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Small Steps to Green Living

by | Apr 13, 2009 | Authentic Living

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Small Steps to Green Living

These days most of us are looking for ways to save both money and resources. It is becoming more clear that we all need to do our part to make wise decisions about what we consume.

While I am not an expert in “green living,” I think simply making common-sense steps towards being frugal and wasting less around my own home is a great way to start! By making small changes, using less, saving more and thinking about clever ways to use what we already have, we can be good stewards of our resources.

SunChips is generously sponsoring a $100 giveaway to one lucky reader of The Inspired Room simply for sharing YOUR green living tips! WOO HOO! I think we could all use an extra $100, so check out my tips below and then offer one of your own in the comments! One lucky commenter will win $100! {GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED}

Here are a few frugal (& green!) tips:

  • Visit a local Rebuilding Center to find great things you can “re-use” to remodel your home: light fixtures, sinks, cabinets, tubs and more! Old sinks can be refinished and look good as new!

Small Steps to Green Living

  • Salvage existing kitchen cabinet boxes with a fresh coat of paint and install new cabinet doors rather than starting over with all new cabinets. I did this in my last kitchen by installing both glass and regular cabinets and new drawers into existing cabinet bases.

Small Steps to Green Living

  • Rather than buying new, re-fresh existing furniture or thrift store finds with paint or slipcovers.

Small Steps to Green Living

  • Share and find cool stuff on Freecycle, Craigslist, or your local Goodwill or thrift store. While I was moving I donated tons of stuff that someone else can repurpose at their house!
  • Downsize to or remodel a “not so big house” in order to save money, energy and make better use of the space you already have (I love this concept as I have just downsized to my own “not so big house”).
  • Consider rain chains and barrels instead of downspouts to reduce your water consumption by harvesting your own rain water in style! {I just learned about this tip last week on my Gig Harbor Drive By!} Use the collected rain water for the lawn, washing the dog, laundry or watering plants!Small Steps to Green Living
  • Use hardy native plants in your landscapes to save water and maintenance — in the northwest that means use lots of moss, ferns, rhododendrons and azaleas!

Small Steps to Green Living

  • Home composting is a small step you can take to make your community greener.  It is surprisingly straightforward and it benefits both you and the environment. The sponsor of our $100 giveaway today, SunChips, recognized these benefits and has introduced new packaging that is made of 33% renewable materials.  This may seem like a small change, but in 2010, they plan on having every SunChips bag made 100% compostable.  Learn how to create your own hot, active compost here and take your small step.

What small “green” steps or changes have you made around your home?

Share a green living tip here this week and you’ll be entered to win something very green… $100!

PS. My friend Sandy at Reluctant Entertainer also has a giveaway today, so after you share your green tip here, head on over and check out her giveaway too!

Top photo: HGTV…check out their 2009 GREEN HOME


Small Steps to Green Living


  1. Melissa D

    I love how recession style is all about the loveliness found in recycled or upcycled belongings. Tag sales plus some chic renovating ideas make me happier than buying new!
    I also use my green shopping bags everywhere and I’m glad to see this trend finally making its way into everyday life here in the U.S.

  2. Nicole

    These are more everyday habitual things. But, how about:
    -limiting drink consumption to water and tea-does away with all the containers and all the extra needs for ingredients
    -wearing clothes more than once before washing
    -washing out ziploc bags or using cloth bags
    -saving water used for certain cooking purposes that could be used again in another way

    i’m not the most green person i know, but we’re trying to think of new (or old ways) to stop consuming so much

    Nicoles inspiring blog post..I Only Have Two Hands

  3. Jennifer

    I just gave our kids all metal water bottles in their Easter baskets to keep them from grabbing disposable plastic ones.

    Jennifers inspiring blog post..My Redeemer Lives!

  4. jenel lbrooks

    I keep a plastic bucket w. a spout in the shower, after its full, I use it to water my plants. Ive also started composting, and love it! I can’t believe I was throwing all that great stuff away before.

    jenel lbrookss inspiring blog post..Boobs, Boobs and more Boobs

  5. Astrid

    Let’s see- we try do a lot of “green” things- mostly to help with cost. I dry my clothes on the clothesline, we grow most of our veggies plus we’re part of a CSA (local food= less gasoline used), I do a lot of my own canning (less trips to the grocery= less gasoline used), I use shopping bags (I think it’s kind of funny- my Oma in Austria was shopping with baskets and bags years and years ago- back then we thought it was cute and quaint- now it’s considered the in thing to do!), we drive a Prius (and LOVE it!- been coast to coast with two children comfortably), I compost most kitchen scraps, we harvest various foods from our land (we have native black raspberries and morels plus we eat venison). We insulated our water heater. I’m sure there are many other things we do but that’s all I can think of now! :)

    Astrids inspiring blog post..Oklahoma, Here We Come!

  6. Barbara

    Hmm…to be both green and frugal, I do a lot…reusable shopping bags, Sigg bottles for the whole family, as little packaged food as possible, cutting up old towels and doing away with paper (not quite there yet, but getting close!), repurposing old clothes, sharing hand-me-downs with friends, reading news online…and just plain consuming less.

  7. Missy K

    We line dry our clothes about eight months out of the year, we compost, we are entering our second year of having a garden. . . but a big part of what we are trying to do is just acquire less– less stuff that has packaging, less stuff to maintain, less consumption. It is a mental shift but we are amazed at how far a bit of intention goes.

  8. Lynne

    Hi Melissa-
    It’s not easy being green! But I’ve started by using some organic foods & buying from local farmers (in the summer). I also reuse plastic bags from stores & grocery shop with “green bags”. I even get $0.05 back pre bag I use. We also use Green Works products.

    Lynne @ Our Happy Homes inspiring blog post..The 100th Post! Celebrate!

  9. Jenelle

    Hubby and I carpool to work to save money and gas. It also keeps wear and tear down on one of our cars.

    Jenelles inspiring blog post..But it got a little better…

  10. Emily

    Great ideas, Melissa! Small things we’ve done are:

    stop using paper towel
    growing our own fruits and veggies
    installed a tankless hot water heater
    use CFLs
    use natural light instead of turning lights on during the day

    [email protected] inspiring blog post..Link Love: Happy Easter

  11. Karin

    I’m delurking for this. I line dry my clothes as well. If it is raining outside (like today!) I have a large drying rack that holds two loads of clothes that goes up in the living room. It’s isn’t very pretty but it is extremely practical. I use a plastic basin on one side of my sink to wash the dishes in and when I am finished, out goes the water to the garden. The dish soap (biodegradable) helps to keep down aphids and the like. I also fill the other side of the sink with hot water for rinsing and use it to wash down the cabinets when I am finished with the dishes.
    Old wool sweaters are given a new life as purses or toys for children. Clothing is passed along or used for sewing projects.
    I have five hens that give us eggs every day and I compost their manure for the garden. They also eat a lot of my kitchen scraps that would normally go to the compost heap or, worse yet, the trash.
    I think I could go on and on, so I will stop here. :)

    Karins inspiring blog post..At This Easter Season.

  12. Cheri

    I try to be green as much as possible but know I could do better. We use canvas totes for shopping, shop one day per week for everything, we want to make the trip count. Use recycle containers instead of putting everything in the garbage can. Use coffee grounds in my plant soil. Energy efficient bulbs, cost a little more but last longer than regular bulbs. Composting. For awhile we collected the shower water in a bucket to use for plants, we need to get back to that one.

  13. Mrs.Rabe

    It’s funny but we have been doing “green” things for quite sometime – long before they were trendy! Well, I did grow up in So. Cal so maybe I’m just ahead of my time! hee hee

    1. We recycle.

    2. I make most of my own household cleaners, including laundry detergent.

    3. We love to “salvage” building materials or even furniture!

    4. We buy used alot of the time, rather than new.

    Mrs.Rabes inspiring blog post..This and That

  14. Cindy T

    Unplug! I had never thought until recently just how much electricity my TV, my curling iron, my computer, etc uses when on standby. If I can unplug everything, I save on my electricity bill AND am able to do something for the planet that I live on by using less electricity. I am working on this…as well as shuting off the lights behind me.

  15. Shannon

    So we don’t add to the local landfill…quarterly my friends and I get together and bring anything for our homes or clothes that we no longer want. We share a meal together and do a swap of each others items. There is no money involved. You just take it if you like it and can use it. If there is anything left over at the end, the hostess takes them to the Goodwill. It is a fun way to declutter…and you never know what treasures you will find!

  16. Mrs. Jones

    I stopped buying individually packaged lunch snacks for my kids, and purchased small containers instead. I just buy a big bag of chips and fill up several of the containers at once. That way I can quickly make lunches in the morning and I’m not wasting packaging. My kids can also grab one in the afternoon, and the portion size is already measured for them … no more eating a whole bag of chips while they are watching tv!


    Mrs. Joness inspiring blog post..My favorite Bible Passage

  17. Analia

    I try to do some green thinking ……
    * We recycle.
    * I love thrift store finds: furniture, clothing, toys.
    * I am planning out a vegetable garden to grow my own vegetables.(this is the first spring in our house).
    * I shop for our groceries once a week.
    *I use reusable shopping bags.
    * We share children’s clothing with cousins…”hand-me downs”.
    I love any new ideas on how to take care of what we have rather than going out and buying new!

  18. sandy

    hey friend – sure I’ll take the CASH! LOL

    well, you already know my GREEN tip. composting! our garden is really coming on and we do everything we can to compost and grow our own food. even on a CITY LOT!

    i recycle, thrift, and just do what i can to live a greener life.

    love your tips.

    head on over and WIN today – thanks for mentioning it for me :)


    sandys inspiring blog post..2 Stunning $100 Canvas GIVEAWAYS!

  19. Amanda

    Grow your own food! Plant a vegetable garden either in your backyard or in pots. Eating something you grew is the ultimate sustainable way to feed yourself and your family. You don’t need a lot of money to get started, as long as you have access to some dirt, water and sunlight. Planting fruit-bearing bushes and trees is also a very friendly way to treat your neighborhood birds and wildlife.

  20. Dawn-Hydrangea Home

    I’ve been cleaning my house with non-toxic cleaners from an all “green” manufacturer called Shaklee (my sister-in-law is now selling their amazing products). And I have purchased stainless steel reusable water bottles and carry my own shopping bags into the stores.

    Dawn-Hydrangea Homes inspiring blog post..Happy Easter!

  21. Mrs. Jones

    Alright, I just thought of another one … When I find nice napkins at the thrift store (linens not paper), I buy those to use at home. We also try to use less paper napkins by using the ones that come home with take out dinners instead of throwing them away.


    Mrs. Joness inspiring blog post..My favorite Bible Passage

  22. Knittingrunner

    My grandma was green before it was cool, she recycled ziploc bags, used shopping bags, and saved all her scraps of fabric and yarn for other projects. She used cloth napkins and had different napkin rings so everyone knew which one was theirs, she only swapped out the napkins when they were dirty not at the end of the meal. She didn’t own a washer or dryer so only did laundry once a week.

    Like her, I have shopping bags, save most of my scraps, and use cloth napkins. We have CFL’s in half of our lights, because I just replace the regular bulbs when they burn out. We have the tv and dvd player on a power strip so we can turn them off when we aren’t watching.

    The best green thing we did this year was buy a used wood stove and used it to burn Bio Bricks (made from leftover wood products totally recycled). Our heaters were set at 62 this winter (we have three different zones) only the kids rooms ended up using much heat.

    In the non-snow months, I run almost all my local errands on my bike. Obviously some local errands need a car like the grocery store and the vet, but I have an old bike trailer that I would like to train the dogs to ride in.

    We don’t have a rain barrel, however due to a problem with leaking into a basement window, we have an old kiddie pool outside that window to catch the drips, it waters the roses quite nicely and keeps the basement dry.

  23. Emily

    We… recycle (even though our little town does not offer it, I drop it off on my way to work), use cloth diapers, limit disposable paper good in the kitchen, and make some of our own cleaning supplies.

    Emily @ Little Homes inspiring blog post..Menu Plan 4/13/09

  24. Kristin

    My husband is a napkin fanatic! For the last year, we’ve been using cloth napkins instead of paper. They really aren’t any extra trouble – I just throw them in the wash with my normal color loads once a week.

    Kristins inspiring blog post..Spring Fever

  25. Jen R Sanctuary Arts at home

    Mine is.. I use vinegar to clean almost everything and as weed killer. Not only is it eco-friendly, but it’s cheap! And instead of flying through the paper towels, I keep wash cloths next to the sink and then just use them to round out a load of wash I was already going to do! Jen

    Jen R Sanctuary Arts at homes inspiring blog post.."Distressing" secrets

  26. Elizabeth

    These are all great tips! My friend just told be about using old medicine bottles to put shampoo, soap, lotion, etc. in when you travel. It also helps you get through airport security when you carry on luggage.

    I also recently bought some plastic containers for lunches so we don’t waste as many plastic bags.

  27. living with lindsay

    This is a great post!

    Last summer, we pulled out all of the builder-planted landscaping and replaced it with native plants, as you mentioned. It has made a world of difference in that they are hardy to our climate, require less water than what was originally there, and are attracting all sorts of native wildlife to our yard. We are so happy we did it for many reasons.

    I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not as “green” as most people, but we are really trying to be better about it. We recycle, so at least we’re doing that. :) We also try to get new things for our home from thrift stores and the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, so I guess that’s upcycling. I’m excited to read everyone’s tips to see what we can easily incorporate.

    living with lindsays inspiring blog post..Bunnies Aren’t Just for Easter

  28. kirwin

    I just read through everyone’s comments, and there are so many good ideas out there. I don’t think I have anything new to add. We use reusable bags, I walk instead of drive whenever possible and weather-permitting, turn off lights, compost, grow some of our veggies, re-use containers and egg cartons from the store, and have aggressively conscious of not acquiring more STUFF.

    kirwins inspiring blog post..This isn’t working out…

  29. Taylor at Household Management 101

    Use natural cleaning products when appropriate, such as vinegar, baking soda, etc.

    Sometimes these won’t work, but many times they do, as long as you are willing to let it sit on the dirt longer or put in more elbow grease, or both, and then you, your family, and then environment are all healthier. A win-win all around.

    I just recently wrote a post on vinegar can and cannot be used for if you want to check it out.

    Taylor at Household Management 101s inspiring blog post..Apr 13, Laundry Care Label: Decode Yours Easily And Accurately

  30. Sylvia

    My tip would be that we have to make recycling easy by setting up or building in separate bins for recycling beside the garbage cans in our bathrooms and kitchen. If recycling and composting are easy to do then we are more likely to do it.

  31. Marilyn

    I have been composting for thirty years, but my new great find for the compost bin comes from my paper shredder. It’s breaks down really quick and takes the trees back to the earth!

  32. *Christy*

    I’ve started making my own laundry detergent and cleaners! Safer for my family AND the environment!

