Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Being Green (somewhat) Can Save Green

"It isn't easy being green" said Kermit the frog!  Well, sometimes it is and sometimes it takes a  little effort.  In the end - it can save money - another type of green!  Maybe it doesn't save huge amounts of money - but it all adds up!

Things to think about:
  1. Keep the freezer full!  The freezer doesn't have to work as hard to chill, if it is full.  If you do not have enough food to fill it, add partially filled jugs of water.  They freeze, which keeps the freezer cold, you will always have cooler chest ice available, and you will always have water available
  2. Keep the freezer and frig closed.  How many times have we all opened the door, leaned there a bit, trying to figure out what we want?  Leaving it open for too long, just requires more energy to keep things cool.
  3. Let things cool before placing in the frig or freezer.  NEVER put hot foods in there.  It has to work so much harder to stay cool.
  4. Check the seals on the frig.  To test them, close the door on a piece of paper.  If you can pull it out easily, then you need new seals.  (You can do this yourself)
  5. Use your oven light when checking on foods in the oven.  It enables things to cook more evenly, and then there is the obvious - you aren't letting out that precious cooking heat.
  6. Set your timer, and turn the oven off a couple minutes early.  Leave it closed and the heat will finish baking your item.  Unless I am baking cookies or cakes, I put the food (casseroles & such) in while it is pre-heating.  All heat cooks!
  7. Re-use plastic bags - wash and re-use. (I do all except those containing meat).  Better yet, DO AWAY with plastic!  Keep containers on hand that can be used over and over.  Use bees wax sheets to protect food, make re-usable bowl covers, etc.
  8. Quit using paper towels!  Not only does this save money - but it helps the environment.  Make rags from old clothing or use older dish cloths or towels.  I use black face cloths for my kitchen.  They don't show stains at all, and they are washable.  I know the black ones are strictly for kitchen use - not the body!
Think of new ways to use what you have

  1. After turning off the oven, prop it open for a while.  (Keep kids and pets away from it).  You might as well use that heat, instead of wasting it.  It can help your heating.
  2. Use a ceiling fan, winter and summer.  In the summer, a fan keeps the air circulating (helping to cool).  In the winter (reverse fan) it helps push warm air down into the room.  Remember science class - warms air rises!!!
  3. Leave curtains or blinds open on sunny days (in winter) to help heat the room with solar energy.  Close them at night to keep the warmth in.
  4. Don't just let the water run down the drain.  When waiting for water to get hot - catch it to use for pets, plants, flushing, drinking, etc.
  5. Flush responsibly!  Generally you don't need all the water stored in a average toilet tank to flush.  Place a brick in the tank (wrap in plastic bag to keep it from flaking) or add a 2 liter bottle of water to the tank.  That displaces some water, so it doesn't take as much to refill the tank or to flush.
  6. Try catching rain water in nicer weather.  You can use on houseplants, garden plants, hair (softens), or even for flushing.  It's FREE!
  7. Try switching light bulbs.  LED lights or CFL (compact fluorescent lamps) can reduce energy consumption.
  8. Turn off lights when leaving rooms.  I do not use lights except when it is dark.  In the summer, I very seldom turn on a light, as it is light early and stays light late.
  9. Hang laundry outside if you can.  If you must - just toss in the dryer for a few minutes to soften.
  10. Skip the dry cycle on your dish washer - better yet, wash dishes by hand.

We can all save money by being a bit more cautious of our household ways.  Little things can make a difference.  REMEMBER:  pennies make dollars. 
Are you going to save a fortune over the year?  Probably not.  BUT, you will save and you are also helping the environment.

Try thinking of new ways of doing things.  Try thinking of new uses for normal stuff, that is being tossed away.
We need to be observant of the waste in our world and in our daily lives.

Be green and save green!  $$$$$$$$$$$


  1. These are all great ideas I try and implement. I love your garden stakes! What a cute idea. I am going to get hubs to cut some of those for me. I am currently working on going green in my kitchen.

