Going green without breaking the bank – Blog Action Day 2007

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Today, Oct. 15, 2007, is Blog Action Day where I join over 15,000 other bloggers to write about the environment. I have chosen to write about ways to go green without breaking the bank.

The decision to go green is a wonderful one – both for you and your family and for the environment. However, it can be overwhelming at first, especially if you are living on a budget as most families are. Today I’m going to make some suggestions for ways you can become more environmentally-friendly without breaking the bank.

Something important to keep in mind is that going green is a work in progress. You don’t have to do everything today to make a difference. You can start by selecting one or two things and add onto it every week or month. Every little bit helps. By the end of a year, you’ll be amazed at all of the changes you’ve been able to make.
Here are just a few things to get you started to go green without spending a lot of money.

  1. Make your own household cleaners. Vinegar and baking soda are two important ingredients for homemade cleaners. They are inexpensive and, chances are you already have both in the house! I found some great recipes here and here. Imagine how nice it will be to clean your bathroom with your kids nearby or in the same room without the fear of toxic fumes in the air. And you can breathe a sigh of relief when your teething toddler chomps down on your coffee table because you don’t have to guess what chemicals are on the table (and in her mouth) when you know it was cleaned naturally with olive oil and lemon juice. Not convinced that homemade products can cut the mustard? Here’s an interesting science project that compared the efficiency of both commercial and homemade cleaning products.
  2. Unfortunately, along with better health for you, organic foods also tend to come with a heftier price tag than their conventional counterparts. However, the good news is that not all foods are horribly pesticide-laden. Get yourself a copy of the Organic Dirty Dozen, keep it in your purse or wallet and shop for organic foods accordingly. Here are the 12 most contaminated that you should buy organic if you can: • Apples • Bell Peppers • Celery • Cherries • Imported Grapes (from Chili) • Nectarines • Peaches • Pears • Potatoes • Red Raspberries • Spinach • Strawberries. On the flip side, here are the 12 least contaminated where buying organic isn’t as critical, especially if money is an issue: • Asparagus • Avocados • Bananas • Broccoli • Cauliflower • Corn (sweet) • Kiwi • Mangos • Onions • Papaya • Pineapples • Peas (sweet). Even better and cheaper than buying organic is to grow your own organic produce. Here’s more about which organic foods are worth the extra money.
  3. Use reusable bags instead of plastic or paper bags at the grocery store and ALL stores. Stores like Vitamin Cottage, Whole Foods, Wild Oats, IKEA, Trader Joe’s and even Safeway are now selling reusable bags – some places for only $0.99 each. You can buy 6 for under $6 which should accommodate your groceries for the week. The bags are sturdy and hold a lot more than plastic bags do. You can also buy reusable bags at Reusablebags.com and 1 Bag at a Time. Unsure why plastic bags are so bad for the environment? Here’s a 10-minute film to enlighten you on the curse of plastic bags.
  4. Unplug your appliances when you aren’t using them. Even if items are in the off position, they are still using energy. Unplugging doesn’t cost you a cent to do and will save you money!
  5. RECYCLE your plastic, glass, aluminum and paper! Go to Earth911 and enter your zip code to find out what is recyclable in your area.
  6. Shop at second-hand stores for clothing, etc., and donate, give or sell your old clothes, shoes, etc. to others. It is especially easy to buy gently used clothing and items for babies and toddlers. I just bought the kids some “new” (to them) clothes this weekend. They are cute, in good shape and very affordable. Again, this tip will save you money.
  7. Change the light bulbs in your house to energy-efficient Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL)CFLs are four times more efficient and last up to 10 times longer than incandescents. They cost more upfront, but will save you money on your electricity bill almost immediately and they last from 8 to 10 years!

For even more tips on going green, please visit my Earth Day 2007 post.

While today is a special day to blog about the environment, you can be sure this is not my last post on the topic. There will be more from me in the months ahead as I learn more ways that I can do my part to help save the planet. :)

Lastly, I want to say congratulations to Al Gore for winning the Nobel Peace Prize. I hope this honor helps bring more immediate attention to the serious matter of global warming.

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Did you participate in Blog Action Day? Please sign Mr. Linky below with the link of your Blog Action Day post so that others can go read what you had to say about the environment. :)

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24 thoughts on “Going green without breaking the bank – Blog Action Day 2007

  1. Many people thing helping the environment means doing something big, but it can be something as little as changing your light bulbs, using the crock-pot instead of the oven, and using reusable grocery bags.

    Something I forgot to mention in my post is that I do use my own concoction of household cleaners.

    Happy Blog Action Day!

  2. Pingback: Clothing » Going green without breaking the bank - Blog Action Day 2007

  3. great list! The most contaminated list of veggies is so scary, I love all of them (except cherries) :( We try and buy organic as much as possible, but living on an island means it’s all imported and heavily packaged! You can’t win there!

  4. Thanks Amy!! You rock. I’ll have to check out Trader Joe’s next time I go and look for cheap, re-useable bags. That list of contaminated fruits/veggies is scary – especially since those are the majority of what we eat!

  5. Great info Amy! Thanks again!

    I posted you a shout out and link on my blog as a great resource for “Going Green.”

    You’re my Green Goddess Idol! LOL

  6. We have changed our light bulbs over to the CFLs last year and have not had to change one bulb! They are brighter too! I love them. They may cost a little more than the regular bulbs but you don’t have to change them as often! I love them!

  7. Great post, Amy!!

    And my PSA is that CFLs contain mercury so be sure to dispose of them properly – NOT in the trash! Your community should have info on hazmat disposal :)

  8. Wonderful post! I do a lot of these things already…mostly to save money, but also to help save the planet. :o) Fuuny that I still have a mentality that going green equals spending more…

  9. Thanks for the comment. Nice post. We live in Oregon now but we are from CO with hopes to move back before the kids start school. You did a wonderful job with your introduction. I know a lot of my readers feel overwhelmed sometimes and I hope I didn’t seem to holier than thou, cause I am still taking on little changes. Anywho, I will definately be checking back in with your blog!

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