One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

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Living Greener and Healthier – A $100 Giveaway!

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Have I ever told you guys how I think blogging has made me a better person? Besides reaching my weight loss goals blogging has influenced me in so many good ways. Maybe it’s the nature of public journaling and opening myself up to advice. Maybe it’s purely the fact that I recognize my progression because I have a way to peer back into my own life and literally read thoughts from my past. Regardless of why, here are some observations about my own progress towards a healthier, greener life…

  • Eating More Whole and Less Processed Foods: Slowly but surely I have eliminated all TV dinner style meals from my diet. It wasn’t an overnight change but I’ve learn to cook more meals and use leftovers in reusable containers for future lunches. That’s got to be better for me (lower sodium, cheaper) and the environment (less waste from individual packaged meals.)
  • Stopped Using Paper Plate: I’ve written about this before in What I learned from Paper Plates and Broken Microwaves post. I was really dependent on paper plates. I used them for everything from breakfast to mini cutting boards for my fresh fruit desserts. Then when someone made a constructive comment about my usage it got me thinking. A few weeks later I eased my usage and haven’t bought a package of plates since!
  • I Eat More Locally Grown Food: Since overhauling my diet and introducing tons of fresh fruits and vegetables I can’t WAIT for farm stand season. I love buying locally grown fruits and veggies while supporting local farms. I’ve made it a habit to hit the farm stand before my weekly grocery trip throughout the spring and summer months.
  • I Garden: My Mom makes fun of me for this every spring. When I was in High School I’d laugh at her and her gardening obsession. Like a typical teenager I thought it was "stupid." Fast forward 15 years and I’m counting the days until I can plant my seedlings, I eat my home grown food and share my gardening adventures online.
  • I Take Sunday Runs instead of Sunday Drives: This one may sound crazy but the husband an I used to take Sunday drives. Not being Marylander natives we would drive around exploring the area, checking out houses and just enjoying the weather. Now I do that same thing on foot! My 9 miler was a great example. I did drive to my destination but overall I spent way less time burning gas and way more time burning calories!

I have a long way to go and a lot more changes to make but I’m proud of these few accomplishments. Where is this all coming from? Well, Divine Caroline posted this great article on composting (something the husband and I have actually talked about but never really made any attempt to do) and SunChips asked (another benefit of blogging, people and companies send me ideas) if I’d help spread the word about it’s new packaging that is made of 33% renewable materials. By 2010, they plan on having every SunChips bag made 100% compostable. Click Here

Have you seen SunChips recent campaign on living greener? SunChips is interested in spreading the word about their new bags and they are donating $100 for a green giveaway on my site! Money for you, tips for me! How can we go wrong?!? :) Simply leave me your best living green tip. What other small changes can I make to live a greener healthier life? Out of the suggestions I will pick (well random.org will pick) one lucky winner for the $100 prize on Friday!

So lay it out me! What’s your best Green Tip?




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Discussion

There are 148 comments so far.

    Shannon

    April 13, 2009

    At work I use a cup rather than a disposable water bottle. It is something I am known for and I don’t fill the garbage with plastic.

    Anne-Marie Race

    April 13, 2009

    I clean out glass jars foodstuffs come in and store / organize art supplies, wine bottle corks, even toiletries in them. If people are over dinner, knives/forks/spoons are stood on the buffet in jars.

    I think glass is beautiful, and if reusing the lid, I can always paint or decoupage something fun on the lid.

    Tracy

    April 13, 2009

    Ditch those paper coffee cups at Starbucks and 7-11. Bring your own reusable coffee travel cup and they will fill it for you, sometimes at a discount. Think of how many paper cups and plastic lids that go in the trash everyday!

    Justrun

    April 13, 2009

    Not working in an office this won’t so much apply to you, but I bought everyone in my office a cheap coffee mug and a cheap reusable water bottle. We’ve gotten rid of all the styrofoam and paper cups for good. It’s a little thing but it feels awesome!

    Trish

    April 13, 2009

    We have ditched the paper towels and instead I have old towels I cut into paper towel size, we use them and the wash and re-use. I keep them in a basket under the sink and all know now where they are.

    Robin

    April 13, 2009

    I have started a paper recycling program at work. We take bags and bags of paper to a recycle bin weekly. We have also started a No Mug- No Coffee policy at work. ‘Bring your own cup’ is awesome! I, too, have stopped buying paper plates. I am now trying to not buy paper towels. That one is scary for me!
    Now to get rid of the styrofoam bowls at work…..hmm….

