach them and turn them off or unplug them. Even when things like TV’s, Computers and Cable boxes are turned “OFF”, they are still sucking power. You must disconnect them from the power source inorder to keep them from sucking your money into a hefty electric bill. Try it for a month, I bet you’ll see a nice reduction. Hey and it’s good for the environment too 🙂
Miz saysApril 21, 2009 at 9:28 am
Man, you guys are GOOD!
I’ve so pondered that.
May start posting M,T, Th, F & join the wordless wednesday contingency.
Amy saysApril 21, 2009 at 9:57 am
We compost all fruit & veggie waste (as well as coffee grounds & egg shells).
I make my own laundry detergent – for a household of two active exercisers, I need to make a 5 gallon tub of laundry detergent every 4-5 months. It takes about 30 minutes to make, and I will likely get 5-6 (minimum) batches out of my original ingredients (washing soda, borax, cheap bar soap).
Reusable produce bags in addition to reusable grocery bags.
I buy whole chickens (they are usually cheaper) and freeze the carcasses once they’ve been stripped of meat. When I have 2-3 carcasses, I make my own chicken broth – better tasting AND lower in sodium!
We make our own bread, and if we ever have heels that don’t get eaten (which is rare), they go in the freezer to be croutons or bread crumbs at a later date.
Vegetable pieces that don’t get eaten (broccoli stalks, celery leaves, etc.) also go in the freezer to be added to the chicken broth.
We only eat one main meat meal a week, although the leftovers from that meal make it into many other meals throughout the week (last week, I roasted a chicken, but we later added leftover chicken to homemade pizza, quesadillas, and a casserole).
tipnut.com is a great resource!
Nina saysApril 21, 2009 at 9:58 am
I am not the greenest of the green, for a lot of reasons. But I do grow many of my own herbs, and I’ll have tomatoes and such again this summer. Planning a far bigger vegetable garden, but it may not happen this year.
I think though, amid all the green mania, that it’s necessary to take a moment every now and then and really THINK. For example, in a moment of greenness, the college I work for has replaced erasers with this sort of towel-like cloth. I am pretty sure that the cloth is manufactured of recycled materials, etc. BUT. They don’t erase the whiteboards well. They get lost all the time and need to be replaced. And they have to be washed. Is this really an improvement, really helpful to anything?
Like the recycled paper that costs more than the regular paper, jams the copier all the time, and thus requires a lot more use of sheets.
Like the catalog that comes in the mail, all recycled things that you’d need a second mortgage to be able to afford.
Just because it’s recycled or organic or whatever doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s smart, either from a personal or a planet point of view. I think someone needs to say that every now and then.
Amy saysApril 21, 2009 at 9:58 am
we also do as beckstein suggests with the power strips & have noticed a significant savings. We also (try to) remember to unplug all phone, ipod, camera chargers…. and are replacing all non-necessary digital alarm clocks with batter clocks.
Jess saysApril 21, 2009 at 10:06 am
I plan my meals, but I need to use sales to do that. I also make my own granola, bars, and bread.
Michelle Smiles saysApril 21, 2009 at 10:25 am
I agree with all of your tips. I’ve recently started coupon clipping but sadly most are for processed stuff – but I can usually find a few that are worth digging up my scissors.
Sabrina LOVES the Lorax. I remember it from when I was a kid but don’t remember it being quite so heavy handed in its message. Funny what you retain.
erin saysApril 21, 2009 at 10:46 am
Wow, I’m so un-green I’m brown. The suggestions here are great. I am definitely going to try and use some of them. Baby steps and all that. 🙂
dragonmamma/naomi w. saysApril 21, 2009 at 10:55 am
Did you know that most Starbucks have a bucket next to the cash register with packaged, used coffee grounds for compost, free for the taking? Usually 10-20 pounds in a bag.
I live in walking distance of three Starbucks, so I nab a bag (which I carry in my ever-present canvas tote) whenever I pass by. Last year I decided to weigh how much I was getting; just hop on the scale with the bag, then deduct body weight. I gave up keeping track after I passed a thousand pounds! I’m telling ya, I’ve got one of the greenest, most caffeinated gardens in town.
