Thursday, July 30, 2009

Green Bag Lady Bags!

I got my Green Bag Lady bags two weeks ago tomorrow! They got here pretty quick and we've been using them for every shopping trip instead of plastic. It's been nice! I haven't gotten any pics taken yet, but as soon as I do, I'll post them here. I also made one myself from her pattern. For anyone who hasn't used reusable bags before, they hold a LOT! At least two plastic bags worth! And the cashiers seem to fill them to the brim vs. just halfway full with plastic since they are much stronger.

If you are handy at all with a sewing machine, definitely try out their pattern. It's really easy! There are also videos of her making them to help the visual people a little.

I'll let you know when they are doing another freebie and keep an eye out here for a freebie as well. As soon as I get my bags made and have some extra fabric to work with I plan on doing a freebie of my own!

New Feature!

Now you can rate my posts by "helpful," "interesting," "too much info.," & "too little info."

This helps me know how I'm doing with providing information to my readers. Please feel free to let me know how I'm doing. No hurt feelings! I am doing this blog half for me and half for you so let me know how I'm doing on your half, please. :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Make your own reusable pledge/swiffer dusters

Okay, so I use the swiffer wet jet and was looking up a cloth version of the pads so I don't have to buy the tossable ones anymore. I'm trying to rid myself of all the "one use" items I can. There were a lot of options for those, but I ran across something I hadn't thought of before. You know the swiffer and pledge dusting wand things? The ones with the fuzzy "fingers" sticking out all over? Well, someone came up with a really simple "pattern" for making a reusable "refill" for these. I thought I'd share this here for you guys because it looks so easy that it could probably be hand stitched pretty quickly. Go here for a picture of the first one she made and here for the directions (and a picture of the second one).

Make a few of these and they should be just as easy as the tossable ones. You can just use one, toss it in the hamper, and use another one if need be. Still use and "toss," just not toss into the trash! ;)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Organic Food

Want to know more about organic food and why it's better for you? Go check this out. It also tells you how you can cut back on the expense by knowing which fruits and vegitables you can buy conventional (not organic).

Better Gas Mileage

I've been watching "Big Green Lies" on YouTube lately and have really learned a lot. This video is about whether or not we all need to "run out today and buy a hybrid." It's worth watching all the way through (a whole 6:16!), but if for some reason you can't find that kind of time, you can skip to the point by sliding the bar to 4:30.

Update on FREE bag

Yay! They are going to send me one! If you haven't already done so, go to her site and request a free bag! :) They said they had a good amount of them so you very well may get one.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, go here.

Eating at home

Leanne from Savingdinner.com just sent out one of her weekly e-mails. This one caught my eye because it was talking about saving money by eating at home. Yes, it is a GREAT way to save money! It is also a wonderful way to eat healthier and an easy way to "go green."

When you eat out, you have little control over where your food is grown, how it is grown, & what extra additives are in it. When you cook at home though (and I'm not talking about frozen dinners!), you have a LOT of control over these things. You can chose to buy at a farmer's market to get locally grown fruits & vegetables. Not only does that save emissions of the food being trucked all over the country, it cuts out all that shipping time so you get fresher produce. At the grocery store, you can chose organic instead of traditionally grown. When you make it all from scratch you can control what "additives" (additional flavorings, salt, sugar, etc.) and how much of them are included. And you can completely skip all the extras that are added in commercially processed foods.

Even if you don't make it from scratch, you still have the power of information at the grocery store. You can read the labels and chose brands which are more wholesome.

You have to start somewhere right? So why not start with what not only affects the environment, but also, more importantly, YOU!

Sleep! And save the earth while you're doing it!

Yes, save the earth while you sleep! Okay, so not really save it! But help!

I thought of a not so commonly thought of way of "going green" last night. Get more hours of sleep! Yes, it is WONDERFUL for your body, but it also keeps you from having the lights on. Think about it, if you usually stay up until midnight, and instead you go to bed at 10 pm, that saves two hours of the lights being on. And not only the lights, but you wont be up to be doing other "electrical" things like cooking (late night snacks anyone?), watching TV, computing, etc. Hey, it might not be much, but every little bit counts right?! ;)

So in case your health wasn't a good enough reason, help the planet! Get more sleep!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Another way to keep good things from the trash & help others at the same time!

My cousin is at it again! Same site, new GREAT idea! She is starting a donation center out of her home for needy families. She is encouraging people to send food and gently used clothing her way. Of course the clothing needs to be "gently used" (would you want to buy it?) and the food needs to be non-perishable. To find out more info go to her post.