    Dana

    April 13, 2009

    Hey Roni!

    As far as living green goes, I have been using recycled canvas bags for my grocery shopping. I can save hundreds of plastic bags being used at the grocery store by bringing my canvas bags along! Just my tip for the day :-)

    Sabrina

    April 13, 2009

    I compost, it’s easier than you think. I went from putting 3-5 bags of trash out to 1-2 (along with my recycling bin).

    Here’s the composter I have http://www.earthmachine.com/index_r.html

    Here’s a few helpful sites
    http://backyardcompost.cas.psu.edu/
    http://composting.cas.psu.edu/

    Robin

    April 13, 2009

    I try to walk anywhere possible. If it’s nice out and under 3 miles I’ll walk. I also always bring reusable bags with me everywhere.

    Nikki Young

    April 13, 2009

    I drink a ton of water and have a hard time keeping track of exactly how much I drink. I started buying reusable plastic bottles and finally found one that helped with all my needs. Thermos has a BPA free bottle called “Intak” that has a nifty little dial on it so you can turn it every time you refill and know exactly how much you drank. It is AWESOME and reduces waste. http://www.target.com/Thermos-Intak-Free-Hydration-Bottle/dp/B001EGO64K

    Tabitha Cole

    April 13, 2009

    I am a math teacher, and just about anything can be used as manipulatives. (Items that students use for a hands-on approach to learning) I use toilet paper rolls to show that the surface area of a cylinder is a rectangle in it. Boxes for volume and surface area. Also, I have stopped using paper towels on the overhead, I use a cloth instead. At home I use Sham Wow instead of papertowels. Also I turn off my computer at night!

    Sam

    April 13, 2009

    Instead of using plastic grocery bags for picking up pet poo, I use Bio bags which are biodegadable and compostable. Knowing I am not adding plastic bags to landfills is a great thing.

    Bev

    April 13, 2009

    I also gave up paper plates! It’s been a few weeks and I thought it would be hard, but so far so good!!

    I also use reusable grocery sacks at the grocery store.

    No longer buy bottled water.

    We started a major recycling effort in our house as well — we typically have 1 bag of garbage each week but a HUGE overflowing cart on wheels full of recycling. I feel really good about that!

    lunzy

    April 13, 2009

    I’m basically starting to do what you’ve been doing, minus the running part and paper plates. I have cut waaaaay back though on the plates. We just built our “victory garden” boxes and now need to get started on the planting soon.

    My next step: using the clothesline we already have. It’s pretty common out here and we already have a sturdy line that was here when we moved in. So what do I have to lose?

    ~Lisa
    www.lunzygras.com

    Carolyn Brzezicki

    April 13, 2009

    You stopped with paper plates, and I think that’s super! We use regular plates instead of paper ones now too. Also, instead of plastic wrap, we either put the food upside down on a plate (like lemons, watermelons) or we cover the food with another plate. So if we have a bowl of something to store in the fridge, we put a plate on top of the bowl. No plastic wrap. Plastic wrap is the new paper plate…

    Allison

    April 13, 2009

    I’ve given up bottled water and bought each member of my 5 person family BPA free water bottles. That was a big step for us – I love the convenience of bottled water, but even though we recycled the plastic I just couldn’t take the guilt any longer.

    I also eat a lot of yogurt. I buy the big 4 cup containers and reuse those to store leftovers.

    Thanks!

    AlliJag

    April 13, 2009

    My best green tips (pretty low key and easy really) – using a Camelbak water bottle instead of buying bottled water, and bringing my own reusable grocery bags to the store!

    Patty

    April 13, 2009

    I’ve been using canvas shopping bags for almost 2yrs now. They are super strong, so they hold more and that means fewer trips back and forth to the car unloading groceries. Also stores often deduct 5 or 10 cents per bag you bring with you to use, so I save a little money too!

    My kids are really into recycling so we make sure bottles, cans, cardboard, paper etc all gets sorted and put out for recycling. We also hang our clothes out to dry whenever we can, weather permitting.

    We too never use paper plates, which drives my mother crazy when she stops by and I put her lunch on a real plate, “don’t dirty a dish for me” but I’d rather wash a dish than contribute to the landfill.

