Go Green – Save The Environment As Well As Money.

by Frugal Brian

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We all know that living a green lifestyle is good for the environment, but did you know it could save you money, too?  Here are some tips on how to be more environmentally (and wallet) friendly.

 Use Safety Razors: Giving up the plastic disposable razors is a great way to save money and the planet.  The packs of flat razors not only cost less, they take up less valuable space in your medicine cabinet.  They also come without all the bulky plastic that ends up in the landfill. 

 Change Deodorant: Switch from traditional deodorants to a mineral salt stick.  They can be found at any health food store and, like the razors, come without the excess plastic.  They cost less and last for months.  An added bonus: they also take up minimal space.

 Buy a Reusable Coffee Filter: Need I say more?  It is a one-time expense that will last for years if properly cleaned after each use, and you will never have a morning without a filter again!

 Trash Paper Towels: This may not be easy at first but it is well worth it.  The trick to living without paper towels is to develop a system where you always have clean rags on hand.  You can store them in an elastic sleeve or in a bucket under your kitchen sink.  Another option is microfiber cloths.  While they do not last quite as long, they are much more cost-effective than burning through a package of paper towels every week.

 Use Old Athletic Socks: You may claim this is not possible, but the evidence begs to differ.  To make your own disposable dust mittens, cut off the sock just above the ankle.  They work great for bannisters and mantels.  You can also use the ribbed portion of the sock for a great moisture-holding dishrag.

 Think Before You Print: Ink is expensive and using too much paper is wasteful.  If you really need a hard copy of the document, use the economy print mode on your computer, which uses less ink.

 Tie-Dye It: Have some lightly stained, light-colored items around the house?  Give them new life by tie-dying them.  You can pick up an inexpensive kit to do this at any craft or discount store.

 Green Gifting Strategies: Giving gifts are a part of most people’s lives.  Luckily, there are ways to be frugal and environmentally friendly the next time the need to give a gift arises. 

 Activities: This idea has the added bonus of giving the recipient something they may really want to do, but might not currently have the cash for.  There’s little to no packaging involved, and the ideas are endless.  Get you friend a set of theater tickets for a matinee, a pass to state park so they can have a picnic or hike, or even a gift certificate for a massage at a local spa. 

 Seeds:  Gardening is a very soothing activity, and what better way to get your friend started than by giving them a packet of seeds?  If the seeds are for vegetables or fruit, your friend will also end up saving money at the supermarket.

 Something Handmade: Everyone is good at something.  Be it painting, woodworking, or mechanics.  Use your skill to make or fix something for a friend.  The personal touch will be greatly appreciated. 

 A Pen: This may not sound too green but if it is a nicely engraved, refillable pen it will make a great gift.  It also will not end up in the landfill when it runs out of ink!

 Green Consumable Products: Get on the track of fair trade coffee or soy-based products.  These items are affordable; support the environment and small, local vendors.

 Repurpose Your Heritage: Take a look through that old trunk in your attic and see what treasures you can find.  Use old clothing to make a quilt or baby clothes for younger family members.  You could also digitally archive all of the family photos so the entire family can have a copy and enjoy them for years to come.

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