In case you're wondering why this is on a green blog, let me reiterate why I have this blog. I think people view going green as a huge decision you make one day and never go back. I think going green is a gradual process, not something you achieve or arrive at. I challenge you readers to look at the things you throw away on a daily basis and see if you can come up with another use for them. If you can't come up with a new purpose for it, at the very least see if you can recycle it. If your city doesn't have a very good recycling program, I challenge you to ask them to beef it up so you can better take advantage of it. I'll post another time about our city's recycling programs to show you an example of a healthy recycling program.

So go raid those clossets!! :D

FREE & Green!

What's better then FREE??! Especially when it is something you can actually use and cuts out all those plastic & paper bags. Green Bag Lady's post today is a giveaway of cloth shopping bags for FREE! If you want to know more about the amazing things she does go to her site and read all about her or read my post on her for a short sonopsis.

So go to her site (today's post) and tell her why YOU would love to get a FREE bag from her! :D

Let me know if you win one! :)

I will take a pic of mine and let you know if I win one! :)

Keeping good stuff out of the landfill

Have "clutter" in your house you'd like to get rid of but hate to throw away a good thing. Fear not, there are other options. Anything you can keep out of the landfill definitely helps!

Got something you think might be worth some money (a lot or a little)? Try listing it on Ebay or Craigslist. I assume everyone knows what Ebay is, but if you've never heard of craigslist, let me explain. Craigslist is sort of like an online yard sale, to the extent you list what you have for sale, the price, take pictures and then someone comes to your house to pick it up. It's not like Ebay where people "bid" on your item and the highest bidder wins; although, people do like to try to talk your price down sometimes. Okay, so maybe the like to do that a lot of times! he he. Like I said, it's like a yard sale. You can meet at a public place though if you don't feel comfortable meeting at your home. You have the option to sell it for a profit, or if you'd rather just get rid of it, you can list it in the free section. Or you could always have an old fasioned yard sale! :)

If you'd rather not sell your stuff and would just like to give it away you have a few options. You can list it on Freecycle and a member will respond if they want it and will pick it up at your house. Freecycle works sort of like Craigslist, except everything on Freecycle is free. Most of what's on Craigslist is for sale. Also, Freecycle updates it's members daily on what's been listed. You can also take it to your local Goodwill or Thrift Store. This is especially a good option if you don't want to wait for someone to contact you and just want the stuff out of your house right away.

By the way, if you have lots of clutter in your house, are feeling overwhelmed by it, and don't know where to start...Visit Flylady! She is very helpful in getting your home (and life) organized and setting yourself free of all that clutter. After all, the more you have, the more you have to clean (more toxins in your home), the less happy you are, and the less you know where stuff is, which results in you buying more (spending "green")! (Which of course just results in more clutter!!!) Yes, it is an endless cycle, unless you make a point to stop it and live differently! You can do it. Go visit her today :) She is awesome!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Saving Money Site

My cousin started a blog that has links to free things and also tips on saving money. It's still small (it's new) but I'd keep an eye on it if I were you. She seems serious about keeping up on this and has some good stuff on there. Enjoy!

Link to her site: http://www.justalittlemooretolove-mms.blogspot.com/

Would you like to contribute ideas?

If you'd like your "green" ideas to show up on this blog, then post a comment with your idea to this post. You can also comment your idea to another post, but please make it relevent to that post. I look forward to reading your ideas! Together we can fuel the fire in each other to take care of what we've been given.

Homemade shopping bags & produce bags.

I have some fabric stacked together waiting to be cut out and sewn into reusable shopping bags. I got the very simple pattern from the green bag lady. If you look to the right side of the page, at the third section down, you will see "Free Patterns" for the bags.

Doing this helps the planet as it replaces all those plastic & paper bags. Doing this myself helps save me money because I can make them for cheaper then I can buy them and can use up some fabric I have laying around.

The produce bags are awesome as well because I don't have to keep using those ones the store provides that just go straight into the recycling bin anyway. I don't have much use for them after I get home. This way I can just toss them in the wash and use them next time!

She is awesome by the way. She gets people's extra fabric and makes it into these bags. She then gives them away to people for free (one per person) on the condition that they must use them in place of paper or plastic. She also takes the scraps and makes dog/cat beds and gives them to shelters. Like I said, awesome! :D

Why I started this blog

I decided to start this blog because I have been making little steps to "go green" & also save money for a while now. I've been doing this many ways. I think being "green" is something we can all improve on every day. It's not something you are or aren't. It's something you work towards. So through this blog I want to share the little steps I've taken to help my family make wiser decisions with our natural resources and also to save us money.

I think it is a misconception that being "green" has to cost you more money. Yes, there are certain things you could do that would cost you more, but there are also many things you can do that wont.

I encourage you to share the little things you've done. I don't think anything is too small. Every little step helps. It changes your thinking, the more "green" things you do, the more you begin to re-think other things you are doing.