    One final thing, I’ve made my own all pupose spray cleaner, just by following a simple “recipe” of water, vinegar, and dish soap (I think that was all LOL), much cheaper and greener too!

    Brandi

    April 13, 2009

    I use a cup at work rather than a water bottle. I also try and keep my heat set as low as possible and just use blankets and sweatshirts. Same thing with the A/C in the summertime. I keep windows open for a breeze and use natural lighting instead of lamps and overhead lights.

    I TRY to buy eco friendly cleaning products, but I haven’t found any that work very well yet. I also take really short showers. Which is weird…cause I’m a girl :)

    Mary Catherine

    April 13, 2009

    Microfiber clothes and vinegar! The combination will clean just about anything, eliminating the need for harmful chemical cleaners and wasteful paper towels.

    I dilute vinegar with water (1:1 ratio) in a spray bottle and keep it handy for everyday use. Use a stronger solution or straight vinegar for tougher jobs. For major stains, scrub with a baking soda/vinegar mixture. Add a bit of liquid dishwashing soap to the water/vinegar mixture for a great glass cleaner.

    And can I just say how much I love microfiber clothes? I’m still working towards eliminating paper towels entirely, but I use so much less now than I did a year ago.

    Amanda

    April 13, 2009

    I wash all our clothes on cold/cold. It saves on energy because your not using the water heater to heat the water.

    We stopped buying bottled water.

    I save our yogurt cups(and the like) for paint and other various art projects.

    I shop at the local farmers market for fruits and veggies! YUM!

    Lori

    April 13, 2009

    I have purchased the reusable shopping bags and haul them to the grocery every week. I have a large family so I normally have 15-20 bags per shopping trip. That’s a lot of plastic that isn’t ending up in a landfill somewhere:)

    LeeAnn

    April 13, 2009

    There are so many things I have started doing, but I need to do so much more!!!!
    We buy at Goodwill, try to buy local fruit and veggies, use natural cleaners, and we are starting to use natural soaps. I will admit that most of the things we are doing now are benefiting us. We hope to start doing more in the future.

    Dottie Baltz

    April 13, 2009

    In addition to using canvas bags at the grocery store, I also purchased a collapsible basket that I use when making small purchases at the store or the farmer’s market. Sometimes I just don’t want to put my purchases in a bag and this basket is perfect for keeping the items from being crushed or broken. I use it everywhere.

    I also try very hard to reuse unwanted items in a new way before giving them to someone else or throwing them out. I utilize Freecycle whenever possible.

    Alisha

    April 13, 2009

    We stopped using paper plates about after being addicted to them….seriously addicted. But when I realized that between us all we probably used 20 a day, it was worth it. This next one is more fun. We catch rain water to water house plants with. This got in my blood as a kid. And looking back, it was something my mom did to keep us busy. I have been wanting to start a compost pile…..soon! I keep bread bags and jars…things like that. There are times they really come in handy….like with my 5 year old son in a cast now after foot surgery….ok I’m rambling, sorry Roni! :)

    Christine

    April 13, 2009

    We consciously moved to a neighborhood where we could either walk or take public transportation everywhere. We downsized to one car too.

    Debra Graybeal

    April 13, 2009

    Recycling soft drink cans!

    Carol

    April 13, 2009

    I live in a semi-rural area that doesn’t offer curbside recycling. So I have a wooden container in my kitchen where I can stack the newspapers until I have enough to make a run to the recycling center.

    I tear my dryer sheets in half to make a box last twice as long.

    I’m trying to use containers in my kids lunches instead of baggies, but this one is hard for me!

    I try to run errands on one day to conserve gas.

    Kim

    April 13, 2009

    We’ve started really making big recycling efforts in our family of 5, and I’m amazed at how much less garbage we have every week. I do everything but glass because that is what our trash company does. They even take “chipboard” which is like the cereal boxes, paper towel rolls, etc.

    Fab Kate

    April 13, 2009

    I use minimally packaged or bulk packaged foods. With bulk, I can divide the food up into single servings and place them in reusable freezer containers. I find that most people simply aren’t aware of the vast amounts of garbage they produce. All that trash has to go somewhere!

    When I owned a house, I also gardened. I miss that living in an apartment now, but we’re working on container gardens for hot peppers, tomatoes, strawberries and blackberries. It doesn’t save as much as when we were growing corn, but every little bit helps.

    I also have a shop on Cafe Press where I sell shopping totes with green slogans, and I sell them at cost to me, as a community service.

