Saturday, March 22, 2008

Frugally Green List

My friend Tracie created this list. I thought it was great as a guide. Many of these things I try to do, or know I should, but don't do them consistently. I'm going to mark the ones I think I can do and add my comments. My proudest conversion/achievement is the recent change in #27.

The Frugally Green List by Tracie
1. Buy less stuff.*
2. Buy in bulk.
3. Reuse jars and containers to store bulk goods.
4. Reuse foil and baggies if you must use them. (* We still have foil from our wedding picnic 10 years ago! We often go many months to a year without any paper towels - and try to buy the recycled unbleached ones if we do)
5. Use glass containers for food storage. (* Tony has wanted to do this in the past, but Maiya's snacks/leftovers for lunch are plastic. We do have one of those stainless steel stacking lunchboxes, but it needs to have dry/non-leakable items)
6. Drink filtered tap water, rather than buying it in bottles.*
7. Use biodegradable bar soap.
8. Clean floors with vinegar, straw brooms, and microfiber towels.*
9. Clean mirrors and dust with microfiber towels. (*Yikes! I only dust a few times a year!)
10. Eat little or no meat. (*I need to be better about this)
11. Send email cards rather than greeting cards.
12. Dry clothes on line. (*Before Maiya, I used to do this pretty regularly, but lately, and in winter, we dry a lot at night)
13. Use homemade laundry detergent or half of the recommended amount. (*We have high efficiency front loader so we do this)
14. Use cloth napkins. (*We do this for daily use, but I buy paper napkins for parties)
15. Use baking soda and vinegar to clean bathrooms. (*Oops. Our bathroom is rarely cleaned. See a pattern?)
16. Buy clothes secondhand. (*I bought Maiya a bunch of clothes for Christmas on eBay)
17. Repair anything that you can, rather than buying new.
18. Turn off lights and electronics not in use and Unplug. (*I try to turn stuff off, but we leave the hall light on all night--at least our lights are compact fluorescent)
19. Pack a lunch. Don't buy fast food. (*Hmm. I bring lunch 1-2 times a week. I can try to increase.)
20. Buy fair trade. (*When I see it. Trader Joe's makes this easier.)
21. Buy local whenever possible. (*We need to do the Farmer's Market weekly)
22. Use salt water for mouthwash. (*I don't use mouthwash)
23. Turn down the thermostat and put on a sweater. (*Ok. Luckily it's getting warmer so this is easier now)
24. Clean the lint filter on your dryer once a month with soap and water if you use fabric softener. Your dryer will last much longer. (*Never knew this)
25. Turn off the water when brushing your teeth. (*Reminds me to be on Maiya more about leaving the water on full blast when washing her hands)
26. Fill a milk jug with water and place in the toilet reservoir. Flushing will use less water. (*We have a low flush toilet)
27. Use Scott toilet tissue-it's 1 ply. (*Me and Maiya have been using homemade "family wipes" (cut up her old receiving blankets which I had cut up to use as burp cloths) for #1 the last few weeks. I'm over the "moon" about that! I rinse, hang to dry, then wash)
28. Reuse towels after the shower. (*Not a problem. We use about 1-2 weeks or until stinky)
29. Don't buy books. Borrow from the library or friends. (*I maybe buy 3-4 books a year for myself, and I've been buying books for Maiya from yard sales)
30. Use 2-n-1 shampoo & conditioner. It works just as well and buy one less plastic bottle.
31. Wear glasses rather than disposable contacts that require you to use saline solution.
32. Cook in a crock pot.
33. Make your own salad dressing. (*My mom used to do this when we were kids)
34. Don't buy shredded cheeses or precut veggies. (*Uh oh. I buy pre-cut & frozen veggies)
35. Grow a garden. (*Mmm, it's been several years since I had my garden, which I LOVED. I miss it, but I used to spendat least an hour a morning on it and with all I have to do to get Maiya out of the house in the mornings, I just don't see doing it. Maybe I can do potted tomatoes in the front yard?)
36. Freeze or can food.
37. Compare unit prices in the grocery store. (*Of course. But sometimes it's better to buy small if it's going to take too long to use before going bad)
38. Buy fewer cardboard boxes. *
39. Use razors that only need the blade replaced. Disposable razors are wasteful & expensive. (*I use about 1 blade a year. My razor is over 20 years old, which says how often I shave.)
40. Use rain water to water plants and garden.
41. Compost. (*We bury/toss/compost veggie scraps in the backyard)
42. Buy generic.
43. Stock up when things are on sale.
44. Use baking soda to clean oven. (*You're supposed to clean the oven?)
45. Don't use paper plates, cups, or napkins. (*This is hard for larger parties)
46. Never use styrofoam. (*We don't buy it, but I've been thinking of bringing my own containers for restaurant leftovers. Take-out is another story--eating at a restaurant is probably better than takeout)
47. Wrap gifts in cloth or recycled materials.
48. Use cloth grocery bags. (*Yes! I keep a small folding bag in my purse and lots of canvas bags in my car)
49. Don't use plastic produce bags. Take your own small bags or don't use at all--I'm amazed at how many people I see putting their BANANAS in plastic bags. WHY? *
50. Use a reel mower rather than a gas powered one.
51. Contact those sending you unwanted mail and ask them to stop. (*Need to do)
52. Borrow and trade magazines rather than having them sent to you new.
53. Only buy newspapers when you need them or have time to read them. (*We don't get the paper)
54. Reconsider your hair. (Can you cut it yourself? Do you really need it colored?) (*I do cut my bangs, and haven't cut my hair in 1 1/2 years, maybe 2, but it needs it bad).
55. Use the back sides of paper.
56. Only buy quality toys.
57. Buy handmade.
58. Don't print what you can read on your computer.
59. Use ceiling fans.
60. Replace light bulbs with compact fluorescents. (*Done)
61. Use cash/envelope system for budgeting.
62. Plan menu for weeks or months at a time.
63. Feed the freezer-make several batches of meals and freeze for future reheating.
64. Install low flow faucets and/or flow restrictors.(*Done)
65. Fix leaks.
66. Insulate doors and windows.
67. Make your own yogurt.
68. Don't wash clothes that are clean and could be worn again. *
69. Clean refrigerator coils.
70. Make your own coffee, rather than going through a drive-thru.
71. Avoid traffic jams at all costs.

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