  33. Tera

    When I first started readin g this post, I did not think that we lived in a very “green” way…but, after reading, I discovered that we live more “greenly” (is that a word?) than we thought! We did repurpose our cabinets by painting them. We also shop at Goodwill and give to Goodwill and other organizations. We recycle all of our cardboard, cans, etc. and we have use repurposed wood in our home, etc. Thank you for the additional ideas as well…things that I had not thought of!

    Teras inspiring blog post..The Crib Has Been Converted

  34. Ann

    we do a lot around here too!

    About a year ago I stopped buying paper towels and napkins. I find really neat vintage napkins at thrift stores and we use towels that I’ve cut up for paper towels.

    We compost, and have a garden which is really fun for the kids to get involved in as well. and I do tons of canning…there is also a program in our area called the gleaners. basically you get to go to the farmers crops after the harvest and glean whatever is left of the food. so then we take that food to food banks and friends and can TONS of it! It’s amazing.

    we also volunteer at a thrift shop in order to get our clothes for almost free for the entire family. I haven’t purchased a new item of clothing for anyone in our family except very rare occasions for over a year and no one would ever know it!

  35. Kat

    Grow your own food. Nothing is more local than your own back yard.

    Use the money that you save on groceries buying local and organic produce, meats, eggs, and dairy. (I actually found when I started buying food at the local organic market my grocery bill did not go up by too much, because I stopped buying a bunch of stuff that eventually just got pitched.)

    Use cloth diapers. Once you are done using them as diapers you get the worlds best reusable cleaning rags. My husband actually prefers them to disposable!

  36. KellyB

    I use butter wrappers to grease my pans instead of spray. You can store them in the freezer and if you are going to be baking that day, you just pull one out. Also make a lot of my own household cleaners.

  37. Ashley

    Hi! I use canvas bags for groceries. Also, I’ve bought lots of plain canvas bags at walmart and decorated them with paint and such and then given them as gifts at holidays and birthdays. You can use the bag as the actual gift bag.
    Also, we try really hard to use rags and dishtowels instead of paper towels. I clean my counters with a mix of vinegar and water and I’ve started to use a mix of baking soda and borax in the dishwasher. Not only is better for the environment, it’s also MUCH cheaper than dish detergent. Another thing we did was cut out fabric softener. You really don’t need and it makes the fibers in your clothes wear out faster.
    My favorite green tip is to support your local farmers and buy your produce at the farmers market. The food is usually fresher than the grocery store, and its cheaper. Can’t beat that. :)

    Ashleys inspiring blog post..Wishing you a beautiful Spring weekend!

  38. cityfarmer

    we are slowly doing all these things here at this old farmhouse…thanks for the kick in the pants…hehe

  39. Sabrina

    Last summer I started a compost site. Instead of throwing away my table scraps they go into the compost bin, along with any yard clippings. I am excited to use the compost this year on my vegetable garden!

  40. linda

    We fix everything. We hardly ever buy anything new.

  41. Lori

    I am starting a vegetable garden this year using my compost instead of buying dirt. I really don’t know what I’m doing but so far, so good.
    Around the house we recycle what we can, and I’ve switched to cloth napkins- which I absolutely love!

    Loris inspiring blog post..I Love House Quilts

  42. Linda

    our contribution to Green incorporates:
    1. Re-cycling
    2. Natural cleaning products
    3. Grow own fruit and veggies
    4. Re-usable grocery sacks
    5. Collect water in a rain barrel with spigot for watering plants (planning)
    6. Bike more/drive less (teens)
    7. re-purpose old furniture
    8. natural landscaping

    Great to read everybodies projects/plans!

    [email protected] in the Coconuts inspiring blog post..To a gorgeous new day…

  43. Shilo

    Love these tips!
    Cooking from scratch is also a great way to go green. Besides, being more healthy, you don’t have to throw away tons of packaging that comes with ready made foods!

    Shilos inspiring blog post..Easter Blessings

  44. Lacie

    I have started using white vinegar in my laundry wash cycle to cut back on detergent.

    Lacies inspiring blog post..Pre Easter Festivities

  45. Karen

    For coffee drinkers like me – buy one of the gold filters available at grocery stores and you can use it forever. No more paper filters! I have been using mine for years now. Coffee grounds in the soil are great at aerating.

  46. Liz

    I love all your tips and the others too. We were lucky enough to move into a house that has a trash compactor. It saves on trash bags and we also have been recycling tons more. Now we only take the garbage out about every 2-3 weeks, of course, I don’t add food scraps to the compactor because of smell. I’m planning on getting a compost going as soon as the weather breaks some more.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    [email protected] inspiring blog post..Virtual Great American Bake Sale

  47. Interior Decorator

    If you have children then the most rewarding green way is to make some furniture pieces or decorative art together. Combing the beach or picking up twigs, branches and flowers from a forest walk can lend themselves to becoming part of a simple construction with a few nuts and bolts.

    My mother, for example, used to pick driftwood from the seafront and carved statues which were placed around the home. You can sometimes paint these, varnish them or leave them as they are.

    Children can be taught to press flowers which could then be used to decorate table legs, a television table or stitch into a quilt.

    All these things cost little money, are environmentally friendly alternatives and are a wonderful opportunity for quality family time.

    Interior Decorators inspiring blog post..The Anglepoise Light Marks its 75 Year Anniversary

  48. LaDonna

    Here are a few things I can think of that our family does:
    I have been line drying our clothes for years, indoors & out, all year long – saves electricity and helps our clothes to last longer.
    I recycle plastics & cardboard and our friend reuses the packing peanuts that we receive.
    Anything in good shape that we no longer need gets donated in one way or another.
    We collect rain water.
    We hunt, butcher and package our venison ourselves.
    I use my yarn scraps to make scarves and afghans for those in need.
    I use cloth bags for shopping as much as possible.
    Lights on when in the room only.
    I use cloth rags for dusting floors, etc.
    And because we live in the North and can’t compost during the winter I am thinking of getting a tub of worms to eat our scraps.

  49. Carolyn G

    I have started a compost bin. We have it right outisde the kitchen door so we can gather our stuff and out it in there. This helps us cut down on garbage we trash and will help us this summer in our garden.

    Carolyn Gs inspiring blog post..Happy Easter!

  50. clux64

    Evertything here….I also keep our thermostat down to 68 degrees, and bake our own bread (so much easier than I thought). In fact, we make most of our own snacks now (no fossil fuels burned in transportation, no GMO’s in our food, no HFC). Trying to eliminate disposables, re-use water, etc.. Our chickens eat what we don’t composte. We grow our own food and sell the extra. We are planning to buy a diesel car in the near future and run bio diesel in it that we make ourself. There are so many little things that make a BIG difference.

    clux64s inspiring blog post..Kitchen-Klatter Magazine

  51. Angie

    I’ve been learning more things to do to go “green”. Always looking for ideas…

    I’ve always recycled for many years now.

    When I shut down our computer, I also unplug it.

    We use sunlight during the day, open the curtains and let the natural light shine in.

    Angies inspiring blog post..Fun With The Kiddos

  52. Angie

    We just recently committed to no more paper towels. This was HUGE for us as we went through them pretty regularly! :)

    Angie @ The Creative Mamas inspiring blog six dollar treat.

  53. Jenny

    One of my favorite recycling ideas is using coffee grounds and banana peels in my garden. I use the coffee grounds (and I get lots extra free at Starbucks) around everything and the banana peels for just the roses and the tomato plants. I always have a glorious garden even here in the low desert. But sometimes, I must admit, I get a powerful craving for a donut (to go with my non-existent coffee) when I’m working in the garden after just having spread a bag of grounds!

    Jennys inspiring blog post..Happy Easter

  54. Debbie

    Collecting rain water in a large barrel is a great way to reuse water. Water house plants or outside pots with fresh rain water. Mother Earth will love you for it :)

    Debbies inspiring blog post..Four Corners

  55. Deputy's Wife

    I don’t know how “green” this tip is, but I shop thrift stores for my wardrobe. Just last week I bought an Eddie Bauer spring sweater set, with the tags still on it, for $3.50.

    I am a big fan of Freecycle. I have three small boys and when they have grown out of their clothes, I always give them away. I know a lot of people sell at garage sales, but when you figure your time and expense of setting one up, giving it away to someone who truly needs it is much better.

  56. Deputy's Wife

    Sorry to post again, but my posting information is wrong on my original comment. I have moved and I keep forgetting to change my info!!!

    Deputy’s Wifes inspiring blog post..Happy Easter!

  57. Shailee

    There has been a lot of activity on Eco-products and eco fashion which encourage reuse and recycle.
    Reuse allows interesting possibilities, like using empty paint cans & old jute sacks to plant trees. Decorating old tin cans for use as a penstand.
    Or, old tires can be inflated, painted and stuffed with cushions to be used as a interesting piece of furniture.

    Almost all things scrap can be mixed and matched to create interesting sculptures and 3D art.

    Shailees inspiring blog post..Pocket notebook

  58. Art by Karena

    If I bring anything home, whether clothing decorative piece etc. Something must be given away! To the Goodwill, Craigs list, etc. My condominium needs repainting and when I finally choose a color it will be low VOC like Aura.

  59. No Debt Plan

    Pick a month and go without air conditioning the entire time. We did this last May — in Birmingham, AL — and it got up to 80 degrees in our house, but we held out until June.

    No Debt Plans inspiring blog post..Alabama State Tax Refund: Finally!

  60. Stephanie

    Everyone has such great ideas for saving money and “going green”. Some of our favorites are:

    * Getting our fruits and vegetables at a co-op, if we can’t use them all we share with a friend and split the cost
    * Re-purposing what we already have instead of buying new (i.e. re-upholstering chairs, making my daughter clothes from my old ones)
    * Clipping coupons online and collecting the newpapers ones from everyone I can (mom, grandma, friends – I never have to buy the newspaper)

  61. Lazy Mom Leslie

    My best green tip is to set up your recycling in a way that works for you. If you notice that the recycling tends to stack up in the kitchen waiting to be taken out to the garage, then find a space in your kitchen to sort it. If your recycling container provided by the city is too small then get a larger one from your home improvement store. You need to take some steps to make the process work for you or you won’t do it. I won’t at least.

    Lazy Mom Leslies inspiring blog post..Earth Week

  62. Catherine

    Sprinkling cinnamon around is a great bug repellent. It’s relatively inexpensive, doesn’t contain anything toxic, and will be safe if any children or pets come in contact with it. It’s easy to keep it out of sight under cabinets, too.

  63. Bonita

    -buy local
    -grow your own food (love square foot gardens!)
    -use a clothesline ( I want one so bad!)
    -shop at yard sales, thrift stores, and consignment stores
    -use cloth napkins
    -collect rainwater
    -give your teenage daughter a bathroom timer so she doesn’t drain the hot water heater!
    -group all of your errands in one area at one time
    -decorate naturally (pinecones, rosemary, seashells, flowers, etc…)
    -stay out of stores, but when you must go use a list and stick to it. You don’t need as much stuff as you think you do.
    -when the weather is nice turn off the air/heat and open the windows
    -use natural light during the day
    -eat less processed foods and more home cooked, nutritious meals
    -take care of yourself- exercise, brush teeth, eat right, …

    Bonitas inspiring blog post..My Dream House Take #102

  64. Nicole

    I made my baby’s food last fall (she’s moved on to our food now). It was really much easier than I’d expected and saved us from all those little jars and containers. I’d cook veggies in huge batches (oven full of sweet potatoes) then puree in the food processor and freeze in ice cube trays. There are some great websites with very easy to follow ideas.

  65. Katie at

    Some great tips here!
    One of the greenest things a person can do is not eat meat or eat less. A meat-eater on a bike creates more greenhouse gases than a vegetarian driving a Hummer.
    Thanks for a shot at some truly needed cash!

    Katie at makingthishome.coms inspiring blog post..An Easter Wish

  66. Tonni

    Turn the heat down when you go out for the day- it’s chilly when you get home, but it’ll warm up fast enough!
    And join a local CSA- love mine!

    Tonnis inspiring blog post..Finn – London Newborn Photographer

  67. Hannah

    We have what would be considered a large family with five kiddos and here are a few of the things I can think of offhand that we do:

    1. Buy in bulk.
    We order 50 lb bags of staples like flour and sugar for much less than store prices.
    2. Garden.
    Whether it be lettuce in a pot on the windowsill or a full fledged back yard tilled plot, everyone can grown some of their food.
    3. Compost.
    Kitchen scraps, tea bags, coffee grounds, and egg shells get turned into a compost pile or fed to our chickens.
    4. Get a few hens.
    Even in most cities, hens are allowed. Nothing tastes better than a fresh egg fried up.
    5. Shop your house.
    Whenever I get a decorating itch (often) I shop the house, rotating furniture from room to room, drapes, photos, rugs, etc.
    6. Shop your pantry.
    Making the weekly menu for our family, I’ll first consider what I already have on hand to use which lessens what I need to buy.
    7. Stock up on sales.
    Muir Glen tomatoes at $1 for the big can is a steal. I bought two cases.
    8. Hang clothes on the line.
    We did this even living in the city.
    9. Pull buttons off of worn out clothing before discarding it.
    10. Shop second hand. Just about everything we wear is handmade or second hand.
    11. Donate gently used clothing, household good, unopened food.
    Our nearby city has a huge influx of immigrants and we have a constantly growing, ever present pile of donations for them.
    12.Learn to sew. Really. This saves us so much money.
    13. Cook from scratch.
    One of my favorite cookbooks is from the depression era. The recipes are delicious and frugal.
    14. Heat with wood. We have a 4,000 sq foot old house heated entirely with two wood stoves and fallen wood from our land.
    15. Use cardboard, cereal boxes and junk mail as mulch in the garden.

    Ok, I think that’s enough. :)

    Hannahs inspiring blog post..In which I contemplate the cuteness of our kiddos…

  68. Kathy  :)

    Last year our town was offering a discount if we ordered rain barrels…we had to pick them up on a certain date at our DPW… I love the big BLUE thing….I used it to mostly water my flowers…we live up North so we took it down for the Winter…its time to get that baby into working order again….

    Thanks for the chance :)

    Kathy :)

  69. Cassandra Louise

    It is just recently, that we really started paying close attention to everyday “go green” ideas. We look for ideas to re-use and save! It may seem small, but in the long run is HUGE. Simple steps of recycling, re-using things around the house to decorate and refurbish, walking instead of driving. Start small and see where it takes you! We also have turned our cleaning products towards environmentally safe. Plus I just love organic stuff, the look and the feel is what keeps me coming back!