    A lot of us think about plastic bottles, using less gas, and changing our lightbulbs, but there is so much beyond that which we can be doing.

    Our family also has a tradition: every time we go out we pick up and properly dispose of one piece of trash. If everyone did that (or people stopped littering) imagine what our environment would look like!

    Also, I encourage your readers to get involved in local volunteerism on environmental projects. For example: the girls and I go out on weekends with various organizations and work on river restoration… planting trees, putting in natural erosion control around the stream beds, and so on. When we lived in CA we also did beach clean ups (sometimes we drive all the way back for a clean up).

    Where-ever you are, there are changes to expand beyond separating out your recyclables, and these volunteer opportunities not only enhance the environment, but also provide wonderful learning and social experiences.

    Beth

    April 13, 2009

    I reuse everything. I reuse the coffee creamer bottles for sugar, flour, kool aide mix, I reuse the huge apple juice bottles for penny savers. So then we can also use them for a door stopper. Pop cans smashed in the bottom of planters.

    Holly

    April 13, 2009

    Question first, has anyone else had an issue with Wal-mart not being very friendly about bringing your own bags? Since they don’t have a bagging area (rather, the bag carousel of wonder), it takes them longer to wait for me to put my stuff in my bags. I get the evil eye, and sometimes they even ignore my request to use my bags and start bagging in their plastic bags. It drives me crazy. Plus, I think they have some sort of rule where they encourage their employees to put as few items in each bag as possible (so people feel like they are getting a lot for their $$?) and I end up with hordes or bags. Ugg, anyway, enough of my rant, and on to my tip!

    I really like buying in bulk. In the past I’ve been a member of Costco and while you end up with very large packaging, I feel like in the end I end up with a lot less packaging than I would if I bough individual items. And they also don’t provide bags (I wish more places did that) which encourages people to bring their own bags or just do without. Also, I reuse a lot of the packaging boxes from Costco, because they are so large they are a more usable size.

    Anne K.

    April 13, 2009

    Definitely bring reusable shopping bags to the store. Those plastic bags accumulate like crazy if you don’t! Also, use a water bottle (I LOVE camelbaks with the straw) instead of always buying bottled water!

    Donnetta

    April 13, 2009

    I made cloth snack bags with my sewing machine. I made three of varying designs for each of my children. They use these for snacks/sandwiches at school instead of ziploc bags!!

    And it’s SO easy to buy a water bottle and use it over and over rather than disposable ones!

    Thanks for the chance!!

    Pamela S.

    April 13, 2009

    Instead of buying paper towels, I have recycled my husband’s torn up t-shirts. Don’t worry, I asked before I did it. LOL! I recycle all newspapers, plastic, glass, etc. My husband would always purchase paper cups until I asked him to try to find a better way. He recycles old glass jars and drinks out of them. Not when company is over. LOL!

    Thank you for the opportunity to win. My going green is still a work in progress.

    Stephanie

    April 13, 2009

    This past year I have become a lot more conscious of the environment and have tried to do a lot of things to reduce my ecological footprint. I think the biggest thing I have done is become a vegetarian. I’ve done lots of reading on the topic and it’s really the biggest way one person can make a difference in the environment (plus it’s so healthy for you!) I also use canvas grocery bags when I go grocery shopping (they’re soo much easier to carry anyways!). I’ve also tried to cut back on how much I drive and I’m looking forward to getting my bike out this summer for those places that were a little too far to walk.

    Michele Dochat

    April 13, 2009

    We do several things at home to live “GREENER”. One of the biggest is using a Brita water system. We’ve been doing this for more than a year now and not only does it save us money, we aren’t filling up landfills with all the gallon jugs from the spring water we used to buy.

    I’m also a composter. We have a garden out back and whenever I clip anything back, it goes in the bin. Also, I’ve put a small garbage can outside my back door to transfer clippings, eggs shells and coffee grounds to before I head out back to add it to the bigger compost bin. It’s all helped me to have less going out into the trash pickup weekly and we’ve saved a little bit there!

    My kids are really into helping out and are always asking if something can go into the bin.

    Every year we try to plant something new in the vegetable garden that we haven’t tried before, and I even have tried my hand at canning with a lot of success. That saves money at the grocery store, and means less waste from pre-packaged foods.

