Baby steps to living green
Being more environmentally friendly doesn't have to be hard or expensive. Probably, if your grandmother did it 50 years ago, it is green and frugal. Just look through this list and see what you can do now. Don't try to do it all at once. Don't go and throw out all of your other products unless they are a health concern. It is better to just use up what you have now, and buy the greener products when you run out. This is just a very concise list. I will be going over it in detail at the Green Talk on Saturday, July 4, 2010.
All purpose cleaner
* vinegar Get a spray bottle of half water half vinegar and use as an all purpose cleaner around the house. For gunk that is set in, let sit in full strength vinegar for 1 hour to a day to loosen it up. * baking soda For jobs that need a little bit of scrubbing help, make a paste of baking soda and water and scrub away.
* put bubble wrap on windows to insulate them link * buy an insulating blaket for water heater
* wear clothes more than once (within reason!) As long as you aren't getting sweaty and stinky at work, take your clothes off when you get home and hang them up. They are good for at least one more wearing before they need to be washed. * use cold water to wash clothes * use less detergent You typically can use less than the recommended amount * buy a drying rack link
reuse cooking water to water plants
Plumbing (clogged drains)
* baking soda followed by boiling water Not recommended with PVC pipes, but check the manufacturing. * baking soda followed by vinegar * use a plunger for a really bag clog. You can even do this in the sink and bathtub.
reuse shopping bags as packing material. use several to wrap up breakables and to fill in extra space.
Use (or make!) vegetable oil based soaps, no plastic
* Vinegar rinse Use 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar to 1 cup of water. Apply to hair after washing and let it sit for a couple of minutes before washing out.
* Baking soda Apply with a small makeup brush. May cause burning to freshly shaved armpits!
Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide
Oil cleansing method link
Virgin Coconut oil
Menstrual cup link
Olive Oil, Coconut Oil (not to be used with latex)
Biodegradable litter (Corn or wheat cat litter)
shredded paper for small critters (or as packing material)
recycle boxes for small pets
borax catnip hedgeapples
* mint Plant mint around your house to keep out ants, but be careful, it will spread like a weed.
bay leaves lavendar
Drive less than or equal to the speed limit. DON'T SPEED! Saves gas, less pollution.
Buy food in bulk and bring your own containers
You can do this at Earth Fare. Take your containers to customer service for them to weigh it first, so they don't charge you. If your container weighs more than 1 lb, they will charge you for the extra amount. Their computers only allow them to take off up to 1 lb.
Buy local, farmers markets
Compost leftovers. Do not compost meat or dairy. Eggshells are fine.
Eat less meat. Eat sustainably.
List of essential supplies
apple cider vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
virgin coconut oil
not refined, bleached, deodorized, or hydrogenated
buy used whenever possible!
Safety guide to cosmetics and personal care products cosmeticsdatabase.com
Natural Insect Pest Control eartheasy.com
Buy used craigslist.org