5 Ways to be Green and Save Money

909780_59550139Sometimes I feel being green is a bit more expensive than being careless and not caring about this environment. Buying organic food, buying green, biodegradable cleaning products, organic beauty products all have high price tags but they are good for the environment and not to mention our bodies, but how do you get around this? Below are some helpful ways you can be green and save money.

  1. Give up paper towels, plastic wrap and ziplock bags: Don’t spend your money on things to wrap your food in or paper towels to clean with. Start using your tupperware or save butter containers to store your food in. For cleaning windows use newspaper and for wiping hands use cloth napkins – not only is it green but it makes your table look nicer. You can also use old rags for cleaning with.
  2. Stop buying bottled water: The water from your faucet is just as good, and bottled water produces garbage because most people (over 80%) throw the bottles away instead of recycle them. Check out the facts on the lighterfootstep.com.
  3. Shop at thrift stores: Whatever items you are comfortable buying at thrift stores/second hand keeps that item from going to the garbage dump.
  4. Cut your grocery bill: Use coupons on items you use only, just cause you have a coupon or its a good deal doesn’t mean you need to buy it. Shop for groceries once every two weeks, shopping more than that and you will end up with stuff that you don’t need which in turn will cause you to waste food.
  5. Conserve water: Think about the water you use, take quicker showers, use a timer if you need help, turn off the water when you are brushing your teeth and use less hot water.

There are many more ways to be green while saving money or not spending so keep your eyes peeled for helpful hints and when you come across ways that you have saved please share them.

Vetrazzo – Recycled Glass Countertop’s

left_col_samples_imgAre you building a new home or remodeling an existing house? Are you concerned about the environment and want to use environmentally friendly products? If so it would be a good idea to check out Vetrazzo‘s recycled glass countertops. A friend of mine has these countertops in her home and they truly are uniquely beautiful.

Vetrazzo was invented in 1996 in Berkeley, California by glass scientist, driven by his passion for the environment. He gets the idea to recapture the inherent beauty of recycled glass by transforming it into a functionally superior building material.

All of the glass used in Vetrazzo is recycled, and it makes up about 85% of the total material. Most of the glass comes from curbside recycling programs. Other glass comes from windows, dinnerware, stemware, windshields, stained glass, laboratory glass, reclaimed glass from building demolition, traffic lights and other unusual sources. Every Vetrazzo surface has its own history. We track that history, and after you purchase and register Vetrazzo, we provide a Certificate of Transformation that tells you where the glass in your Vetrazzo came from.

Another amazing quality that makes Vetrazzo worth checking out is there policy to take back their products (if its a large enough piece and in good enough condition) and they will manufacture it into a new, useful Vetrazzo product. They take recycling to the next level.

Green Your Teeth Brushing

tp_wc_paste_peppermint_pdp

Of course you don’t want green teeth but how about brushing your teeth and being eco-friendly(green) while doing it? When you think about being green, tooth paste is probably the last thing on your mind, its not a big deal, but it is. In this article, Toxic Toothpaste; The Environmental Impact of Toothpaste from Green Living Tips, you will see ingredients that are in most toothpastes and what problems they cause in the environment or in your body.

Toms Natural Care – Organic and SLS-free

Jason Toothpaste – Fluoride-free; certified organic; promotes healthy teeth and gums.

Natures Gate Oral Care – Fluoride-free, and created with botanicals utilized for their cleansing and balancing benefits.

Kiss My Face Toothpaste – Certified organic, contains no artificial colors or unnecessary ingredients.

Learn to make your own – Not only for savings is it good to make your own toothpaste but the knowledge of knowing what is in your toothpaste is a huge advantage.

Eco-Friendly Paint

693779_75065407Are you getting ready to paint your house? Inside or out, its important to use paint that is easy on the environment and on the family living in the house, that breaths in the fumes. Green Living Ideas has an article on the potential hazards of paints and what to look for in paint.  Here are a few companies to look at when you are ready to paint.

Devine Color – Interior Paint that goes on like yogurt. Low odor, low VOC, Eco-friendly, luxury paint and sheens. All of Devine Colors paints meet or exceed the strictest requirements of the South Coast Air Quality Management District. They offer a full range of colors to meet all your painting needs.

The Real Milk Paint Co. – Milk paint is an environmentally friendly paint that is ideal for antique furniture, decks, floors and walls. You can mix milk paint with pigment powders to create just about any color. Real Milk Paint is completely safe, eco-friendly, non-toxic, lead free and not radioactive.