    Cassandra Louises inspiring blog post..Code Red

  70. tara

    I have one shelf set aside in my kitchen cabinets to put all my reusable containers. Every time I use spaghetti sauce or finish out the rest of a herb or spice, I have grade A containers that are so versatile!

    taras inspiring blog, it’s hot

  71. Lindsay

    I’m just getting into the “green” lifestyle! But I LOVE it!
    -reusable water bottles for the gym
    -reusable grocery bags (I’ve even made some and given them as gifts–lots of patterns online)
    -place buckets out while its raining. Use this water to water plants after rain ends. Helps our H2O $bill$ too!
    -making use of our community provided recycling containers. We pay for it no matter what, so you MIGHT AS WELL put it to good use! :)

    Thanks for the opportunity!

    Lindsays inspiring blog post..Can I get some HELP?!?!!?

  72. Kathy  :)

    More thoughts …save your egg shells…put them into the ground when gardening….the plants love the calcuim…. I also save the wrappers from my butter, I keep a little baggie in the frig…I use them to butter my pans when baking !!!

    Sorry I should have consolidated my ideas….

    Kathy :)

  73. Gina

    I love all these green ideas! Here’s a few things we’re doing at our house:
    -vegetable gardening
    -using reusable shopping bags
    -looking for used items first, trying not to buy new
    -line drying our clothes (soon, this summer we’ll start doing that)
    -making our own household cleaners, and laundry detergent. (Okay, this is partly about money, but we’ve realized how important it is to be good stewards of everything we have).
    -buying local and limiting our consumption of meat.

    Thanks for the giveaway Sunchips, and everyone else for all the great ideas!

    Ginas inspiring blog post..The power of Praise

  74. Susan

    So many ways we all have been going green – my choice was to eliminate plastic containers and cups from our household. They are toxic when heated (and let’s be honest – the purpose of a rubbermaid is for the leftovers) and converted to good ‘ole pyrex containers.

    Go green!

  75. Barbara

    I’ve replaced all my cleaning supplies with green options. No more bleach or ammonia, nothing that wouldn’t be safe to ingest.

    Menu plan – it decreases food waste, and it makes it easier to plan around what’s in season.

    Barbaras inspiring blog post..Fire Hall Theatre – Grand Forks

  76. Sarah

    Those are great tips and some of them are the ones we already implement! We love to repurpose furniture and odds and ends around the house. I don’t think we have bought a “brand new” piece of furniture in years!
    We shop goodwill/thrift stores too finding things for all around the house!
    I’m a big follower of the reusable bags too; Wal-Mart just recently got on the bandwagon and I’m loving it!

    Sarahs inspiring blog post..Easter Sunday

  77. Courtney

    we are doing several things around our house to create a green environment that is very important to us.
    -we have a garden
    -we compost
    -we use rain barrels
    -we are looking into getting a rooftop wind turbine
    -we are going to line dry our clothes when the weather is okay outside
    -we recycle and take all our glass to recycle centers

  78. Granny Smith Green

    A rather simple tip for cutting energy consumption–and saving a few dollars: close air registers in rooms that are not in use and close the door. There’s no need to heat or cool that guest room when no one’s using it.

    Also, a programable thermostat is quite helpful.

    Granny Smith Greens inspiring blog post..Victory

  79. melissa

    I stopped buying paper towels! I have a rag box under my sink now that we reach for whenever we have spills. Don’t get rid of old bath and dish towels~cut them up into rags. These ^ are all great tips!

    melissas inspiring blog post..winna, winna, winnahs!

  80. Cherri Engle

    We try to make less trips to the store (which requires more planning) or we go on our way home from somewhere else. We recycle our grocery bags, (been meaning to get the canvas ones), we use energy efficient light bulbs, we don’t by bottle water anymore in the plastic bottles (we try to use glass bottles and reuse them) and we are planting some veggies this year. We just got a rain bucket to use for watering the outdoor trees and plants. Thank you for this give-a-way opportunity. Who couldn’t use $100? Have a great day.

    Cherri Engles inspiring blog post..‘After’ photos of the Furniture re-do

  81. Lynnette

    My “green” tip would be to make more bulk purchases like dry beans and spices. I finally started making some bulk taco mix so we don’t have to buy an envelope for each meal. Less packaging! And the slow cooker and pressure cooker are my dear friends who help me make healthier foods and use less electricity/gas while I cook.

  82. Linda

    A couple of things we do at our house to me more “green”
    1. We compost kitchen clippings and get wonderful fertile dirt to use in our plants and garden
    2. We garage sale whenever the weather is good enough to get out
    3. We also freecycle! It is great to not send the old sofa and christmas decorations to the landfill. :)
    $100 would definitely be great!

  83. Joelle

    I got some reusable eating utensils from To-Go Ware and I pack those in our sack lunches, so we use those rather than plastic throw-away utensils. I also try to grow some veggies and herbs on my porch (don’t have a yard unfortunately). In addition, I bring my own bags to the supermarket (most of the time) so I cut down on plastic bag trash.

    Joelles inspiring blog post..My prayer journal

  84. Lisa

    I stopped using sandwich bags for kids’ lunches and started using tupperware containers. And I’ve become the light-nazi at our house, making sure the only lights on are the ones we needs – no more porch light overnight, no fishtank lit up past bedtime, an no ceiling fans running in rooms where there aren’t people. We’re getting in new habits of little things that are adding up to big benefits.

    Lisas inspiring blog post..Redeemed

  85. Erin

    Eat Green! During spring, summer, and fall, I buy as much of our food from the local farmers’ market as possible. Not only is the food healthier and tastier, I appreciate knowing that the food was grown locally and driven only a few miles to market, as opposed to buying strawberries that were flown or driven all the way from California! Bonus if you have a farmers’ market close enough to ride a bike to (less polution than driving your car!) This year I hope to go a step further and grow herbs and veggies of my own.

    Erins inspiring blog post..Easter Brunch

  86. Elizabeth Flowers

    Several things we do:
    -green shopping bags
    -shorten showers
    -stopped using the bathroom heater
    -check packaging to make sure it is reusable and/or recyclable
    -stopped having phone books delivered
    -started using all paperless billing, whenever possible
    -turning off lights and using the LED lightbulbs everywhere in the house
    -compost pile
    -our first garden this year
    -my 6 year old told me the other day that she is going to recycle her room…I asked her to explain and she said she is going to recycle it into a castle! :) She’s got the idea!
    All small things but we feel like we are doing as much as we can to, at this point in our lives, to make an impact!

    Elizabeth Flowerss inspiring blog post..

  87. jeri

    Love to use vinegar to clean everything. That and baking soda really. I haven’t bought a cleaning product from the store in forever. That was the best change that I made.

    Also, Choose a Trash/Waste company that lets you put everything (to include plastics 1-7) in one bin. It makes recycling easier …hense you will recycle more. We have always recycled…but with putting ecerything in one bin…plus it taking virtually everything…to include wood….we as a family of 6 have 1 trash bag per week!!!! Can you believe that?

  88. Sylvia

    I have a water bottle that a refill and carry with me instead of buying bottled water. It’s easy and cheap!
    sylviarj at yahoo dot com

  89. Maya

    Three words:
    Recycle, Recycle, Recycle.
    Not only putting glass, plastic, cans and papers into designated bins but recycle anything you possibly can. For example…, my husband has just taken down old solid wood shelving in the basement left by the previous owner and is building our kitchen island with it.

    Mayas inspiring blog post..Beaches that Rock

  90. Kathleen

    I’ve always been “thrifty” and now find I was doing many “green” things before it became popular but never realized how much electricity is consumed by things that are plugged in but not turned on. Now my mission is to “unplug”!

    kathleen (at) MomSaves (dot) com

  91. Alana

    We gave up paper towels and napkins a couple of years ago. I don’t even miss them now and love that I get to set a pretty table with cloth napkins!

    Alana @ Gray Matterss inspiring blog post..Are You At Risk?

  92. Mary Ellen

    I am making my own laundry soap. I have always composted but since our move last year have not had a good way to compost. I hope to have a blog soon about making a composter out of a plastic barrel. I also will soon be a beekeeper as I have ordered 2 hives. THrifting, reusing, making do has always been a way of life and I love the challenge!!


  93. Nina

    I use canvas tote bags for all of my shopping….we recycle alum cans, plastic and cardboard. and yes, I would love to win some green….$100!

  94. Mary Ellen

    I also wanted to add that having a household budget is a very important step I believe in going green. So much waste when we don’t know where our money is going.

    Mary Ellens inspiring blog post..He is RISEN!!!!

  95. Amber

    – use vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice to clean
    – mulch! it saves a lot of water that would otherwise be lost in evaporation
    – make your own bread. it eliminates a lot of waste from those plastic bread wrappers
    – use cloth napkins
    – use cloth diapers & cloth diaper wipes (in combo with a diaper spray, like one by california baby)
    – shop season-end clearances at outlet stores for great prices on kids’ clothes and save them for hand me downs or then donate them

  96. Beauty Fully Used

    Composting eliminates waste and is great “food” for the garden! Buying local is better for the environment and helps local farmers. Using cloth napkins eliminates waste (and are so much nicer!) and using microfiber cloths to clean instead of paper towels eliminates waste. Buying in bulk eliminates waste. Meal planning eliminates waste. UPCYCLING (finding another use for something BEFORE it goes in the recycling bin) is a good habit…try turning an oatmeal container into an organizer or empty glass soda bottles into bud vases. Buy handmade or used! Over time, my hubby and I have incorporated all of these things, one by one, and now it’s habit!

  97. Melanie

    I save my baby food jars. I wash them, take the label off, and modge podge cute paper on the lid. I put scrapbook embellishments in them. They also started making baby food in plastic containers. I wash those and use them when I pack my husbands lunch. I put veggies, dip, tuna salad etc… in them.

  98. Laura

    I agree with reusing and repurposing as much as possible–that’s probably the bulk of our “green” activity right now, since we’re on a budget. The other thing we’re trying to do to save both money and the environment is to cut down our errand-running to once or twice a week. I never realized how often I left the house until we moved to a rental 20 minutes away from the nearest store!

  99. Katy

    We’ve been trying to find new ways to wrap presents instead of using wrapping paper. Newspaper, old paper grocery bags that can be colored and decorated and reused bags all work great!

  100. Laura Ingalls Gunn

    I truly love to live green and as I adore Sun Chips, I am very excited about their new packaging. I can’t wait to buy a bag.
    I always keep cloth bags in the car so that I don’t have to use the plastic. Many stores offer a credit for doing this.
    We have switched all of our light bulbs to energy efficient bulbs.
    My husband is a den leader to a group of scouts and all of their outings and crafts are covered by money the boys make from recycling aluminum.
    If you keep borax, baking soda and vinegar on hand they can each be used on their own or mixed accordingly to form 95% of the necessary household cleaners. Smart and economical.
    Even my design business incorporates thinking outside the box. In each home I try to incorporate current pieces they have on hand and everyday items in new and fun ways versus always buying new.
    I could go on and on about living green. It truly is not hard to do.

    Laura Ingalls Gunns inspiring blog post..Love amongst crazy bird people

  101. mary beth

    I recently decorated for a large church banquet with materials that we scrounged from the local recycle center and stuff that I had been collecting in my craft stash. Some of the stuff I had been saving for years just because I do that kind of thing. For centerpieces, I cut branches off of a tree in the church yard and wired bright colorful flowers that we made with coffee filters and food coloring. We made candleholders out of rolled magazine pages and tin cans. We decoupaged huge cardboard circles that we found at the recycle place and hung those on the walls. It turned out really cute and I loved that it cost practically nothing at all.

  102. Aggie

    I’ve gotten so many more good ideas from everyone. Thank you. We stopped using paper towels, now just old towels that I tear. Dishwasher will only operate when it’s completely full (every 3 days or so). I use canvas bags only when shopping. Clothes are purchased from the thrift store (and I will donate the ones that haven’t been used for more than 6 mos.) Furniture (except the sofa and mattress) is now purchased used (not only are you saving the environment you are saving on your wallet too.)
    We are in the market to purchase a new car (well, used car) but now we will purchase something smaller with a better mpg (my husband currently has a truck).
    I’m trying hard to hang clothes outside but…I always end up with bugs in the pockets and it freaks me out too much so I use the dryer. Sorry.
    I do make my own household cleaners. A little elbow grease never hurt anyone. And yes, I turn off all lights and unplug everything (I unplug because it’s economical but also prevents fires).
    Our thermostat is never above 62 degrees. If it gets too chilly, we wear sweaters.
    And we finally stopped buying water bottles. We use the aluminum bottles for water and cold drinks. And we no longer purchase coffee outside of the home, we use travel coffee mugs.

  103. The Nester

    I’ll play!

    I open up all the blinds–pull them to the top of the window and my house is so bright that I don’t even need my zillions of lamps on during the day!

    The Nesters inspiring blog post..Perfectly Beautiful Tassel Sale

  104. Elizabeth H

    I throw out my used coffee grounds into my flower beds, they add a lot of nutrients to the soil and it is not a lot of work. I am also very conscious about unplugging things when they are not in use, for example the toaster. It still draws energy even though you are not using it.

    Elizabeth Hs inspiring blog post..Tomato Goodness

  105. twinkle

    Car shopping? Check out Toyota’s Prius. We have one and gas mileage averages 49mpg. I just love it!
    Gardening? Look for things to reuse for starting bedding plants…like old metal pails or wooden crates.
    Decorating? Check out the local flea markets/yard sales/”antique” stores and adopt a treasure instead of purchasing new things. I love vintage linens and dishes. Pictures are awesome buys at resale prices.
    Christmas shopping? Save the gas and time and give a useable “green” gift…CASH! It eliminates stress, returns, gift-wrap and high postal rates. One size fits all!

    twinkles inspiring blog post..Easter

  106. Deborah

    We bought a natural gas vehicle 2 years ago. We fill it up in our garage through a compressor hooked up to the gas line. It is the most used car in our household because we take turns using it. It is one of the cleanest burning cars out there. It gives out almost no smog producing emissions. We love it, especially those times when gas reaches nearly $5 per gallon.

  107. Angela Sue Murphy

    We have really tried to be better this year about living green. We started recycling and my 3 girls have a ball with it – we had to buy another container because we were filling ours up so fast! We are getting ready to plant our 1st veggie garden ever next weekend! Again – the girls are thrilled! :) We have changed out our light bulbs, are much more conscious of water and electricity usage and are buying less and less packaged products… love those farmers markets! :)

  108. Teri

    Many that we do have already been mentioned:
    *no paper in the kitchen
    *blinds open for light instead of using lamps.
    *using fans and curtains to help keep the house cool instead of a/c
    *washing and reusing glass jars from food- they become storage containers and cups
    *gardening/composting, and we seldom water our lawn to help give it deeper and stronger roots
    *we not only recycle, but reuse most recycleables. The kids have bins of old cardboard, medicine bottles, and more for art projects
    *re-use and repurpose worn out clothes

  109. Stefanie

    I have a rain barrel where I collect rain during the rain season and use it in the summer to water the garden! I live in WA state so rain is in abundance!

    I use all CFL’s in the house – every fixture I can!

