10 Ways to be Greener and Save Money

Wanted to give everyone a refresher of last years post on this day – August 19, 2008.

1. Decorate your home with houseplants. They remove volatile organic compounds(VOC) from the air.

2. Always clean out the lint filter of the dryer. A dirty lint filter causes your dryer to use 30% more energy.

3. Switch from paper towels to sponges. One sponge can last the equivalent of 17 rolls of paper towels. Zap the sponge in the microwave for 2 minutes each week to get rid of germs.

4. Say no to catalogs. Check out the statistics at Bird on a Wire.

5. Save energy and set your wash cycle to cold. You can save up to $63 a year.

6. Try to shave 2 minutes off your shower. Even a 5 minute shower uses 10-25 gallons of water.

7. Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs. They use about 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs.

8. Plug all your appliances into a power strips and turn off the power strip at nights to save energy.

9. Invest in a programmable thermostat. This can save $150 a year on energy costs.

10. Change the air filter in your car once a year. This will help you get better gas mileage, making your travels cheaper in the long run.

Budget Christmas Cooking Recipes

Christmas doesn’t have to be a stressful, overspending time of year. You CAN have a great Christmas with great food and stay on your budget! Just check out these sites and try out some of the delicious recipes and tips they offer!

Recipe4Living.com has a section with 5 cost-cutting tips for a magnificent Christmas. They have many recipes for the budget conscious, along with lots of ways to save on food during the holiday season.

At Taste.com.au they have a budget section with an array of recipes. Who says deliciously different meals have to be expensive? These cost-conscious dishes will wow your family and please your pocket at the same time. They even have some great tips on how to spend less and eat more as well as a budget-friendly menu plan for six.

AllRecipes.com also has a section on Cooking on a Budget. How can you make your food budget go further and eat well at the same time? Allrecipes can help with tips for smarter shopping and recipes for low-cost, family-pleasing meals. They also have 10 meals for under $10, Budget-Friendly Recipes for ground beef, and a Go Green Save Money section with tips on how to green up the planet and your pocketbook too.

Cheap Cooking – Cheap Cooking is a site that was set up to provide information and resources for people needing—or wanting—to cut back on their expenses. Your source for lots of cheap family recipes.

At RecipeZaar.com you can find 134 recipes in budget cooking.

An interesting website I found and enjoy is Hillbilly Housewife. The focus of Hillbilly Housewife is a low-cost, home-cooking from scratch. The recipes are all tested in a real kitchen with hungry children, stalking cats, begging puppies and a playful husband underfoot. The ingredients are affordable and readily available in most areas. She has tips on shortcuts, cooking secrets, How to make your own convenience foods, Budget Beverage Bargains and much more.

Don’t Let Money Slip Out Your Chimney – Try a Chimney Balloon

Its that time of year again, to sit and enjoy the fireplace, but are you letting money slip out of your chimney? Everyone knows to close the fireplace damper once the embers have cooled so cold air doesn’t slide in and your hot air doesn’t slide out. But did you know that dampers can warp and break with age?

A quick and easy fix can be found in something called a fireplace “pillow” or “balloon”. Its a plastic plug that you put in your chimney to seal any would-be air leaks. It blows up with a few puffs and comes with a tube(to inflate the plug) and a handle(to push the plug up the chimney).

When you want to build a fire, pull the plug and remove. The device can be used over and over again. Also if you forget and start a fire with the device still in the chimney, it is designed to safely deflate within seconds and allow the smoke and carbon monoxide to exit your chimney.

The device is very strong, under normal circumstances it will not puncture. It is resistant to the acidy and abrasive environment of your chimney, but it is also flexible enough to efficiently seal the crevices in your flue.

The average price for a chimney balloon or pillow is between $40-$55. For more information, check out these websites.

The Chimney Balloon, or Battic Door – Fireplace Plug DraftStopper.

Green Your Wrapping Paper & Save Money

Wrapping paper is expensive and quit frankly not that exciting. Why buy something you don’t need when, if you take a look around your house, you will find that there are tons of items you could use instead of wrapping paper. And what better way to be environmentally friendly than by reusing what you already have!