Kellie saysApril 21, 2009 at 10:59 am
Wow. All my ideas have been mentioned! I don’t live in an area where I can walk or bike many places to I try extra hard to maintain my car’s emissions and not take more trips than I need~
Hannah saysApril 21, 2009 at 10:59 am
I love this post. I don’t have much to add- all the previous commenter’s beat me to my ideas! But I haven’t commented in a while, so hi! We are planting a tree tomorrow, going to use our green shopping bags, take a load to the recycle center and eat clean. Sounds good to me!
Missicat saysApril 21, 2009 at 11:06 am
I definitely need to look into the free phone thing! I walk to the grocery when I am just shopping for a few things, and always bring my own bag.
Pretty much all I can add!
SeaBreeze saysApril 21, 2009 at 11:45 am
If you bring your own cup into Starbucks tomorrow (April 22) you will get a FREE Pyke Place Coffee.
Mary Meps saysApril 21, 2009 at 11:59 am
Since the breakthrough of being able to portion my own snacks, I gave up the individually portioned. I buy the big containers of yogurt, too.
I, too, bring my bags recycled from plastic bottles, when I remember.
Tofu is cheaper than meat. It’s become a staple in my household. All our lightbulbs are those swirly ones. I buy local food whenever possible. That doesn’t always save me money, but it’s green.
I bought a BPA water bottle. A need little stainless steel number that fits in my bag or it has a handy little clip that I can attach it to any bag it doesn’t fit into. So we are bottled water free in this household.
I only buy seafood approved on the watch lists. Conseration of our oceans.
I try to be less oblivious.
Sherre saysApril 21, 2009 at 12:03 pm
This isn’t a money saver, but I take a plastic bag and latex gloves on my walks and pick up trash. Then I toss all of it in a garbage can and continue on my walk. In just writing this, I think I could even green up this activity. I’ll use gardening gloves and re-use them rather than toss them. Same with the bag. Dump and bring it back for the next day’s walk. BTW … why are kids such litter bugs? The areas near the neighborhood schools are strewn with litter!
BigGirl saysApril 21, 2009 at 12:12 pm
saving money and recyling.. here’s what I do
I recently refinanced my house and am paying almost $600 less a month.
Wear my clothes more than once before washing
Planted a garden
Plan my trips out to combine errands that are in the same part of town
Eat what we have before buying more
Recycle, almost everything
Wash my hair, every other day instead of everyday = shorter showers and makes my shampoo last 2x as long
Installed a tankless water heater
Turn out all my lights when I’m not in the room
Bring my own bags, not only to the grocery store, but also to Target, Costco or wherever I buy anything
Borrow books from friends or the library
Trade magazines with friends, so we don’t duplicate subscriptions
Reuse zip lock bags or try not to use them at all so they don’t end up in the landfill
Trade almost everything with friends, especially for the kiddos so we all save money on clothes, toys, books etc…
oh… and so much more.
seekatyrun saysApril 21, 2009 at 12:16 pm
Can someone please post a good recipe for homemade laundry detergent?? I would love to give it a try but don’t want to experiment with all the squillions of ideas on the web. A “tried-and-true” from someone here would be great!!
We get the Sunday paper (which I recycle) but I use the coupons as well as the ads in my weekly shopping planning. Most grocery stores in our area will double coupons regularly, and some even triple them sometimes. Between buying sale items and using coupons, I regularly save 30-50% off my total bill.
I use containers instead of plastic bags whenever possible, and reuse many plastic zip-top bags. When I know I will have leftovers of things, I even label the bags. That way it’s easy to grab the pancakes out of the freezer, but if the pancake bag is drying on the counter I also know I need to make more.
The kids and I all have our own water bottles that we take with us everywhere, and hubby has a large cup at the office (they have a big water cooler there). I try to make his lunch most days — to save money and keep him from eating junk! — and pack it in reusable containers.