Benjamin Moore Paints, Aura Interior – Environmentally friendly coatings not only meet, but often exceed the strictest industry standards, while also delivering the premium levels of performance you expect from Benjamin Moore.

Olympic Premium Interior Paints – Combining an outstanding quality zero VOC formula that is better for the environment and dries with no lingering odor. Have a green home in any color you want.

Green Laundry Detergent

prod_laundry-concentrate_100oz-wfbc_260x282Seventh Generation – All Natural laundry care, tough on stains, gentle on clothes and the environment. With 4 types to choose from: Delicate care laundry detergent, Baby laundry  detergent, Natural powdered laundry and Natural 2X concentrated laundry liquid.

Method 3X Concentrate Liquid Laundry Detergent – Loaded with eco-friendly features such as non-toxic solvents, natural enzymes stain removers and biodegradable ingredients.

The Laundress’ Delicate Wash – With many detergents to choose from and all are non-toxic, biodegradable and allergen free.

Ecos Detergent – Choose from Lemongrass, Magnolia & Lilies, or Lavender. ECOS is a concentrated liquid laundry detergent that provides better price performance than the competition. It cleans a full laundry load with only 1.5 ounces.

Dropps Fresh Scent & Dye Free Liquid Laundry Pacs – Smaller footprint, one jug of detergent = 292 empty pouches, no waste, and super concentrated.

Caldrea Laundry Detergent – Earth-friendly laundry products that help keep your clothing and linens as fresh and fragrant as the rest of your home. No harsh chemicals and not tested on animals.

Biokleen Safe Home Cleaning Supply Company

background-top-with-logo

One of the nation’s first natural cleaning supply companies, Biokleen is celebrating its 20th anniversary during Earth Month in April and throughout 2009 by contributing a total of $35,000 to environmental and youth athletic sponsorships in 9 U.S. states ranging from Oregon to Massachusetts.

Biokleen products can replace most mainstream cleaners in your home, eliminating the risk to your families health, and our environment. Biokleen products are just as effective and affordable as conventional cleaners, leaving you no reason not to switch.

You can feel safe about using biokleen to clean your septic systems because all Biokleen products are free of chlorine, optical brighteners, phosphates and SLS/SLES ingredients.

Also Biokleen is gluten-free, dairy-free and does not contain any nut-based ingredients, giving you peace of mind when using it around the house around people who may have allergies to these items.

They have a variety of products for the home. Kitchen cleaners, laundry cleaners, all-purpose cleaners and soyblends. Making it easy for you to buy the needed products for the specific jobs around your house. Biokleen products are super concentrated too, leaving the smallest footprint on the environment.

Keep making green choices and check out Biokleen the next time you are at the grocery store. If you need help finding a store that carries Biokleens products check out their website.

Back to School the Green Way

854122_61842130Its that time of year when all the students are out trying to find the school supplies they need, the strongest back packs, and a new wardrobe so they can look their best when they show up to school that first day. Well its not hard to be green when your back to school shopping. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while making your way through the stores.

School Supplies:

  • First off, check through what you already have, if you have left over paper, pencils or any other supplies – don’t buy any more, use what you have.
  • Don’t buy just because its a good sale, if you don’t need it then its just a waste of money and resources.
  • For the supplies you do need to buy try to stick to recycled, eco-friendly school supplies.

Backpacks:

  • The best thing to do is see if your student can get by with the back pack they have from last year. Reusing is the greenest, most eco-friendly thing you can do for the environment.
  • For college bound students a Solar Backpack is very handy and green.
  • Another brand thats built to last and has a recycle program is TimBuk2.
  • Owl 100% Recycled Deluxe Compu-Backpack.

Wardrobe:

  • Have your student go through their clothes and pull out what still fits and what they can still wear and then make a list of what they need.
  • Check out your local Goodwill or Thrift Store for some great eco-friendly deals.
  • Recycle your old clothes into something new. How to Make a Whole New Wardrobe by Recycling Your Clothes from wikiHow.
  • For some of your have-to-buy-new needs, try and find items that are Eco-friendly either by the material they are made from (such as hemp or bamboo) or how there company take steps to make the environment better.