    I use a programmable thermostat so my heat is not running when it doesn’t need to!

    I also make grocery bags out of old t-shirts! Double recycling! Not buying a new reusable bag but recycling tshirts!plus I am not using plastic bags!

    I also buy used and second hand whenever possible.

    Stefanies inspiring blog post..Happy Easter!

  110. Kate

    we’re using recycled, found and thrift items to decorate our wedding. also, instead of buying reusable grocery bags (which often damage the environment to make), we look at thrift stores and take advantage of freebie bags.

  111. Val

    I use baking soda to clean the sinks, tubs etc. It really does a great job.
    I have always been a reuse and repurpose kind of gal. Stuff with some history made into something funky is just better than off the shelf standard everyone else has it. LOve the butlers pantry in the post.

    Vals inspiring blog post..High Five

  112. Catherine

    I use cloths in the kitchen rather than paper towels and grow vegetables to supplement my family’s food budget. Not the most original ideas, but they help a little!

    Catherines inspiring blog post..Happy Easter

  113. Laura C.

    I always start my day off by filling my stainless steel water bottle….no more plastic bottles for me!! Plus, the water tastes soooo much better!

  114. Jennifer S.

    Oh wow, how neat to read the ways so many are going green! =)

    As for me, I also decorate my flower decorations with all natural finds around my house (moss, pinecones, pieces of natural greenery that can be changed out easily once it browns, twigs, feathers etc.). We live in the country so we use a septic (I know everyone can not do this) but your laundry water can actually water the lawn if you re-route a line to do this. We also have a clothes line for summer months, as it is great to hang out wet towels and swimsuits! hmmm… I use 2 tsp. white vinegar and 2 qt. water mixture to clean the windows instead of buying window cleaner. I Freecycle, buy others junk from Goodwill and have even dumpster dove when I see great old pieces of furniture near the dumpster. It is amazing what you can do with a little TLC. Oh, how can I forget letting the spring breeze flow through the house instead of using the ac! I’m sure there is much more, these are just a few things I can think of that I do “green” off the top of my head. =)

  115. St. Michael's Wife

    Who knew that immersing oneself in the incredible world of bogs dedicated to creative home living could be so green? But green it is — at least for this new blogger and follower-of-all-blogs-wonderful! I’ve been dubbed “The Queen of Cheap” by several friends because I’m proud to say that almost everything in my home once belonged to someone else! And I like it that way! I rarely buy anything that’s absolutely brand-new for my home because I’m pretty creative at repurposing and reworking all items thrift store, garage sale, and trash can. However, if for whatever reason, my creativity (or my spirit!) starts to lag, all I have to do is click on fabulous blogs like The Inspired Room, Reinvented, A Soft Place to Land, Living With Lindsey, or any number of other sites belonging to the bevy of incredibly inventive women out there in Blogland. And voila! I’m renewed and refreshed and once again ready to don my Lean Mean Trash-to-Treasure Green Queen T-shirt and get on with the fun of turning Junque-to-Jewels!

    St. Michael’s Wifes inspiring blog post..

  116. Kelli

    One of my favorite things to do is to fill an empty pickle jar (not completely empty, save the juice) with peeled, sliced cucumbers. In a few days, tasty “pickled cucumbers!!” Thanks for the give away!!

  117. Melissa

    My ideas are shared here… but i’ll say them just in case.

    -Cloth napkins and rags (i bought some bar rags to use instead of paper towels, especially for cat/dog and baby messes)
    -Cloth diapers
    -Make my own laundry detergent and use baking soda/vinegar for cleaning a lot of every day things
    -Take my own utensils to work when I take my lunch, instead of using plastic
    -Re-meal food (like leftovers, but we don’t always just eat the same thing, I make new thing with the items made already…)
    -Take leftovers for lunch, in reusable containers
    -Re-use containers that you would ordinarily throw away, like spaghetti jars.
    -Make my own coffee, instead of going to buy it somewhere already made (more frugal than green, but still green in that i’m not wasting gas or coffee-house equipment to make my coffee)
    -I haven’t composted yet, but that’s my goal this year. I’d also like to plant some container tomatoes.
    -Use my own plastic or metal mugs for coffee and water. (try to stay away from the throw-away stuff, including styrofoam


  118. ikkinlala

    May Canadians enter? I’ve started using handkerchiefs rather than tissues.

  119. Lonni

    We have made a serious effort to increase recycling. We live in an area where it is extremely convenient to recycle. They take almost everything plus we don’t have to separate! We currently recycle 70% of our “trash”!

  120. Chrisy

    We just purchased a high efficiency washer and dryer. We’ve also bought a small home and are remodeling it ourselves. Thanks!

  121. Bee

    Being diligent and extra-careful with recycling and upcycling, trying to have compost for the first time this year, re-using jars for bulk items like rice & dry beans, using cloth grocery bags, etc. etc.

    Fun contest!

  122. Kasey Deines

    I hang all of my laundry to dry instead of using the dryer. It doesn’t require any energy and it saves money.

    Kasey Deiness inspiring blog post..Hot Off the Press

  123. Emily

    I love to create cards and other paper lovelies and so have an enormous bag of scraps that I am constantly adding to. I’m always looking for new ways to use them in projects. It challenges my creativity and is much more “green” than tossing odd corners, don’t you think?

  124. Lisa

    We stopped treating our lawn. Dandelion yellow is the new green.

    My newest green adventure is getting some chickens this summer. They’ll eat our bugs so we don’t have to use chemicals, fertilize our lawn, and give us organic eggs. Sweeeeeet.

  125. Tammy

    I use the cardboard from our empty cereal boxes to make journal covers, to use in making banners or garland. I just cover the cardboard with pretty scrapbook paper. I also use old sweaters and fabric to create posies or flowers for use in scrapbooking or cards. Just add a brad or some bling and you have a pretty flower.
    I also always use cloth bags for shopping. I try to frequent my local farmers markets for yummy, fresh, local fruits and veggies.
    And I, too, use a compost pile, utilizing the parts of fruits and veggies that we don’t eat, as well as egg shells.
    Thanks for the chance at winning the giveaway. It’s fun to be green! :)

    Tammys inspiring blog post..EASTER GREETINGS

  126. Haley

    I stopped buying rolls of paper towel. We now use cloth rags that get thrown in the wash after wiping up spills. They are super absorbant and can be rinsed out in the sink. The best part? They were free — after hand my dish and hand towels started to age (holes in them) I cut them in quarters re-use them for the paper towel replacements.

    Haleys inspiring blog post..

  127. Tasha

    One I think people overlook is mending clothes. We have so many articles of clothing now when someone gets a hole in a seam we just throw it away. Seam rips are very easy to fix.

  128. Jennifer White

    I buy and repaint and /or reupolster vintage furniture so people can buy “recycled’ instead of buying new. I just read an article in our local paper about shabby chic being a way of recycling.

  129. Tamara

    OK, don’t laugh but this is my little “go green” effort…….when I find a towel on the floor in the bathroom that the kids have only used once I…….I……I fold it back up and put it back in their closet so they use it again :) Works every time!

    Tamaras inspiring blog post..Milking Parlor Makeover

  130. Lisalou

    I do my part by quilting with old jeans/clothes, reusing water to water plants, taking my own ‘green’ bag when shopping, and I love thrift stores, you never know what you will find! Thanks!

    Lisalous inspiring blog post..Quick & Easy Flower Pin

  131. Lindsey

    A few small changes we have made are:
    –no more plastic water bottles. we drink from our filtered fridge water now!
    –next to our kitchen trash can we have a seperate bin for anything we can recycle. we try to go beyond the “regular” recyclables and do all packaging, etc. this makes it easy to recycle since we don’t have to run outside each time we have something recyclable to put it in the bin our city picks up.
    –we have planted a few fruits trees and veggie plants in our yard.
    –we bought and use only organic/earth friendly cleaning supplies.
    –we have a programmable thermostat that we use to make sure we aren’t wasting energy when we aren’t home (at work) etc.

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  132. Bonnie

    Except for the rain barrels (which I’m hoping to do this summer), we’ve implemented all of the “green” ideas in your post. In addition to that, we turned off our heaters this last winter and heated our house solely with our woodstove. Burning pressed logs in a certified woodstove leaves no carbon imprint (a discovery my husband made – he manages a fireplace store). The savings we saw on our electric bill were astronomical and by purchasing the right-sized stove for the square footage of our house, we were able to stay cozy and warm even through this more-than-normal-snow/cold winter.

    Bonnies inspiring blog post..Canvas Print Giveaway

  133. Amber

    I am finding replacements for as many things as possible that come in plastic bottles. Plastic is toxic no matter how you look at it. I just found a shampoo on Etsy that comes in a solid form like a bar of soap. I am also not purchasing from companies that torture and cage animals to test their products. And 24 packs of bottled water? Never. Tap or refill from purified stations. We should all demand that our cities clean up the water that we already pay for instead of expect us to pay for bottled. Life is precious, all of it, human, animal, tree.

    Ambers inspiring blog post..Russian Cream

  134. Amber

    Let me add…My heater/AC died so I use very little energy, just my own trying to stay warm or cool. Ha ha.

    Ambers inspiring blog post..Russian Cream

  135. Jaimee

    We try and not use paper towels and we’ve converted to recyling everything we can.

  136. Kristin

    We do many of the things listed above: close off rooms (well, room – it’s a tiny house) we don’t use, use cloth bags at the grocery, grow our own veggies and herbs in the garden, have a compost pile, reuse and recycle, use the energy-efficient light bulbs, shop second-hand stores for decorator fabrics disguised as unwanted clothing, dry our laundry on the line……wow, we do more than I thought!

    I LOVE the idea of putting a bucket in the shower to catch water for the plants. I plan to start that today!

  137. songbirdtiff

    We have already done so many of the things you mention, but one addition thing I do is wash out my baggies. We use reusable containers whenever possible, and repurpose glass food jars.

    songbirdtiffs inspiring blog post..All I Want (Toad The Wet Sprocket)

  138. Earth Day Contest

    I think I have a lot of the things you’ve mentioned checked off of my list, but these are some excellent ideas. The not buying new furniture one is a biggie- especially since they take up so much room in landfills.

  139. Jenny

    Here are a new things we do: A month ago we bought a new energy saving front-loader washer and gas dryer. So far, our gas bill was half the cost of the previous month. Almost all of our light bulbs are compact fluorescent. Most of our furniture is second hand–given and purchased from family, thrift stores, flea markets, furniture rental clearance, Craigslist–and it’s pretty nice. I really want a new couch, but my couch and love seat are holding up all right under slipcovers. (Good with a 2 and 4 year old, too.)

  140. Lori

    We and our neighbors have started dividing our plants and sharing among ourselves. We all get new plants and haven’t spent a cent!

  141. Michelle Cearley

    The way that I have been “living green” for the past seven years (since I had my first child) is to try to get at least 50% of all my family’s clothing and 50% of any decor or furniture for the house USED. Before I buy anything new, even if it’s on sale, I look long and hard for a suitable used item. Craigslist, newspaper classified ads, garage sales, Ebay, and local thrift stores have been wonderful places to find items. I set a 50% goal for myself since I’m still working on being more green, and I thought that was an attainable percentage. Recently, we moved into a new house, and I have purchase two leather bar stools, a 27 inch TV, a 7 foot silk tree, and a full size mattress set all gently used off Craigslist. I helped to recycle, and I also saved over $1000 off the retail prices of those items combined! It’s a win-win situation. I’m having a garage sale this weekend to sell my used stuff in order to raise money to do some landscaping in our yard, and I’ve begun selling my own items as “fundraisers” whenever I desire to buy something new or an item you can’t get used very easily. I enjoy the challenge and feel like it makes me appreciate the value of a dollar much more.

    Michelle Cearleys inspiring blog post..Happy Easter!

  142. Heather

    I went around and counted all the lightbulbs in our house. We had 55 just on the second floor! (Those dumb Hollywood lights use so many bulbs!) We replaced all but about 10 of those 55 bulbs with compact fluorescents. That was pricey to do so many at once, so we’re replacing the main floor bulbs gradually as they burn out. We’ve also switched to washing as many laundry loads as possible in cold water and I’ve switched to cloth bags for grocery shopping. Also I try to avoid buying food that’s over-packaged — each piece individually wrapped, etc. Instead I buy the big chunk of cheese and cut it into pieces for snacking.

  143. grace

    We have a rain barrel and changed all our lightbulbs to flourescent!

  144. Carol

    What a great giveaway!
    Okay, so I’ve just started trying to recycle and do more things. I have a long ways to go, but at least I’ve started! I wash out my ziplock bas and reuse them, we just planted a small garden (small… as in very small, but it’s a start!), we have energy saving light bulbs in most of our fixtures, using coupons. After reading some of these comments here I have a long way to go…next stop is getting rid of the plastic water bottles I guess!

    Carols inspiring blog post..Tagged

  145. Rhoda

    Oh fun, who couldn’t use an extra $100! I could really buy a lot of yardsale treasures with that. My first tip, which you’ve already mentioned is buying 2nd hand. That’s my favorite thing to do, shop the yardsales & thriftstores for good sturdy pieces that just need some TLC to bring them back to life. I do try to use my recycled bags too when I go to the grocery store, although I usually forget them.

    Rhoda @ Southern Hospitalitys inspiring blog post..Painting Laminate Cabinets

  146. Stephanie B

    My favorite green tip would be to replace paper towels with reuseable micro fiber clothes. They are the BEST. I have saved so many rolls of papertowels. Reduce trash and save money!

    Stephanie Bs inspiring blog post..Ikea

  147. Eunice

    One thing I recently did was change my cell phone for a Blackberry phone. Instead of a laptop to read emails, it’s on the phone. Instead of an MP3 player, it’s on the phone. Instead of a photo album, it’s on the phone. Instead of a GPS, it’s on the phone. That’s 3 pieces of electronics that don’t eventually need to be disposed of, and a lot of photo paper not used. And, when I upgrade, I delete everything, and donate the phone to a battered women’s shelter.

  148. Eunice

    Oh, another thing that some friends and I have started doing is collecting all those pesky plastic grocery bags, cutting them up and winding them as ‘yarn’ and crocheting or knitting re-usable shopping totes out of them. One bag uses 65 of the plastic bags, and that saves them from the landfill. We are even planning to give them as Christmas gifts this year!

  149. Dawn Cartwright

    My husband is now unemployed and things we have been used to doing as “green”, now have a real purpose in helping save “green” for our finances! Just a few things we do:
    -when emptying the dog’s stale water, I water my plants
    -“If it’s yellow, let it mellow!” (cutting down on flushing the toilets- we saved $20 last month!!)
    -timing showers to no more than 5-7 minutes
    -making do with whatever is in the house- it is amazing what is in the depths of your cupboards if you dig deep enough. Also, if you let your friends know, they are more than willing to part with half used tubes of toothpaste that they didn’t like!
    -recycle almost everything! We have cut down to only one trash can for the garbage man every other week (which saves $2 a can as we pay for our trash to be hauled away).