For something original and a great way to save money, try some of these ideas:

Recycle – When you receive a gift, save the bag, tissue or wrapping paper (if still in tact) and use another time.

Reuse – If you get the newspaper, use the funnies for a child’s present or even a page of black and white print with an interesting bow for an Over-the-Hill gift.

Reinvent – Child’s art from school can be used to wrap up gifts for grandmas or grandpas. They will love this!

Re-purpose – An old flowery skirt that you don’t wear anymore makes a lovely wrapping for a woman’s gift with a big ribbon bow.

Revamp -Brown paper bags from your last grocery trip can be used to paint or stamp on, making a great gift wrap when tied with newspaper twine or sting.

Revive – Old magazine pages, covered with great fashion ads, can be used to wrap up presents for a teen.

Rehash – Old music books make great gift wrap for the music lover in your life.

Please share your green ideas for wrapping paper.

The Home Depots National CFL Bulb Recycling Program

The Home Depot stores, the world’s largest home improvement retailer, have launched a nationwide program to help people recycle Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFL). “With more than 75 percent of households located within 10 miles of a Home Depot store, this program is the first national solution to providing Americans with a convenient way to recycle CFLs”, according to Ron Jarvis, senior vice president, Environmental Innovation.

Switching from traditional light bulbs to CFLs is an easy change, better for the environment and your pocket book. But, like any fluorescent, their mercury content makes them a toxic hazard in an incinerator or landfill, making this recycling program a great solution.

At every The Home Depot store, customers can bring in any expired, unbroken CFL bulbs, and give them to the store associate behind the returns desk. The bulbs will then be managed responsibly by an environmental management company that will package, transport and recycle and ensure environmental compliance.

In addition to the CFL recycling program, The Home Depot has launched an in store energy conservation program to switch light fixture showrooms in the US stores from incandescent bulbs to CFLs by Fall 2008 and save $16 Million annually in energy costs.

Eco-options, launched in April 2007, is a classification that allows customers to easily identify products that have less of an impact on the environment. Check out all the Eco-options The Home Depot offers.

Save Money While Saving Trees

Did you ever notice that every time you go to print something off the Internet your printer ends up printing 2 or 3 pages for the one page that you need? Its frustrating to have these pages come out with just a few lines or a banner on a whole sheet of paper, not only the paper is getting wasted but what about the ink. Printer ink is not cheap. GreenPrint has come up with a patent-pending software that eliminates unwanted pages, saving paper, ink, money, and millions of trees. In an effort to end wasteful printing worldwide, GreenPrint World is available at no cost to home users around the globe. GreenPrint Enterprise Edition was designed to address the volume and waste of network printing. It was created for organizations with multiple printers and works equally well in organizations of 10-10,000. GreenPrint estimates that a company with 100 employees can save about 141,000 pages a year. The interesting thing about this software is that it tracks pages and money saved, trees saved, and the reduction in CO2 emissions. GreenPrint also provides a simple solution to printing to PDF. This PDF writer is also incorporated into the print preview so any document can easily be saved to file rather than being printed.

The only draw back to GreenPrint software is that there is no version for Macs yet. They do hope to release one by the end of the year.

This is truly green technology at its best, by saving time and money while benefiting the environment.

10 Ways To Be Greener and Save Money

1. Decorate your home with houseplants. They remove volatile organic compounds(VOC) from the air.

2. Always clean out the lint filter of the dryer. A dirty lint filter causes your dryer to use 30% more energy.

3. Switch from paper towels to sponges. One sponge can last the equivalent of 17 rolls of paper towels. Zap the sponge in the microwave for 2 minutes each week to get rid of germs.

4. Say no to catalogs. Check out the statistics at Bird on a Wire.

5. Save energy and set your wash cycle to cold. You can save up to $63 a year.

6. Try to shave 2 minutes off your shower. Even a 5 minute shower uses 10-25 gallons of water.

7. Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs. They use about 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs.

8. Plug all your appliances into a power strips and turn off the power strip at nights to save energy.

9. Invest in a programmable thermostat. This can save $150 a year on energy costs.

10. Change the air filter in your car once a year. This will help you get better gas mileage, making your travels cheaper in the long run.