And I finally have a good system for using my reusable grocery bags: I keep a clip on one of them and when I unload my groceries I clip them to my purse so I remember to return them to the car. When I get in the car to go shopping, I clip my grocery list and coupon organizer to them, so I remember to bring them into the store. And when I get into the store, I clip them to the outside of the cart, so I remember to use them. Yes, I have actually forgotten them in the cart many times, only to find them after everything has been unloaded and bagged into regular plastic bags!
Jenn@slim-shoppin saysApril 21, 2009 at 12:17 pm
I also will re-use zip loc bags, bring bags to the store when I remember too!
I don’t use bags for veggies and fruit, I just put them in my basket to save on paper.
THIS ONE IS BIG! DON’T TAKE AN ATM RECEIPT FOR TAKING CASH OUT. IF EVERYONE DID THIS, IT WOULD SAVE MILLIONS OF TREES FOR THAT ONE THING ALONE!!
Great post Ms. Fit!! It’s something everyone should be thinking about these days!!
Seth Simonds saysApril 21, 2009 at 12:22 pm
I’m with you on not buying cologne/perfume. Enough of my friends and family know what I like to wear so they buy it for me! =)
Here’s a money-saving tip you should really like. Don’t eat junk food. It’s expensive to buy and a bad investment health-wise.
Jody - Fit at 51 saysApril 21, 2009 at 12:36 pm
I think you covered alot in this great post! I may be offering things already written about since I did not read every comment but my sister lives where she can compost & swears by that along with being able to be part of a local food coop and buy local too if possible to avoid transport charges.
I wash not too important loads of laundry on the light vs. the normal cycle. I also buy extra heavy paper towels ( I know but…) BUT reuse them if it is just water or something I am wiping up. They last quite a few times & dry out in-between. I also do the same with paper plates. Instead of washing a dish all the time, I reuse a paper plate as long as it stays fairly clean & you can eat stuff that will do that. I also rip my napkin in half to use it.
Like others, I have my recycle bags I take with me, use energy efficient bulbs and turn off any lights not needed!
Check out this site that is geared towards certain cities but they also send out generic tips as well:
Reese saysApril 21, 2009 at 12:46 pm
I was sitting here, eating my yogurt, reading all these thinking “geez I really am not all that green…I mean making your own laundry soap?”
Then I looked down and I was eating my yogurt out of a reused fat free sour cream tub from Publix…lol…that should count for something right! I also reuse ziplock bags and fill old water bottles from my Brita Pitcher 🙂
TB--Milwaukee saysApril 21, 2009 at 12:49 pm
I gotta do the individual snack bags even though they have so much packaging. If I went bulk, I turned into BULK!
Do unplug whenever possible and getting my compost ready for the spring!
Cynthia (Healthy Hollywood) saysApril 21, 2009 at 1:18 pm
We try to be as green as we can be at our house. We compost, we recycle, we make our own cleaning products and not only do we help the plant but we help our wallets as well! We’ve seen a huge difference in the money we spend on things like cleaning products, bottled water, packing supplies, etc.
At Healthy Hollywood, we’ve made this week our Official Spring Cleaning Week to coincide with Earth Day. We’re giving away great items like yoga bags made from t-shirt scraps, organic soap that comes in a box that grows wildflowers when you plant it, and lots more things. So, if you’re interested, stop by!
It’s really all the little things that we all do every day that add up to a lot!
MizFit saysApril 21, 2009 at 2:23 pm
I havent used these BUT I love all things tipnut:
Marianne saysApril 21, 2009 at 2:25 pm
All of my re-usable shopping bags live in my CARTSMART BAG in my trunk. They get unloaded and immediately put back. And, I have a little nylon bag that fits in a little pouch that I got for $1 from somewhere (dollar store?) that lives in my purse so I have a bag if I need one!
We put all of our used batteries in a large juice bottle and take them to the proper recycling agency.
We have one quiet family night a week where we are all in the same room (don’t need 3 tvs going), reading and the rest of the house is dark.