    What a great way to share ideas- thanks!

    Dawn Cartwrights inspiring blog post..Procrastination

  150. Jennie

    Just like the hotels have done, we use our towels for a week at a time before washing (unless they are unusually dirty, of course!)

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    Jennies inspiring blog post..Fort Night

  151. Mrs. C

    We recently built a compost bin out of old wooden pallets and planted a garden. We are looking forward to enjoying the fruits of our labor. :)

  152. Eunice

    As to last post, we collect the bags from others who don’t use re-usable bags, and are looking for a way to ‘get rid’ of large stashes of them. I also compost, use energy efficient light bulbs, re-use the water from my de-humidifier to water plants, and we replaced the flapper in the toilet with one that uses less water to flush.

    Now, for one more thing I do. I collect/find misc. parts from mechanic friends or on the street, and make art with it. Others then can enjoy the art or jewelry I’ve made, and there are less ‘bits and pieces’ in the landfill.

  153. amybee

    Less in, less out. Trying to buy less. Also trying to use less disposable kitchen products. Cloth instead of paper towels. Reusable sandwich bags, water bottles, etc.

  154. Heidi

    I’ve just begun getting serious about this ‘green’ thing it’s getting higher on my priority list, so it just so happens I’ve had a lot of new ideas brewing. Heres my recent favorite:

    Just started shopping using big storage totes rather than use a ton bags (re-usable or plastic) for big grocery shopping trips – I take 2 totes with me that just so happen to fit perfectly inside and under my shopping cart. It was a EUREKA moment for me that I’ve really enjoyed so far. AND it also makes transporting my goods from cart to van, then when we arrive back home from van to house MUCH faster. I do take a FEW re-usable shopping bags as well for more delicate items.

  155. Heather

    We fully believe that God completed His creation in Genesis and that He alone is sustaining it – matter cannot be created or destroyed – a principle that He put into place that current scientists seem to be forgetting, though they coined ‘The Law of Conservation of Mass and Energy’ from the ideas of Epicurus about 300 BC. We don’t ‘worry’ about the environment because of the current media hype about ozone layers, global warming and carbon footprints.
    We do enjoy caring for this Creation in practical ways – if that’s being ‘green’ we’ve been ‘green’ for a long long time, hanging up the laundry, using natural products, avoiding chemicals, collecting ‘gray’ water, bringing cloth bags to the grocery, buying in bulk, composting, recycling, storing food in glass, growing a garden and supporting local farmers by buying close to home foods. We just call these little things we do stewardship – but whatever you call it, it’s a lifestyle choice and not a passing trend.
    Lately, I’ve been encouraged to think more about re-fashioning clothing and making something beautiful from discarded clothing – that’s been fun, but it isn’t new! My grandma made a snowsuit from and old threadbare overcoat for my uncle back in the 40’s – no pattern required! Everything old is new again!

    Heathers inspiring blog post..The Simple Woman’s Daybook

  156. Amy

    When we bought our house we did a major kitchen remodel. We did, however, repaint our cabinetry and re-used some that we removed in our laundry room. It not only recycled perfectly good cabinets, but it saved us a ton of money as well!

    I also plan my outings so that I am getting everything done in one round trip. I have consolidated my grocery shopping so that I only need to go to the grocery store once every two weeks.

    Amys inspiring blog post..Goat Cheese and Roasted Red Pepper Stuffed Flank Steak

  157. Carolyn

    While spring cleaning our closets, I discovered some rather threadbare sheets pushed to the back that we never used. I used them to make my own reusable shopping bags (there are a lot of free patterns online.

    We also save the glass jars and reach for them to store leftovers instead of ziplock bags.

  158. Kimm at Reinvented

    We have made a few changes and I’ve been feeling the “nudge” to do more. I use and LOVE reusable shopping bags. We tried using cloth napkins, but they didn’t go over too well with the rest of my family, I’ll be trying this again. I use vinegar and hot water to mop my tile floors and it works great without leaving any residue. I clean my bathtubs with baking soda.
    We are currently researching composting, and planning our vegetable garden.

    Kimm at Reinventeds inspiring blog post..The Ten Best Garage Sale and Thrift Store Finds

  159. Kirsty

    I use white cotton washcloths rather then the disposable ones I used before. I have a big pile so that I can have a fresh one every day :) (After I wash my face with them I also use them to wipe down the counter tops.

    We also recycle as much as we can and do a lot of garage sale/Craigslist furniture shopping. I just “redid” our kitchen with some paint, new window treatments and decluttering.

    I love Sunchips and I think that is a wonderful and admirable goal they have!

    Kirstys inspiring blog post..Everything old is new again!..

  160. Kimba

    I loved reading all the great ideas in the comments!

    Most of my “green” ideas are also things that help us cope with a tightening budget.

    The vast majority of my decorating is done with thrift store/flea market finds that I make over into something that I love.

    I also plan to grow most of my own fruits and veggies this summer and can/freeze them for the winter.


    Kimba @ A Soft Place to Lands inspiring blog post..Furniture Rehab: 5 Tips for Finding Pieces to Makeover

  161. Elizabeth

    Love all the great tips so far. I would like to add changing to low flow shower heads, many models can be found for under $30 (I paid $16) and they have adjustable sprays that save tons of money. I also like to toss my tea bags, coffee grounds or coffee ‘packs’ in the garden. The hydrangea’s love them! Kudos to SunChips for going more green. If we all do something the results will really add up.

    Elizabeths inspiring blog post..Happy Easter

  162. Jennifer C.

    I’ve started using cloth diapers, washing out ziploc baggies and using reusable shopping bags. We try to buy organic as much as we can afford. I also want to start bringing my own reuseable coffee cup to the coffee house instead of using a throwaway one!

  163. Joanne

    We recently started using bio-bags for our garbage, the are made of cornstarch and will completely decompose withing a matter of a few months. We also compost all of our kitchen scraps. We are huge fans of Freecycle and 2good2toss.
    Yay to Sunchips for their efforts to move forward with this very important issue.

    Joannes inspiring blog post..Sunday Serenity…

  164. Debbie

    Our family has been making “Greener” changes over the past year. We recycle our paper/plastic locally, and reuse containers at home whenever we can. We’re beginning composting & using newspaper in garden for weed control. We’ve got a vegetable/herb garden and I will be freezing/canning what produce we don’t eat, as well as using natural fertilizers and weed control. We use eco-friendly products in our home and have eliminated chemicals & toxins. We’re buying locally as often as possible and we shop with our reusable shopping bags.

  165. Chrissy

    We live in Germany so we get to see what REAL recycling is all about! We separate our plastics, metal and composite items. (Metal is aluminum foil, etc. Composite covers the egg cartons, milk cartons, wax paper, etc.) We also have our “bio”, which is for composting. All of that gets picked up every other week. Paper is put into another large trash can – that gets picked up once a month! We drive our glass to an area where we divide it into clear, green and brown glass. Ceramics go in another bin. That leaves very little to be thrown into the trash (which is a SMALL trashcan – it also gets picked up once every other week). The system takes awhile to get used to but it will be hard to go back to just throwing things away!!! Living here has changed my thinking about “trash” and makes me want to recycle, recycle, recycle!!

    As for our family, we use large re-usable water bottles rather than plastic bottles. Our lights are off almost all day – literally. The sun comes off and I’m turning out all our lights! Only on really dark days are they on.

  166. Tina

    We dry our clothes on the line, garden, compost, cook from scratch (which means we don’t throw away tons of convenience food packaging) and buy grains and beans in bulk. Again it reduces food packaging trash.

  167. Rachel

    To be “green” I have done the following: I switched to energy saving light bulbs, I use reusable grocery bags, I wash clothes in cold water, and we use a programmable thermostat!

  168. Laura

    I love the recycling power of Craigslist…another person’s junk truly is another’s treasure. Also, my kids love to make crafts, and I love using paper/junk mail/old envelopes I might otherwise recycle for them to use for their crafts. We compost and love growing our own vegetables in our garden. It’s a great activity for the family and saves so much money!

  169. Elaine

    To help conserve electricity/energy, I’ve been unplugging things that we don’t use often like the iron…it’s also a safety feature as well because we used to sometimes leave the appliance on and not realize for DAYS that the iron was burning energy. We also turn our thermostat down at night. I use my own grocery bags, and if I must use plastic utensils I wash and re use them again!

  170. Myrnie

    We buy as little processed, packaged foods as possible, make most gifts, use Freecycle, keep the thermostat low, and use natural cleaners for our home and laundry. I keep a garden in the backyard, and don’t use fertilizers.

    I’m excited to see what everyone else says!

    Myrnies inspiring blog post..A Flock of Butterflies

  171. Jackie

    There are lots of things that I do simply because they have always been part of my lifestyle. Growing up in the country with a septic system made me be conservative with our water…washing dishes by hand and doing them in a logical order to use less water. Also, when running water to get it warm, I put something like a pitcher under the faucet to catch the water until it is the right temp. I then use this water for plants or various other tasks like rinsing the sink when I am through with dishes.

  172. tricia

    I try to limit my trips out in the car. I save all my errands for one day, and plan a route that will be the most efficient.
    We have all so gotten rid of cable tv. That doesn’t sound green until you take into count that without cable there is very little to watch and the tv stays turned off and we go to bed earlier…less electricity used!

    tricias inspiring blog post..Crafting with Kids

  173. Carla

    We have done alot of the things already mentioned, recycle, buy used, garden, compost, cloth diaper, buy recycled paper products, limit driving, use canvas grocery bags as well as refillable water bottles. No more plastic grocery sacks or disposable water bottles.

    One thing I’ve done to encourage others to be more green – I bought coffee mugs (from the thrift store, of course) and took them to work with the hope that some of my coworkers will ditch the styrofoam and drink their morning coffee from a reusable mug.

    Carlas inspiring blog post..Going purple

  174. Kirstin

    We try to cut back on sending garbage to the dump. I have a compost bucket and pile for anything compostable. We also have a container for things that can be burned in our burn pile. I buy organic when I can.

  175. Crystal

    Where possible changed light bulbs to CFL’s
    Use a refillable water bottle
    Recycle good clothing to friends or donate

  176. Crystal

    We also grow our own garden and can the excess produce. It is wonderful in the winter to open up jars that remind you of summer. We use the scraps from the garden to feed the chickens in summer.
    Also, combine as many errands as possible into one trip.

  177. Jennifer

    I save my jars and use them instead of zip lock bags and foil. It only takes a minute to wash them out and put them in the dishwasher. Saves me money also.

    God bless,
    A Southern Sanctuary

  178. Amy

    We are big on recycling trash and re-using what we can. I rarely buy bottled water, but when I do, I always re-use the bottles. I’m going to stop using plastic baggies for school lunches too. I’m on the hunt for a cute Bento box!

    Amy @ Living Locurtos inspiring blog post..I Heart Faces – Week 14

  179. Susie

    I “shop at home”. When I feel like shopping, I look through the many decorative items I have stashed in boxes and put them on display (switching them out and moving things around several times a year). Makes me feel like I’ve gotten new things, but without “consuming” more. Very important for the environment and for my checkbook!!

  180. tammy

    we like others are growing a garden, we only make trips for groceries 1X week, and we are working on filling our yard with water wise plants, here in UT we often have draught conditions so using plants that don’t require much water is essential

  181. sher

    In our household we stopped using paper towels and napkins. Cloth napkins are sooooo much nicer !!
    We stopped the daily newspaper and read online. Also changes bill paying to online.
    We buy our cleaning products in concentrated form and use bottles over.
    Not a lot but every little bit helps!

  182. NCJill

    Wash clothes in cold water! What a huge savings at my house.

  183. Nancy

    I bought envelope making templates from Paper Source and instead of throwing away my kids artwork from school I make envelopes with the artwork and then use the envelopes for mailing. The kids are much happier about this too because they do not like for me to throw any of their “stuff” away.

  184. Hattie

    Living alone and with the economy being the way it is, I am trying to be less wasteful of food…..meaning I use up what is in the fridge instead of waiting til it has to be thrown out. I am mindful of what canned goods and staples are in the pantry and use them before expiration date. I cut down on trips to local grocery store and to Wal-Mart by keeping a list on the fridge and just limiting my trip to when I really MUST go. Saves gasoline and keeps me from being tempted so often by items that are not actually needed.

    My fingers are crossed, hoping to be lucky with the give-away!

  185. Kristie

    A lot of the tips you’ve mentioned are things that I already do, but other things include: always have *green bags* when grocery shopping, but if you do get a plastic bag re-use it as a trash bin liner to save buying extra plastic bags for this purpose; use green light bulbs…these bulbs can save about 75% of the energy used by regular bulbs, and turn off lights in rooms that no-one is using…I know it looks nice to have your house all lit up at night…but it is wasting lots of energy; recycle all of your paper and plastic. Here in Australia we have recycling bins that take any recyclable material…but paper can also be used for compost for your garden as well as all of your food scraps; turn off appliances like TVs and DVD players at the off switch, rather than leaving them on stand-by…this can save tons more energy than you realize and reduce your electic bill every year by a substatial amount, especially if you have more than one TV; use paper wrap for lunches and pop them in a cute lunch box (made of re-cycled plastic!) and teach your kids to bring the wrap home in their lunch box to be re-cycled rather than tossing it in the bin; buy a water filter and use a drink bottle to fill with water, rather than just buying a bottle of water when you’re out…saves money in the long term as well as the environment. There’s probably other ones that I can’t think of right now…but if everyone did just these few things we would save on money & natural resources as well as reducing the amount of landfill needed every year. I’m strongly committed to living as green as possible…not because it’s *cool*, but because if we don’t all contribute in our own way then the consequences down the road will be much worse than we can anticipate.
    Thanks for doing this…not for the cash, but as a means for us to learn great tips from each other. Just reading through the comments here today gave me some ideas about things that I can use for my *greenie lifestyle*.

    Kristies inspiring blog post..The best things…..

  186. Kim

    Well, we’ve moved to a house less than half the size of our old one. We also have a water saving washer that spins to clothes so good we hardly need the dryer. Love that!


    Kim @ Forever Wherevers inspiring blog post..Happy Easter!