Eco-Friendly, Non-Toxic, Safe Baby Rattles

la_hippoSo many friends of mine are expecting and I have been looking at baby toys, seeing whats available. My kids are way past that baby stage so I am not familiar with what is out there. Its crazy to think about all that we ingested when we were kids from the lead-filled painted toys to the toxin leeching toys. Last night I was at a store in Portland and saw some interesting baby rattles that are eco-friendly and non-toxic. Ones that you would love to give and feel good about giving.

Natural Wood Rattle – Wood beads spin and rattle around crescent-shaped handle to entertain baby. Sustainable 100% rubber Wood. Free of toxins with no dyes or stains.

Harper the Hippo Maple Wood Infant Baby Teether Rattle – Handmade from OHIO Maple and finished with Whole Foods certified organic flax seed oil.

Organic Cotton Knitted Bear Teether/Rattle – Safe, Non-toxic and Organic.

Baby Teething Ruing Doll – The perfect safe and non toxic toy. Our doll’s body is made of natural organic cotton, the hat is made from color grown organic cotton, it’s sweet little head is filled with natural wool and the ring is made of natural, untreated wood that has been finished with a water based lacquer. Easy to hold and safe to chew on. A healthy toy parents can feel really good about.

Cherry Rattle by Camden Rose – Beautifully-designed with smooth and gentle contours, all natural and proudly made in the U.S.A. using organized sustainability programs. It is hand polished with beeswax and is non toxic. Since wood is a natural anti-bacterial material, it is ideal and safe for teething to soothe tender gums.

Organic Cotton Teething Twisty Pals – 100% Organic Cotton – unbleached, undyed, not chemically processed.  100% worry free.  Easily washed and dried along with baby’s laundry. The twisted cotton can be slipped over baby’s wrist.

100% Bamboo Bed, Bath and Clothing

1104865_95485412While making my way through the 2nd annual Keizer River Fair I came across a booth with all natural Bamboo clothing. It feels amazingly soft, which surprised me. I have never bought anything bamboo but I am thinking that will change. They even make the claim that bamboo is softer than cashmere, silk and Egyptian fabrics.

If you don’t know much about bamboo here are some quick facts for you – Bamboo is arguably one of the world’s best sustainable resources. With a growth rate of up to a meter or more per day, bamboo holds the world record as the fastest growing plant. And, bamboo is actually not a wood but a grass, continuously sending up new shoots after harvesting without a need for replanting. Bamboo can be utilized in just 4-5 years unlike traditional hardwoods that not only take 25-70 years to mature, but also require replanting. From BambooClothes.com

100% Bamboo Clothing

Bamboo Clothes – Women’s 100% Bamboo Fiber Crew Neck, Women’s 100% Scoop Neck Print, and they even have Hand Knitting Yarn.

Green Earth Bamboo – 100% Bamboo Sheets, and Organic Bamboo Woven Baby Blanket.

Under The Sun – The Waterfall T-Shirt, Horizon Long Sleeve, Velocity Tank Top, Cobra Long Sleeve and more. Everything on their site is 100% bamboo.

Baby Bambu – Bamboo Infant Pants, Bamboo Baby Sleeping Gown, and Short Sleeve Bamboo Kimono Onesie.

Eco Choices Eco Bathroom – 100% Real Bamboo Towels

Some other great facts about bamboo;

  • Chemical Free
  • 3-4 times cooler than cotton
  • Has all natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties
  • Produces up to 35% more oxygen than hardwood trees

If you like cashmere or silk, try bamboo. Who knows you may find that you like it better and doesn’t it feel good to be part of something that is good for the environment?

Make Your Own Cleaning Products

Woman vacuuming rug.

Making your own cleaning products is easier than it sounds. When you look at the prices on the organic cleaning products its enough to send you into shock. So the best way to get what you want and not have to pay those high prices is to make your own. The advantage to making your own is that you know the ingredients you are adding.

Common household items to use:

  • Lemon
  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Cornstarch
  • Borax
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Soap

Lemons work great for dissolving soap scum, hard water spots, cleaning brass and copper, freshening up the garbage disposal drain, and bleaching white linens.

Vinegar is used as a natural disinfectant, deodorizer, and great all purpose cleaner.

Baking soda is great as an abrasive cleaner, excellent for dissolving dirt, mildew and grease, and is a natural deodorizer.

Borax works well as a deodorizer, all purpose cleaner and disinfectant.

Cornstarch can be used to clean windows, polish furniture, shampoo carpets and rugs.

Here are a few sites with cleaning product recipes –

Pioneer Thinking

Earth Notes

Eco Cycle