Your local school probably recycles ink cartridges as a fund raiser.
Nina is very right – sometimes the recycled product isn’t actually much help.
EDITED TO SAY PLEASE CLICKCLICK ON MARIANNES FAB MEAL PLANNING LINK: http://www.mealmixer.com
Geosomin saysApril 21, 2009 at 3:40 pm
I’ve sewn my own reusable sandwich containers and napkins for lunches
We use cloth towels in stead of paper towels
We wash clothes in cold water and rearely use the drier
Lights off unless I’m in a room
Resusable shopping bags
Take the bus and bike whenever I can
Recycle as much as I can
use rechargable things whenever possible
Make things from scratch and avoid things with excessive packaging – buy local groceries when I can
Hmmm…You know I didn’t think I did that much until I made a list.
Camevil saysApril 21, 2009 at 3:55 pm
I second the perfume-insert wipe. (and I will admit here…and only here…that Jessica Simpson’s “Fancy” smells so good) Of course, we won’t talk about the cost (and waste) of said magazines, but at least I’m not paying more than that.
We do the reusable grocery bags.
…IF we can remember to bring them in from the car before we go into the store.
Maggie saysApril 21, 2009 at 5:33 pm
I like to think I’m green, but I know I do a lot of stuff that’s not… If I lived alone I would be a lot better. But the boyfriend likes snacky junk food sometimes, so we get it. And I definitely buy more things than I need. And I don’t compost, because it’s too much of a hassle! (My dad would shudder to hear that.) I tried composting, but in a prissy apartment complex it’s pretty much impossible. AND sometimes I put paper in the trash. Hehe, this is like a confessional – but without the hail marys 😛 I DO actually do a lot of green stuff, like reusing towels, using cloth bags, recycling (most of the time), eating in a lot, walking as much as possible, not using the a/c or heat as much as possible…
South Beach Steve saysApril 21, 2009 at 6:46 pm
Great tips. The toothpaste tip range true with me. While I don’t cut the end off, I will not throw a tube away until I have squeezed every last bit I can get out. Now I have to cut the end off and get a little more. Another one I have done for some time is taking the almost gone bar of soap and molding it onto the new bar. I have to be careful when I do this or the kids throw it away when it falls off. If I do it far enough ahead of time it gets stuck enough it sticks.
DaDivaStreet saysApril 21, 2009 at 8:50 pm
Been doing the toothpaste thing for years. Grew up in a family of 8. I also wash & reuse my zip lock bags. Soapy wash, water & vinegar rinse and air dry over glasses. Still on the brown side, but learned so much her to become a lot greener!
carly saysApril 21, 2009 at 10:59 pm
I am not the greenest person I know however I try to use common sense when using things. I turn off my TVs, lights, and unplug things when I am not using them. I have replaced 90% of my cleaning supplies with microfiber clothes. They do everything from polishing furniture, cleaning floors, to shining windows. If it looks reusable I reuse it.
Jamie saysApril 22, 2009 at 8:44 pm
Oh man, Miz. You are speaking my language. I think I’m trying to be greener (although it annoys me to call it that because it’s so damn *trendy*), but it’s because I’m trying to bring my lifestyle more in line with the principles of the Yoga Sutra. And one of those principles is Ahimsa–non-harming. So I guess my goal is not to affect the earth in any negative way. But it’s so hard to do! I think the main problem isn’t so much convenience as it is entitlement; “I should not have to do this the hard/expensive/time-consuming/painful way.” And so I don’t take the hard way. I do things the easy way.
Anyway, that’s what’s on my mind. I’m finding some of these tips very helpful, though!
Article Content saysApril 24, 2009 at 11:40 am
Lets give our hand for the earth day!!! I will do lots of things that can promote earth day….
Erin Turner saysJuly 9, 2010 at 1:15 pm
We must use more recycled products in order for us to reduce the garbabe problem that we have.;`
Hunter Reed saysJuly 28, 2010 at 3:23 am
i always buy recycled products to reduce the waste materials on this planet.`:”
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