  187. Kristie

    A lot of the tips you’ve mentioned are things that I already do, but other things include: always have *green bags* when grocery shopping, but if you do get a plastic bag re-use it as a trash bin liner to save buying extra plastic bags for this purpose; use green light bulbs…these bulbs can save about 75% of the energy used by regular bulbs, and turn off lights in rooms that no-one is using…I know it looks nice to have your house all lit up at night…but it is wasting lots of energy; recycle all of your paper and plastic. Here in Australia we have recycling bins that take any recyclable material…but paper can also be used for compost for your garden as well as all of your food scraps; turn off appliances like TVs and DVD players at the off switch, rather than leaving them on stand-by…this can save tons more energy than you realize and reduce your electic bill every year by a substatial amount, especially if you have more than one TV; use paper wrap for lunches and pop them in a cute lunch box (made of re-cycled plastic!) and teach your kids to bring the wrap home in their lunch box to be re-cycled rather than tossing it in the bin; buy a water filter and use a drink bottle to fill with water, rather than just buying a bottle of water when you’re out…saves money in the long term as well as the environment. There’s probably other ones that I can’t think of right now…but if everyone did just these few things we would save on money & natural resources as well as reducing the amount of landfill needed every year. I’m strongly committed to living as green as possible…not because it’s *cool*, but because if we don’t all contribute in our own way then the consequences down the road will be much worse than we can anticipate.
    Thanks for doing this…not for the cash, but as a means for us to learn great tips from each other. Just reading through the comments here today gave me some ideas about things that I can use for my *greenie lifestyle*.

  188. Michelle

    We’re not experts here either but we do what we can to help and be “green.” Our clothes are all washed in cold water. I cloth diapered which saved a lot of diapers from going in the landfill. They were the only thing I washed on hot.

    We use the energy saving light bulbs, recycle everything we can and use cloth napkins and cloth paper towels as much as possible.

    Our thermostat is always scheduled so we don’t waste energy heating the house when we don’t need to.

    Michelles inspiring blog post..Gray Days

  189. Carolyn

    I am always on the hunt for scrap paper — a trip the University library recycling bins near the printers and photocopiers in late afternoon is a must whenever I’m about to print a novel draft!

    I buy toner for my laser printer on e-bay for about $3 a bottle instead of replacing the toner cartridge ($80) each time it is empty. If you’re gentle with it and careful not to nick the printing surface while you wrestle off the refill cap (which they don’t want to be an easy task, for obvious reasons!), you can get 3 or even 4 uses out of one cartridge.

    I’ m always on the lookout for plastic containers that I can start seeds in (or use as cloches for those late frosts) before I recycle them. Plastic egg cartons from organic eggs can germinate even really tricky seeds like rosemary.

    We rarely buy styrofoam egg cartons (because our town no longer recycles them), but if we wind up with any, the egg-sellers at the local farmer’s market take them off our hands and re-use them for their eggs!

    Think thrift store first – even for gifts at holiday time, professional attire, bedding, you name it.

    I’ve found far nicer furniture on the street on trash day in Boston than I could ever to afford to buy at this stage in my life. (Real wood! Sand and stain to a color of my choosing!)

    Oh, and finally, think about finishing Down instead of renovating Up — I grew up with an attic bedroom that was wildly HOT in the summer time – hard even for a window AC to keep up. Now I have a house with a huge basement finished in cool tile by the last homeowner, and I never regret not having central air. Movie night, anyone?

    Finally, think of the size of your house as an ethical issue. No matter how “efficient” you make a mega-mansion, it’s still wildly inefficient just by being too big. (This fellow – – is an inspiration in that regard.)

    Carolyns inspiring blog post..Our first monocot.

  190. Betty Jo

    One thing I do on a regular basis is unplug electrical things when not in use, like my TV, coffee maker, lamps, printer, etc. I use my dish washer for storage in my small kitchen, and wash my dishes by hand. I dry my clothes partially, then hang on wooden dryer racks to finish drying. I don’t leave lights on in any room, or outside lights, when I’m not actually using them. I change my thermostat by only two degrees at a time. When it gets to that temp, then I change it another two degrees, if needed. I’ve cut my electric bill drastically by doing these things. I bought a $10 toaster oven on Craig’s List and use it rather than my large oven. My neighbor’s monthly bill, for the same sized apartment is over $300. Mine is less than $40. Little things definitely add up. ♥

    Betty Jos inspiring blog post..moving again

  191. Tara


    Maybe it’s the years of being a teacher but i have always been frugal and thought twice about reusing things–glad the world has caught up!

    Taras inspiring blog post..Chicken and Leek Pot Pie

  192. Gail

    I love to “re-purpose” just about anything. I found old prom dresses with gorgeous beading, fabrics, etc that I turn into pillow covers, trims for tie-backs, fringes and jeweled buttons – off garage sale gowns. Lots of fun!!

  193. Sara

    I use paper towels as little as possible. I switched to using cloths to clean not just the counters, but windows and mirrors as well. I also use cloth diapers when we’re staying home. :)

    Saras inspiring blog post..A Rainy Easter

  194. Abby

    The small things such as having your kids use reusable water bottles are really helpful!

    I am moving my family in the direction of being GREEN. I have noticed we try as hard as we can now to think about recycling every item instead of throwing into the garbage.

  195. susie q

    I’m a total Craigslist addict! I’ve found gorgeous furniture there for very little money. And it’s great fun to perform furniture makeovers. We also recycle every little thing. Almost anything can be turned into a fun art project for the kids.

    { Thanks for the great post! Love all the ideas! }

    susie qs inspiring blog post..Too Much of A Good Thing?

  196. ALVN of WhisperWood Cottage

    As a hardcore junker, I love repurposing items that others would consider junk! As an educator, I’ve started incorporating more online education to eliminate paper use and waste. I even have a course I teach using blogs! As a shopper, I purchased several reusable shopping bags…though I tend to forget them. I’m still working on that one! I also speak up and suggest greener alternatives to my family and friends. It’s surprising what a kind suggestion can do to spur conversation and conservation!

    ALVN of WhisperWood Cottages inspiring blog post..Sue Goes Big Time on The Today Show!

  197. Dixie

    We use cloth napkins all the time (I even send them in school lunches) and I use dish towels rather than paper towels. I also send real silverware in school lunches (no platstic) and I try to avoid plastic bags and send all reusable containers. I also use my “green shopping bags”. We’ve switched out many of our lightbulbs to the new energy saving bulbs – they have taken some getting used to, but were adjusting. I use only many of the more green cleaning products such as Method and Green Works and I prefer them to what I was using previously.

  198. Carol from Alabama

    We actually have been doing ‘green’ for al our lives – it has been a natural way for us to save money and to be good stewards of the earth I think. I’ve always done green cleaning products because of my breathing problems and we has always been frugal with our thermostat. I have started going to yard sales more recently to find furniture and items I can reuse in the house. I do take my lunch to work almost every day in order to use up leftovers instead of throwing them out.

  199. Carolyn

    Seven years ago I started making by hand all my greeting cards and many of my gifts. I try to make all the cards from scraps I have on hand. I also cancelled magazine subscriptions and started doing more reading on-line. Six years ago I switched to eco-friendly products for household cleaners, laundry, and the dishes. Five years ago I became serious about recycling and was so excited when this year our community gave us new containers – twice the size as the previous ones! Four years ago I started getting smart about simplifying my life and doing errands back t0 back on only one or two days a week instead of being “out and about” Driving every day. Three years ago I got more energy efficient appliances and vowed to cook dinner six nights a week from scratch and have been pretty consistent. Two years ago I switched out all the light bulbs as they burned out with energy-saving ones and. Last year I began taking reusable bags when grocery shopping and finally got my husband to recycle too – that was big! I also had our church’s girl’s camp crafts projects made from recycled products leftover from the year before and I started canning fruit I got from the local farmer’s market for the first time. That was big for me! This year I’m planting a vegetable garden for the first time. Loving all the ideas here for new things to try in the future!

  200. Michelle McClure

    I love all these ideas. We had our washer and dryer outside at a previous home {lack of space} and had a 50 gallon water barrel hooked up to the washer for it to drain into. We would then use this water for our outside landscaping. It saved a ton of money and helped cut down on waste in our septic tank, it would help with sewer systems too! VERY GREEN!

  201. Christy

    We use old applesauce jars to keep cold water in the fridge, grab one for the road and the lid keeps it safe. Can do this with coffee also.

    Turn the thermostat down at night and only turn it back up when the kids are due home from school – I don’t mind the extra cold.
    Buy big packages and repackage into smaller sizes for lunch and snacks.
    Compost, garden. Eat all leftovers. Reused my parents kitchen cabinets when they remodeled to make built ins for my family room.
    Just to name a few.

  202. Susan

    As resident of the lovely (and often looney) state of CO, we can have the rain chains, but we are not allowed, by LAW no less, to have rain barrels. Rain barrels keep the rainwater from going down into the groundwater. ALL the groundwater belongs to the state. Now, as far as I know, there are no ‘water police’ (yet) so they are not peeking over your back fence but honestly, I wonder where it ends. We are going to have a rain barrel in our backyard so we can use it to water our garden….even though it is illegal (mmmwwwaaahhhaaaa). I figure if I can talk Cabinet Man into putting up a small clothes line for me (I love sundried sheets), then I can have a small rain barrel of my own (water laws here in the western states are very strict…just really glad that I don’t live in CA where I assume they DO have the water police.)

    And green? We’ve been doing the green thing for years, to the point where I am not sure where ‘cheap’ ends and ‘green’ begins. ;D

  203. Mary

    For a great everyday green tip (for those with babies) we use gdiapers ( for our little guy and compost the wet diapers. They decompose in 50-150 days as opposed to the 500 years that regular diapers take. We also use the reusable bags, got an extra recycle bin, buy furniture exclusively from local resale and antique shops and paint or recover to suit our needs, use all green cleaning products, and we limit the amount of conventional toys that we bring into our house (opting instead for repurposed household items that entertain just as well).

  204. MJ

    As we live in an apartment building, travel on public transportation, and don’t own a car, our footprint is pretty small, but there’s always more each of us can do.

    Of course, we re-use, recycle, and give away, rather than make more trash. We have eliminated almost all catalogues and subscribe to only one magazine. I do virtually all bills online. And we use green household cleaners and compact florescent bulbs. I try to enforce turning out all unnecessary lights and appliances, too.

    I have not used plastic or paper bags at stores for over 2 years now. I keep a stash of re-usable bags to take along to the grocery store and carry a foldable one in my purse. I began by buying one or two each time I did a big shopping until I had enough.

    About a year ago, I bought stainless steel thermoses and stainless water bottles and now we almost never have to buy bottled water or coffee. We live in New York City, which has the world’s best-tasting tap water, so we keep a large container cold in the fridge.

    I save water from washing/rinsing dishes and use it on the plants. When I am ambitious, I save shower water for the plants.

    I just bought the ingredients for homemade laundry detergent; we’ll see how that goes.

  205. Lindsey

    I recycle and donate gently used items to second hand stores. I own an energy-saving washer and dryer. I DONT’ use the heated dry on my dishwasher–saves power AND money–I just dry the dishes with a towel.

  206. Annie

    Aside from the fact that much of the ‘green’, ‘climate-change’, ‘global-warming’ verbage is political in nature, we should be good stewards of what has been given to us…there’s nothing new about that. Living as our grandmothers did and taught their daughters and ultimately us, is good sense. Such as: make do or do without. If something still works, or can be repaired, we don’t need a new one. Caring for our possessions by keeping them clean and in good working order, saving, conserving and appreciating what we have. Past generations did just fine without most of the things we think we need to make life easier, then toss for newer versions. It’s just c0mmon sense.

  207. Janie Phillips

    We are big gardeners, so we save toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, cardboard egg containers, newspaper, etc. to use for seed-starting. The best part is that it breaks down in the garden, so we use pretty much everything that comes in the house. It is also good for composting, so anything left can be thrown in with the kitchen leftovers. We do this with almost any cardboard or paper that comes in the house, even used napkins and such!
    Also, living in Italy, you learn to do a ton of market shopping. I have cloth bags that I take each week to do my shopping, so that I don’t bring unnecessary plastic bags in. Any plastic bags we do get from the grocery store are used to throw out dirty diapers, rotten food, or anything that needs to go out immediately, but is too small to fill an entire big garbage bag.

    Janie Phillipss inspiring blog post..My husband, the pastry chef!

  208. aspengirl

    We live in a small house, recycle and have an indigenous garden that rarely needs to be watered!

  209. allison schrade

    What an inspiring morning I have had reading these great posts! We have decided to maintain our cars rather than buy new. Unplug the coffee pot and computer when not in use. I love to sell and buy at consignment sales and donate what doesn’t sell. But my favorite way to save energy is to have “black out ” nights. The tv and the lights are turned off, along with the computer and we enjoy the quiet, the candlelight, and either read a good book or play a board game. Or we may have a campfire in the backyard and toast some marshmellows.

  210. SoBella Creations

    When my daughter carries her lunchbox to school she uses containers for her food.

    I buy as many products in bulk to save on packaging that gets thrown in the trash.

    I bought a steam mop that only uses water. And you wash the cloth sponge in the washer. The same for my broom. It has a washable head.

    Making my own cleaners for counter tops etc. If I use a store bought cleaner make sure it is eco friendly.

    We recycle all glass, paper, plastics.

    SoBella Creationss inspiring blog post..Photo Session

  211. Sharon

    My form of recycling is to refrain from buying retail whenever I can. I like to buy “previously loved” things and give them new life. This also has the added benefit of saving us tons of money. We also use compact fluorescent light bulbs and combine trips out where we can.
    Thanks for the wonderful giveaway!
    [email protected]

  212. Ashley Crenshaw

    Around my house, I have been saving glass jars. For example, I took the pickle jar, cleaned it out and painted the lid. I put little plastic bugs that my son had inside. Now, he has a home for his bugs! They aren’t real bugs and the jar is no longer trash! I’ve also been decoupaging the lids with pretty words to make a wish jar or a pretty container for anything around the house!

  213. Eileen

    We live in the city and take the train whenever we can. It’s an easy choice for us.

    Also, I am not a crafter and am not very creative. But whenever I get the shopping bug I go straight to and see what vintage or upcycled goodies I can find instead buying something new.

  214. Joanne

    I have always been very careful with my environment. For years, I have been using my own bags at the grocery store, I recycle all glass, plastic and paper and I shop at yard sales. I try to think of other ways to repurpose items. What I can’t use (clothing, etc.), I give to my local thrift store. My husband has 3 other men in his car pool – the savings on gas and the environment is huge just right there alone! The magazines that I subscribe to go a long way — after I read each one, I pass them on to my mother who in turn passes them onto her friends and right on down the line. Thanks, Joanne ~~ [email protected]

  215. Andrea

    What a great post……I can’t wait to go through and read everyone’s green ideas….for our home….we recycle aluminum, plastic and newsprint (avialable in our area), we use a rain barrel to water our outdoor plants in the warm months, we have cut back on using paper towels by using cloth including cloth napkins, for my children’s lunches we use containers instead of baggies, left over coffee grounds are used for the base of plants (my great grandmother did this also!), I haven’t purchased a new piece of furniture in years…..always go for antique or gently used and I am adding one plant to each room in the house…….

    Andrea @ Big Creek Cottages inspiring blog post..Keep calm…….