    1. Glad to hear you are trying to be more green as well. We may not save the planet, but if each of us does small things, it surely will help.
      I love using homemade cleaning agents as well, in my kitchen.

  2. I use white face cloths for my kitchen, I should have been smart like you and used black! LOL
    I also use the residual heat to finish cooking things like stove pop popcorn. We have an electric stove top, so it's till red hot, but turned off. You have some great ideas here, Cheryl, :)

    1. You are a brave lady using white cloths!
      Good idea on the residual heat.
      Thanks, enjoy.

  3. Cheryl, I too love your garden stakes and that's a brilliant idea about using the black cloths for kitchen use!

    1. Thanks. I hate trying to clean stains - and that works perfectly!

  4. Good ideas Cheryl! I have seen my children/grandchildren look into the refrigerator for far too long! We also forget to turn the ceiling fans and use them. Thanks for the reminder.

    1. Sure glad it helps. I often need reminders of things (sometimes daily)!

  5. My kitchen sponges are crocheted cotton. For floor spills and big messes I have unpaper towels. These are old towels, cut to about facecloth size and backed with a cotton fabric.
    We have ceiling fans going all day and only off at night. We dont have an air conditioner. When it gets too hot inside we are on the veranda. This is a very big space and it does catch whatever breeze there may be. If it is a completely still day we have a floor fan for outside.
    I make our own cleaners and laundry liquid which saves us a huge amount of dollars over a year. We use cheap white vinegar to clean our windows. We also need to use lots of elbow grease when doing this, but the results are good. We do live just
    150m to the beach and end up with a lot of salt spray drying on the windows.
    Due to our climate there is very little need for a clothes dryer, and we dont have one. On the days where clothes are needed but cant be hung on the line, they go on a clothes horse inside and under a ceiling fan.
    We dont see all of this as being green but as saving us lots of dollars over a year. Great post Cheryl. It's nice to know our household isnt the only one following these processes. Sometimes our friends and family think we are just a bit odd.

    1. Jane all I can say is wow - on no AC. Your climate is so hot, that is something I figured you'd have for sure. However from what I understand there are a lot of blackouts in Australia too - so maybe the reason (?)

      I use a lot of home made cleaners as well. I love the idea of not having all the chemicals in our air and on our surfaces.

      I am the same way - I guess I was green before it was cool! It just makes sense to do things in a simpler way, because it does save money.

  6. Even though I am a homemade cleaner failure, (think about those fails we see on pinterest!), I do like the un-paper towels...hubby is getting to like them more too, especially for big spills, I just toss him a stack of super absorbent cloths and he goes to town cleaning up after plant watering overflows, chicken waterer spills, icy boot clumps now thawing...rinse and toss in the wash...

    we do differ though on the hand washing vs dishwasher washing...I have to wash the pots and pans anyways by hand, so why not do a minute more on dishes and silverware? He says not to load up the septic tank with unnecessary water!

    1. Hi Ellen. Been thinking of you!!
      Using non-paper towels makes so much sense. I have to admit I do keep paper on hand, strictly for cat yack accidents.

      I can't see how few dishes would add to the septic water. Do the dishes and flatware first, then throw in the pans. I always thought water slowly filtered out any way. Maybe I am wrong about that.
      Where does the water go from the dishwasher? same place I would imagine.

      So glad to hear from you. Glad you are slowly getting hubby on board!

  7. Those garden stakes are simply genius and so cute! I need to make some for our garden this next year. I think I will set aside some of the apple tree branch prunings in the early Spring to make them. :)

    1. They are pretty darn neat and frugal too.
      I have so many downed branches available at all times!

  8. Your darling garden stakes make me want to plant a garden right away, but it's too cold of course! Great ideas.

    1. Thank you so much. They are so easy and cute, and FREE!
      I am so ready to be puttering around outdoors.