Category Archives: Reduce Reuse Recycle

Going Green to Save Money

Going green to help protect the environment doesn’t have to mean spending more.  There are plenty of ways that greening your life can help keep more green in your wallet.  In fact, in many cases, living green can save you money. Here are three simple ways you can help protect the environment and save money.

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Eat Smart

Livestock production accounts for about 18 percent of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions and accounts for about 23 percent of all global water used in agriculture. Meat costs a lot at the store, it’s even more expensive when you consider the related environmental and health costs.

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Green Inconvenience

I do a lot of the “usual” green things. I recycle. I compost. I shop second-hand. I carry reusable grocery bags and a stainless steel water bottle. I walk my daughter to kindergarten and back every day. I turn down my thermostat and put on a sweater.

But there is an obstacle to my green efforts – much of the time, I don’t want to be inconvenienced by going green. I bring my reusable grocery bags when I go grocery shopping, but if I occasionally forget, I don’t sweat it. I drink tap water, but when I forget my water bottle at home, I sometimes buy water in a plastic bottle.

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Recycling Electronics The Safe Way

This past week my husband and I finally broke down and bought another computer. It has been almost five years since our last computer purchase. In computer years that translates to one hundred people years. The purchase of a new computer led me to wonder how to dispose of the old one.

Computers and other electronics contain some of the most toxic materials of any other product group. Technology items such as cell phones, gaming systems, and computers contain lead, mercury, plastics harmful to the air, and many other chemicals that can cause serious damage to the environment. Because of these contaminants, disposing of electronic items can be extremely difficult.

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The Dangers of Polyvinyl Chloride Plastic (known as PVC)

In my last article I discussed some of the dangers and chemicals associated with back-to-school supplies. One of the toxins commonly present in school supplies is Polyvinyl chloride plastic (known as PVC). I had not heard about the dangers of this plastic before, so I decided to further investigate the dangers associated with PVC plastic.

PVC is a material that is commonly used in many different forms of products. Toys, vinyl flooring and seating, shower curtains, dishes, and some technology items all use PVC as a form of plastic. Fifty percent of all PVC plastic manufactured is used for building supplies because it is cheap.

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Cloth Diapering

I am going to confess something. When my first child, Hannah, was a baby we used disposable diapers. We clad her little bottom cheap throwaway diapers that we bought in bulk, then we turned them into little sausages using our Diaper Genie. It was fast and easy – I’ll say that much. But I was not entirely happy with the choice. There was a lot of diaper garbage each week – diaper garbage that is still sitting in a landfill today, 5 1/2 years later. Diaper garbage that will likely still be sitting in that landfill 1000 years from now.

I did some research when I was pregnant with my second child, Jacob.

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Travel Green to BlogHer ’10

In less than two weeks more than one-thousand bloggers of all ages, races and yes, sexes will descend on New York City. Ushered in on a cloud of anticipation, excitement and social media they will spend two days learning, connecting and yes, partying.

This year, as in years past, BlogHer is working to implement important green initiatives conference wide — an exciting development in and of itself — and paired with the cooperation of individual attendees and the coordinated efforts of every blogger who travels to the conference we can have an even greater impact on the environment for the better!

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Both/And

Can I just say that I think it is both harder and easier to be green in the summer?!

I can hang my clothes outside on the line to dry, but I am taking more showers due to being outside and sticky/dirty. Also? My hair is not nearly as fabulous post-baby and needs more washes. Boo.

I can keep more lights off inside since the sun shines brighter for longer, but I have all the fans going to try to circulate as much cool air as possible.

I can keep the doors and windows closed on the hottest days to keep the hot out and the cool in, but I’ll be darned if I’m turning off the AC!

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Second-Hand Shopping

Lovely teacup
Thrift store teacup

There was a time in my life when I never darkened the door of a thrift store. I had a variety of reasons – I thought it took too much work to find something really good, I thought second hand stores smelled bad (they sometimes do), and I didn’t really like the idea that some stranger had worn that shirt or eaten off this plate.

Things have changed. These days I love second hand shopping. When I had kids I discovered that children’s clothing can get really expensive, really fast. This is especially true when they’re super-tiny and they grow through clothes at an alarming rate.

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What We’re Doing Wrong – Oh, The Plastic!

A couple of weeks ago I explained the events that led to my decision to 1) reassess my life and 2) write this series about it. If you haven’t read that, I highly recommend it. (Of course I do, right? Right!) When you’re done just don’t forget to come back and visit me here.

I’m more than a little ashamed to admit that, despite my best efforts, there is a lot of packaging that runs through this house. Especially of the plastic variety. Over the years we’ve instituted all the simple, every day waste reduction methods we could think of.

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Green Your St. Patrick’s Day, Not Just Your Shirt

I grew up in a small village (population: less than 400) in the middle of Michigan that is incredibly proud of its Irish heritage. It also just so happens that its local tavern holds the state’s oldest liquor license. Combine these two facts and what I have always known is a huge St. Patrick’s Day celebration; one with potato rolls, delicious beef stew and copious amounts of green beer. And if you didn’t get to the tavern early enough, they’d be out of all of the above. People would come from miles and miles around to celebrate. It was standing room only and the town’s fifteen parking spots on the one small block that made up “main street” were nowhere near enough to accommodate.

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