  216. lizzykristine

    This is probably a bit more extreme than many families will be interested in, but… :)

    We are in the market to buy a washer & dryer, and have decided to spend that money to buy a low-end front-load washer and no dryer. Front-loaders use significantly less energy, and not using a dryer at all is more energy savings. Instead, the high-speed spin cycle on a FL washer will enable us to put laundry on the line. The winters are mild enough here that I’m pretty sure we can get away with this.

    Prior to marriage one of my jobs included doing laundry once a week for 10-25 people (that is a lot of fabric to wash and dry in one day, in case you’re wondering) and I had to almost exclusively use the clothesline, summer or winter. So I know what I’m getting into. ;)

    I’ve really missed the scent and texture of line-dried clothing.

    lizzykristine @ Uplifted Eyess inspiring blog post..Waiting For Forgiveness

  217. Lizabeth

    My favorite (and simplest) green tip is to recycle the paper your children bring home from school in their backpacks. If there’s nothing on the other side, put it in your printer! I have run pictures, spelling lists, handouts, you name it through our printer with no problems. I am always amazed how much paper this saves. During the summer I actually have to buy paper. It’s also a good excuse to not “keep” everything your child brings home as we sometimes feel obligated to do! “I’m recycling for the Earth, honey. We’ll keep the very best picture you drew!” I think this tip was one of my very first posts at my blog .

  218. Lizabeth

    My favorite (and simplest) green tip is to recycle the paper your children bring home from school in their backpacks. If there’s nothing on the other side, put it in your printer! I have run pictures, spelling lists, handouts, you name it through our printer with no problems. I am always amazed how much paper this saves. During the summer I actually have to buy paper. It’s also a good excuse to not “keep” everything your child brings home as we sometimes feel obligated to do! “I’m recycling for the Earth, honey. We’ll keep the very best picture you drew!” I think this tip was one of my very first posts at my blog .

    Lizabeths inspiring blog post..Easter Egg Hunt in Gretna

  219. Eileen

    We are doing quite a bit – here are a few:
    – use a bucket to collect water while the shower is heating up, then use that water on plants in the yard
    – unplug anything that isn’t being used
    – recycle & compost so very little goes in the “trash”
    – eliminated paper plates
    – using rags/towels instead of paper towels
    – mopping and cleaning with vinegar
    – making our own laundry detergent in a recycled bucket
    Love all of the tips – even if I don’t win!

  220. Maureen

    I love using flea market finds throughout my house and I also am looking forward to going to our local rebuilder. Thanks Melissa.

  221. New Every Morning

    We use CFL (lights).
    I buy refill detergent, hand soap and shampoo so that we aren’t constantly throwing away small bottles.
    We recycle.
    I try to use plastic containers rather that plastic bags in the kids lunches, when possible.
    I give my children’s outgrown clothes away to friends.
    Salvage decorating is green AND cool!

    New Every Mornings inspiring blog post..Just Ducky

  222. Dawn

    I am in charge of recycling @ my office so it is on my mind everyday. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to carry the passion over into my home life because the county doesn’t have a recycling program. It was tearing me apart, truly, to throw away the volumes of paper, glass, cardboard, plastic & aluminum – stuff I knew could be recycled “if only.” Well, the light bulb finally went off! I haul that stuff to my office now! We separate it out accordingly, then once a week, on our trash day, I gather it together in the back of my car & take it to our recycling center @ work. I am amazed at how little actual trash we are generating. It’s hassle and an inconvenience to take this extra step, but it is so worth it!

  223. Chantel Brankshire

    I think that “Living Green” is an area that we can all grow in. I grew up with what my family always called the “depression era mindset”, in an amused and teasing sort of way, but I have found that it is worth the work.

    We as Americans throw away too much, and are too careless with what we have. If we’d stop and think a little, be even the tiniest bit creative, we could easily cut down on waste and even save ourselves a few pennies. And contrary to what it may seem, a few pennies here and a few there DO still add up. I have tasted and seen that one. :)

    A once used zip lock bag or any sort of plastic storage bag shouldn’t be tossed. Wash it out, hang it with a clothes pin to dry, and use it again! Depending, you can get quite a few uses out of even a sandwich baggie. Plastic doesn’t go anywhere, and we need to find ways to cut down on the plastic that we so mindlessly toss every day.
    Get paper or cloth grocery bags. Use your plastic sacks for practical things around the home, and Recycle. It’s worth it!

    Another thing that is personally close to my heart is Buy Local Produce whenever possible. Produce trucked across the nation is higher cost, there’s more exhaust involved, it’s not as nutritious and it’s not supportive to the farmers who we live with. Learn to use what you can get right where you are- and you’ll be better for it and so will your community and the environment.

    Learn to grow your own garden and compost your table scraps!

    There are dozens of other ways- water saving tips, and energy saving tips, but those are a couple to get started with.

    Chantel Brankshires inspiring blog post..Life is Good

  224. missy

    1. As a sewer, I have been taking my old fabrics and sewing them up into re-usable grocery bags. I have also been teaching some of the neighborhood kids to sew and all of our projects have been using fabrics from our fabric scrap bin.
    2. I joined a CSA program locally to support local organic farmers and provide my family with the freshest produce available.
    3. I have been making an extra effort to recycle everything that I possibly can – even the containers that are really gross to clean out that I would really like to just throw away!
    4. I planted a small raised bed vegetable garden in the backyard as a teaching tool for my kids about consumption and where our food really comes from.
    5. I am making an effort to raise my level of consiousness about turning lights off and unplugging items that aren’t in use.
    6. Making the switch to CFL bulbs.
    7. I am reusing and rehabilitating older furniture around the house.
    8. I recently attended and intend to sponsor a “girlfriend swap” potluck dinner. Everyone will bring gently used items they no longer need or want to swap with others at a fun evening. I plan to host a toy swap with all of the Moms I know.
    9. Carpool! What a great way to save gas and sanity! The mornings I don’t drive, I can relax and have an extra cup of tea.
    10. I switched my kids lunchboxes to re-usable bento boxes so that I am no longer using so many plastic sandwich bags and ziploc bags. I also switched to using a reusable aluminum thermos instead of juice boxes.

    My philosophy is that I am trying to go green in little ways that build up into a way of life. It is true that I drive a gas hogging suburban. It is necessary when I have three children in car seats and a dog that I lug around. It is more economical for our family to keep our suburban that is paid for than to purchase a new vehicle. We are careful to conserve fuel by not driving it around on a whim and by keeping it in good maintenance. So, at first glance, I don’t strike anyone as a “tree hugger” or a green type of person. But, I am doing what I can and try to keep increasing the “green” practices that our family does. If everyone tries to tackle green in baby steps, we can see a real difference globally!

    missys inspiring blog post..Pattern Weights Tutorial

  225. Betsy M

    I try to live quite a bit like my grandparents whom I grew up near. They were depression era folks who did not waste anything! The biggest lessons learned were to always plant a garden – even some pots (second hand) of vegis on a patio that can be watered with h20 saved from the tub while it gets warm. Fertilize it with your coffee grounds or leftover coffee in the pot when cold. Almost free food!

  226. Angie

    We are switching to energy efficient lightbulbs, and chemical free cleaners. :)

  227. Ashley Taylor

    I use the water that is wasted when you are waiting for hot water to water my plants.
    We donate the plastic bags from the stores to the co-op near us. They are always in need.
    We use the clothes that are too messed up for Goodwill in our ferret cage as bedding.
    We reuse towels a lot. For cleaning spills, or another shower, or drying the animals after their baths.
    We use the same cup for the whole day to drink out of.
    We have fluorescent lights in the entire house and on the porch lights.
    I use a washrag instead of paper towels to clean.
    I do all my errands in one day to save time, money, and energy (Gas).

    I’m sure we do more but that is all I can think of right now. :)

  228. Jodi

    We started recycling our cardboard when we first bought our house 5 years ago. We’ve slowly increased this to include plastics, tin cans and glass.

    We use refillable water jugs for drinking. We just refill it and toss it in the fridge to always have fresh, cold water.

    We wash our laundry with cold water and air dry most laundry (we’re getting an outdoor clothes line this summer, so ALL will be dried outside once it’s put up!).

    We grow our own veggies. And we’re getting chickens this year (for the eggs and for their magic poop for the garden). I want to start composting but my husband still needs to be talked into it.

    I know there’s more, but I’d probably be here all day. We’re very slowly moving towards a more self-sufficient lifestyle. Baby steps, but we’re headed in the right direction.

    Jodis inspiring blog post..Last cold weather goals update:

  229. Katie

    I think one of the best “green ideas” would be for me to sit down and read through the over 200 comments! I think I’ll be much “greeener” then! This is awesome. One of the things I have found helpful is reusing any plastic bags I have. I have heard of new ideas lately like using them to pick up pet presents in the yard, cover my umbrella, cut apart and use to wrap gifts, collect my trash throughout the house and keep an extra for trash in the car, use as a makeshift rain hat, and the list can go on!
    I will now start at the top of your comments and start getting some more inspiration!

    Katie @ Clean & Classic Interiorss inspiring blog post..A Matte Makeover

  230. jen

    So many “green” tips are just simply frugality at it’s best. One of my favorite green ideas is to cut down on trips to the store. So many of us run to the stuff mart every week, even if we don’t NEED the things on the list right away. But if you can rework the lists in such a way that you only visit the stuff mart twice a month, you’ll spend less on impulse buys, waste less gas, spend less time there, and possibly buy less in general…meaning less waste.

    Another tip: shop at a local farmer’s market. Usually they don’t use a lot of packaging and sell local produce (which didn’t have to be trucked or flown in). All this, and you get better tasting produce too!

    jens inspiring blog post..“Don’t Make Me Get Out My Angry Eyes!”

  231. Bonnie

    I hope I’m not too late to enter. When we bought our house almost 4 years ago, we put in only CFLs throughout the house. I think I’ve replaced only 1 or 2 bulbs since then. This year, to save money, we put plastic on all our windows. And next week, the local utility is coming to do a free energy audit and airsealing. We recycle. Our house is 80 years old so that is the epitome of reuse. Our neighborhood is starting a community garden so we’ll all have fresh, local produce. We use cloth bags for groceries and try to make only one or two trips to the grocery store per week. Plus, for six months of the year, I commute by Vespa motor scooter — only one fill up (of 1.5 gallons of gas) needed every 10 days!

    Bonnies inspiring blog post..Christmas Decorations

  232. Noelle Tomco

    it seems that since we’ve been in school for so long, we’ve been forced to reuse/reduce/recycle. the largest part of this is over half of my daughters clothes are from a second hand store and my youngest son is reusing his brothers clothes. It’s nice that it saves money AND the landfills. We also use those funky lightbulbs and they last forever. We are also lucky that our town provides recycling and usually our recycling can is just as full or more full than our normal garbage can. We’ve been forced due to an old house to put plastic on our sliding door that saved a ton of money and energy this winter.

    Noelle Tomcos inspiring blog post..And we’re off!

  233. Joy

    We are installing new kitchen cabinets because the old ones don’t serve us well and are beat up. We listed them on Craig’s list and some one is buying them for garage storage. Also we listed our dishwasher on Craig’s list and it was gone within hours. Craig’s list has been a great tool for recycling our no longer needed stuff.

    Another green practice is to reuse clothing and textiles when sewing new garments and home decorating items. I started doing this when my kids were small and we were short of money.

    Joys inspiring blog post..Sage Neck Tie Purse

  234. Claudia

    Seems that most of my life I have tried to live an authentic life style which simply by thought is greener than some.

    Using cloth napkins, putthing liquid detergents in the same bottle over and over helps to cut down on plastic disposal. I dont know if I were a young mother again I could go as far as cloth diapers; but just by being THOUGHTFUL, each in our own small way will help our planet.

    Im new to your site and think it is lovely and very exciting!

    Claudias inspiring blog post..Something’s Gotta Give

  235. Ashley

    Great ideas! I try to reuse a lot of stuff in order to be a little more green. For example, I use old fabric scraps instead of buying stuffing and I reuse free tote bags for grocery shopping (and a lot of stores are giving you money back as bag credits). Not only is living green good for the environment but reusing materials is great on your budget. I think that this is helping me to see what I have and be a better steward about taking care of my things and using them to the fullest along with conserving resources on our earth! :) Ashley

    Ashley @ Domestic Fashionistas inspiring blog post..I Couldn’t Resist

  236. Lisa L.

    Like others here, being green can involve a little effort with some big rewards. Kitchen scraps, shredded paper, and coffee grounds become compost to feed the garden plants. Natural remedies for yard maintenance such as vinegar or hot water to kill weeds, tuna cans become slug basins, recycle plastic soda bottles to hold bird seed, wine bottles are fitted for hummingbird feeders. Old clothing reborn as pillows, quilts, seat covers. Outdated toothbrush holders become vases, soy candles for less toxic fumes, newspapers for wrapping and shipping, decorating old lamp shades, add a touch of paint to a old table or dresser. The list is endless and sparks some creative, comforting beauty for the home and heart.

  237. Anusha

    I use a lot of scrap to make new things at home like using waste cardboard boxes that you get at grocery stores to make backing for my paintings, and even used in paintings. Used waste bottles to plant money plants. For my cushion stuffing,instead of buying polyester stuffinf of new cushion fillers,i used my waste clothes that i was planning to discard. I have turned waste cylindrical containers into vibrant cute vases by sticking jute yarn around it that makes it so appealing and eco-friendly.We are also into rainwater harvesting. Smal little things like making our own paper lamps from used gift paper bag and avoiding using the metal lamps makes a huge difference which we have done,and also adds that personal extra classy cute look to any room. Instead of using bulbs,we reuse christmas string lights inside the lamp.For making paintings,I use handmade paper at home by recycling waste papers. I dry the flowers and twigs and turn them into decorative art and potpourri. We also buy a lot of stuff from dollar store and CL.Small little things but they sure make a big difference.

  238. Jill Conchelos

    Thanks to another blogger, I discovered Crunchy Clean which is all natural, Earth friendly Detergent. I love it and it’s good not only for the environment, but your whole house too.

  239. Jenney

    We’re using the reusable shopping totes instead of plastic bags, recycling aluminum cans, turning lights off when we leave the room, unplugging appliances we aren’t using, using flourescent light bulbs and teaching our 4 year old about recycling. =)

    Jenneys inspiring blog post..sugar and spice

  240. Holly

    We too try to use our canvas/cloth tote bags when shopping, and if we do happen to get plastic bags, we take them back to the recyle box at the store. We recycle all we can, and have begun replacing ligthbulbs with more energy efficient ones as well, but because of the economy, we are really trying not to buy unneccesary “stuff.”

    Hollys inspiring blog post..Experimenting. . .

  241. black eyed susans kitchen

    I love that I came to this post late, as I have gotten to read everyone elses brilliant ideas. We have been composting for years now, but it was only last year that we took an area of our lawn and turned it into a vegetable garden. Last summer, we had unending tomatoes, green beans and other veggies. We are very excited to do it again this year and are currently scouring the neighborhood for old discarded fencing that we can cut down and reuse around our veggie garden.
    ♥, Susan

    black eyed susans kitchens inspiring blog post..THE PASSOVER VISITOR

  242. katy

    Wow what neat ideas everyone seems to have. I’m not the best at being “green”, but I try. I do save cans in my garage and my tab tops for the Ronald McDonald House. Neat giveaway!

    katys inspiring blog post..What happens at Gammy and Ba’s….Easter Style

  243. Maureen

    My favorite green tip is to buy flea market finds and use them throughout the house.

  244. Julie

    I always wondered what rain chains were for! As for my tip, I am obsessed with unplugging things that aren’t in use! My husband gets a bit annoyed that his coffee pot is always unplugged, but it has saved us a lot of money each month!

    Julie @ Organizements inspiring blog post..Spring Break…time to recharge

  245. heidi golden

    here’s my list:
    *buy in bulk! (as much as i can – saves on packaging!)
    *clean with no chemicals…stick to the natural stuff (bkng soda, lemons, vinegar, etc.)
    *no more bottled water! use the canteens and skip the scary chemicals in the plastic!
    *borrow dad’s vespa for hubby to ride! 90 miles to the gallon!!! can’t beat it!
    *ALL bills paid online
    *pass on my magazines to friends (or they to me!)
    *start plants from seed in green house purchased on ebay
    *buy used and sell used – craigs list and ebay ROCK!

  246. Julia

    We recycle just about everything. What we don’t recycle, we donate or give away or try to repurpose. I don’t understand how people can fit all of their recycling into that one little red bin each week because we use a full-sized trash can for ours, as well as the red bin, and occasionally an extra bag or two!

    There are some great ideas here. And what a fun giveaway! :-)

  247. Pam D.

    I find ways to keep re-using baggies and grocery store bags etc rather than buying additional trash bags etc. If a ziploc isn’t dirty and can be re-used, I keep them and use them again rather than buying more. I try to conserve water and gas heat by using my dishwasher only once a week (I’m single, so I can wait till it fills up :) and waiting to do oneload of wash rather than several small ones. Not sure if those qualify as “green…”

  248. April D.

    Think outside the box. Repurpose things that you already have around the house instead of buying new. This saves money, gets your mind thinking creatively, and is a great way to be green and resourceful. We have a quite large dining table that we bought used from a yard sale. It is great solid pine, but I disliked the heart shaped cut-outs on the sides for some reason :) so my husband got creative and instead of going out and looking for a new table, he covered the hearts with pieces of stained wood and we’re going to “burn” some words into it, make it our own. I clean out natural peanut butter jars when they are empty and we use them as drinking glasses! Clean out old paint cans and use them for storage. Start thinking outside the box and your perspective changes, your world around you changes! Your friends will start asking YOU for ideas!

  249. Patty

    Green tips – compost and recycle! Since we’ve started doing those things, we only have one bag of trash every other week.

    Super easy and simple (also purchasing bar soap will save on money too! I buy Sappo Hill soap!).

    Pattys inspiring blog post..Hmmm… Decisions, Decisions….

  250. Amy Jo Trager

    I love these ideas! I am committed to searching for used items before buying anything new. I recently started making linen sandwich and snack baggies that can be thrown in the wash when they get dirty. The amount of plastic baggies that we use has decreased DRAMATICALLY. I’ve finally gotten into the habit of bringing my own bags to the store and save bread bags for dirty diapers.

    Amy Jo Tragers inspiring blog girl, please

  251. cris

    i love making something new out of something used! i just went to the thrift store the other day and found old vintage flat sheets that i will sandwich batting between and then add a satin ribbon edge to make a “porch” blanket. you can either do machine quilting on it or knot it. beautiful and so frugal and green! :) love this blog!

  252. StephRG

    I don’t think I have anything new to share but some things we do are recycle paper, glass and plastic, try to find a re-use for most household things, make my own cleaners out of vinegar and baking soda, try not to wash in hot water, cook more, open the shades and turn off all the lights, and install energy efficient bulbs throughout the house!

  253. Cre8Tiva

    i make my own paints out of natural things like clay for true earth colors…living in the southeast helps as there is pleanty of clay soil…

  254. Juanita

    My last name is “Green”
    I’m on the “Green Team” at work
    and my method of perserving the environment is by teaching my precious grandchildren to “be green”. It thrills them to make projects with recycled materials – TP rolls, oatmeal cylinders, etc. We also have wonderful engaging conversations about how important recycling is. We can do our best to be green, but without future generations being educated on the necessity, our efforts will be in vain.

    Oh yeah, BTW, I sure could put the $100 toward a good cause!

    Have a blessed day,
    [email protected]

  255. Lora

    Our family has been making strides toward greener living for over a year now and I’m please with our progress. One thing that I’ve done is to recycle un-needed t-shirts into reusable shopping bags.
    Just sew the bottom up, then cut out the neck and cut off the sleeves to make handles and you’re set! They fold up so small to take with you to the store, plus they wash so easily when they get dirty

    Loras inspiring blog post..Playing Games

  256. Pam Moore

    We are progressively becoming more “green” – not for the sake of being trendy, but rather for our health and the cost effectiveness. So, let’s see…I make all of my own cleaning products and laundry detergent (which are amazingly more effective than store bought), I take my own sacks to the grocery store, buy as many things as possible 2nd hand, repurpose items that have seen their better days (i.e. old towels…), we no longer use paper plates and cups…We are now gardeners and finding organic ways to solve pest issues and I have also started canning.

    I’ll stop there.

    Pam Moores inspiring blog post..A Couple Completed Projects

  257. Michelle G

    We are renting a house right now, so the big green things – replacing the drafty windows and old a/c – aren’t possible for us right now. But I can do little things – I changed out all the light bulbs and replaced them with energy efficient ones, turned the water heater down and only run the dishwasher when it’s full. The little things can add up!

    Michelle Gs inspiring blog post..Our 1st California Adventure

  258. Angie K

    Reuse water bottles
    Repurpose (this is my favorite – I have found all kinds of neat new ways to use stuff I already have!)

  259. Holly

    I air dry my clothes, makes them last longer as well as saves electricity. I use cooking water to water plants. I am saving stained or torn clothing to make some market totes- I will just patchwork them together and use up bits and pieces. I am growing a garden and I compost. I have rechargeable batteries.

    Hollys inspiring blog post..Absense makes y’all just love me more, right?

  260. Katie

    I use apple cider vinegar for just about everything…makes a great cleaner, insecticide, even keeps my allergies at bay!

  261. Jeri

    By the way I started a blog since I entered…I al listed above and just Jeri with my contribution. So you can find me at my blog :)

    Jeris inspiring blog post..Five little questions

  262. Traci

    I haven’t considered myself a “green” person because I use the plastic bags at the grocery and haven’t been good at recycling much. But I now realize that I am VERY green because of your post. I recycle furniture and goods ALL the time. I have a chair in my den that I got at Goodwill that I recovered. I have a used table that I got at a flea market. We are building a guest house and we are reusing our old kitchen cabinets instead of getting new ones. I just bought plates and glasses at Goodwill this week. I also participate in yard sales too, lot’s of good stuff to reuse there! So I am feeling better about myself…and I hope to win the $100.00!

    Tracis inspiring blog post..OH, MY GOSH! OH, MY GOSH!

  263. melanie

    the biggest thing we do is try to do most of our shopping at the local thrift store. it is a triple win for us: we can give them things we are no longer using instead of throwing things away, we find good deals as we reuse others’ things and we can walk there to save on gas, etc.

    melanies inspiring blog believe or not to believe? that is the question…

  264. Shelby

    We stopped using paper towels and started using towels to do our cleaning. We also save our plastic bags to reuse them over and over for shopping trips and lunches etc..We Recycle bottles and newspaper as well.

  265. Sara

    My latest green tip is to use cloth napkins instead of paper. We got lots of them when we got married eleven years ago, but since then, they have largely sat unattended in our buffet. I started using them last year and really enjoy the effects: they save trees and they make the dinner table so elegant.

  266. marissa

    I framed a piece of lined paper, and write my to do list on it with a dry erase pen to save paper.

  267. Denise

    Rain barrels – so great for watering plants!
    Stainless refillable water bottles or BPA free Nalgenes
    Reusable shopping bags (and take them in!)
    Use microfiber cloths instead of disposable cloths for dusting and in place of paper towels

    We actually now have solar collectors to heat our water (and we heat our house with hot water). Very great, but not inexpensive. We saved for a long time to get them.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  268. Clara

    I like using household items to do other houshold jobs…
    I put lemon and orange peels down the garbage disposal for anti-bacterial properties and yummy smell.

    I clean with baking soda, vinegar, and salt. Sprinkle the baking soda your sinks and toilets to give it a shine – it cleans grout without taking away the color. Vinegar solution cleans the floor without leaving behind toxins for children and pets. There are plenty of “recipes” on the Internet.

    I like to save money…
    We have a tankless hot water heater and high effeciency washer and dryer.

    I purchase spices and other dry goods in bulk. I can re-use my old container and then recycle the plastic bags I bought it in. (I bought a year’s supply of bay leaf the other day for a whopping $.04 at Winco – it was $4/lb.)

    And I have fun…
    Finding items I need – at Thrift Stores or on Websites like Freecycle and Craigslist – that have already been used once feels like a successful treasure hunt.

    And shower with your better half sometime. It saves water.

  269. Mrs. Dunbar

    We use reusuable shopping bags in our home. I figured I’ve save at least 100 Target bags from coming into our home and then back out into the world.

    I also love to use vinegar/water to clean my wood floors and mirrors. It works wonders.

    Mrs. Dunbars inspiring blog post..WW- A Picture of my favorite picture

  270. Anne

    I try to turn off as much lights as possible, use blankets when I’m cold, and recycle as much as I can! thanks for the giveaway!I’ve also been inspired by others on new things I can try! thanks!

  271. D'Ann Jackson

    We can all do a few simple things to save money and energy. If we all selected one thing, we could make a huge difference in our world…and in our pocket book!

    Here are a few of my simple tips:
    *Don’t run the water the entire time you’re washing dishes.
    *Plant a garden – even a container garden! And, buy from your local farmer’s markets! You will get incredibly fresh and yummy produce and you will help save fuel that would normally be used to ship grocery store produce from far, far away.
    *take a walk in your neighborhood and pick up cans. You will tidy up your neighborhood and can make some cash!
    *Recycle, Recycle, recycle. Furniture, old dishes, cans, bottles – recycle what you can. Sometimes the ASPCA will take your old newspapers.
    *Use your husbands old t-shirts for dusting clothes!

    I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s posts. Although I’m not perfect when it comes to these things – I try.

  272. Mandy

    Reuse, Reduce, Recycle! Even my 6 year old knows the mantra and what it means, and we try hard to live by it.
    We recycle or compost almost everything – our trash only goes to the curb once a month :)
    Last Summer we bought an old-fashioned push mower – now we save by not using gas for the traditional kind!
    Water consumption is my big focus right now. We recycle water we don’t drink (sometimes a cup of water sits out too long and begins to taste funny) by pouring it into my sons humidifier or using it to water plans. Of course the water is OFF while we brush our teeth or lather our hands…we put as little down the drain as possible.

    The most important thing we do at our house is teach out 2 children all the little things, so that they’ll grow up to be responsible adults :)

    Mandys inspiring blog post..Is it Spring yet?

  273. Nessa Dee

    I put a big bucket outside and started composting about 6 months ago. I was surprised to find that my natural fertilizer has become a small container garden, as I now have potato and squash plants sprouting up from my thrown out cuttings.

    I’m also big on transforming old furniture. A lot of the furniture in my house has been repainted, reupholstered, and refurbished to become a beautiful addition to the home. You can get a lot of bang for the buck just by painting an old piece of furniture.

    Nessa Dees inspiring blog post..IF: Fleeting

  274. Amy B

    We recycle paper, cardboard, glass,aluminum and batteries.
    We love to find treasures at Goodwill instead of buying new.
    Instead of new books – we frequent the library at least once a week.
    We keep our heat/AC on timers so they turn down at night.
    We re-use plastic grocery bags.
    We no longer buy bottled water .

    Thanks for a fun giveaway!

    Amy Bs inspiring blog post..Free On-line Typing

  275. Jenn

    My kids wardrobes are pretty much 100% handed down or bought at garage sales or the local goodwill. Then we send them on to someone else when we are done with them. Being frugal actually lead to being very “green.”

  276. Stephanie O

    We recycle.
    My husband rides to work with his brother so we only have one car cuts down on pollution.
    We shop the thirty stores a lot and buy on ebay too.

  277. Erin H

    I try to do little things to be green and I should do more. I’ve been using CFL’s before they were commonplace. I’ve been using canvas bags at the grocery store for a while. Luckily they have become more popular and I don’t get strange looks when they ask me “paper or plastic” and I say I’ve brought my own. I also try to use things that can be washed rather than have to thrown away like dishtowels, and cloth napkins. This spring I am planting more drought tolerant plants and reducing the amount of grass in my yard to save on water and $$$. I’m also hoping to get a compost pile started before too long!

  278. Candace Rose

    I conserve gas by not taking as many trips into town. If I must go into town I run all my errands in one day instead of doing many. I pay my bills online as well. I am a photographer and sell my unique cards, and ONLY use recycled card paper in doing so.

  279. Melody

    Though I am much farther away from green living than I would like, it is definitely something we are working on! We recycle ALL of our cardboards, plastics, etc and recycle each week about double of what we throw out in the garbage. I have recently started our compost (though I’m still going to read up on the link you posted!) and am starting to make our own laundry detergent. We took a field trip to a landfill about a week ago and it really woke me up on how much we waste and where it all goes!

    I LOVE that SunChips will soon have fully compostable bags- that is HUGE!!

  280. Jackie

    We are getting a tankless water heater!
    twinjackienurse at

  281. Traci Porter

    *I love growing my own veggies, and sharing them with others.
    *breastfeeding (saves both money, and all the cans that come with formula)
    *bread baking rather than buying prepackaged loafs
    *using rechargeable batteries whenever possible
    *although we have a big family, we still want to conserve our gas useage. We have 2 vehicles. One small car that is used whenever possible (husband’s work, dr. appointments, etc.) and one van that we can fit all of us in for family travel.

    Great ideas have been posted here!

    Traci Porters inspiring blog post..I know, I know…

  282. Elizabeth Barrette

    I often blog about green living and how to reduce your impact on the Earth. This year one of my experiements involves growing upside-down tomatoes in gallon milk jugs.

    Elizabeth Barrettes inspiring blog post..My Tomatoes Are Growing

  283. Theo

    It’s remarkable what some do not want, we have found some brilliant stuff at garage sales like, wardrobes, tables etc. after giving them a lick of paint or striping them down they look fantastic.
    .-= Theo @´s last blog ..Solar Panels FAQ =-.



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