    We are also getting a rain barrel to use for watering the garden and flower beds. My understanding is you really get a lot out of that, and talk about complete recycling!! It comes from the sky, you collect it and sprinkle it on only to evaporated and rain back down again!

    We recycle our newspapers, and I ALWAYS use fabric grocery bags…no waste there and I get a nickle savings from the store for each bag used!

    I’m always looking for new ways to save and go green!

    Melissa

    April 13, 2009

    like most other responders… carry a water bottle and canvas grocery bags! I stopped using paper plates a year ago.. means more dishes.. but it’s worth it!

    Katie

    April 13, 2009

    My husband & I became vegetarians. Not solely because of the environmental impact but it’s a great side effect. Additionally we downsized to one car and car pool together every day. It means some days one of us has to wait a little longer at work or go earlier than we need to but it works for us. Like other people we’ve switched to canvas bags, gotten rid of paper towels, use reusable water bottles, and a host of other things!
    P.S. Beth I’m stealing reusing the creamer package – great idea!!

    jamie

    April 13, 2009

    I bring my own silverware to work instead of using the plastic stuff.

    Jenn

    April 13, 2009

    I’m trying to reduce my paper plate usage as well. I use quite a bit, not because I like them so much, but because I don’t have very many regular plates and I get lazy about washing them! But I don’t drink bottled water at home, I use a glass and a filtered water pitcher. At work, I have a bottle of water that I refill at the drinking fountain. I’ve been considering the reusable bags, but beyond the initial purchase of them, the cashiers often seem rather put out at being asked to use them. BUT all my plastic bags end up repurposed for cleaning out litter boxes or accumulating trash while I’m cooking (since my trash can doesn’t fit in my kitchen).

    Lynn C

    April 13, 2009

    Let’s see; we use washable water bottles and a filter on the water tap for drinking water instead of buying bottled water (or soda… you’ll be proud of me, Roni, I’ve finally kicked over the soda habit… unless I’m eating out, in which case I still have one, but we only eat out about once ever 2 weeks)

    I only use paper plates if I’m having an absolute load of people over. I use washable tupperware to store leftovers, and every day I pack my husband’s lunch for the next day in his laptop lunch system. We originally got it because it’s good for portion control lunches (no more tv dinners!) but it turned out to save us a LOT of money too (no paper bags or cling wrap in the lunch, plus efficient use of leftovers!) http://www.laptoplunches.com/ They’re really nice. We have one box and three insert containers, so I can be washing one, he can have one, and I can pack one… next year, we’ll be getting another one for when our daughter goes off to school.

    We also only have one car, and we moved as close as possible to my husband’s work, so we only fill the car up with gas once a month!

    MaryBe

    April 13, 2009

    I bought a Sigg water bottle, and use the water out of my tap to fill it. We used to go through LOTS of bottled water, and I feel really bad about that now. All those plastic bottles :(

    Shannon

    April 13, 2009

    I use a water bottle at work instead of the plastic cups. I use all natural cleaning products and laundry detergent at home. I recycle.

    Karla

    April 13, 2009

    We ditched paper plates quite some time ago and have found that we don’t miss them at all. In fact, our meals feel like they are more of a meal on a formed plate (probably just all in my head….). Then, when I store leftovers, I never pull out a plastic freezer bag. They all go into reusable containers. This was a harder habit to break than the paper plates. But now I have plenty of containers and they’re all we use.

    Janice

    April 13, 2009

    We use canvas/fabric shopping bags (I have sewn some from old sheets and curtains instead of buying new) and I reuse plastic ziploc baggies. I recycle stuff at work like washing out my yogurt cups from lunch and bringing them home to toss in the recycle bin. My manager even gave me a yogurt cup of hers the other day because she was going to throw it out and saw me washing mine to recycle.

    brandi

    April 13, 2009

    We bought these spoon/fork/knife camping utensils to use for work lunches so we could quit buying/throwing away plastic silverware.

    we also bring water from home in our water bottles instead of buying bottled water.

    Kristin

    April 13, 2009

    Bringing water bottles to work/gym/home rather than buying bottled water. Plus – the new water bottles are so cute (Sigg, Camelback, etC)

    AND – easy as it sounds – recycling soda cans, magazines, newspapers, etc!

    kathy

    April 13, 2009

    I turn the water off when brushing my teeth and washing dishes. I also use canvas bags or tell them not to bag my stuff if its small.

    Sheri

    April 13, 2009

    I’ve adopted the Brita at work. I had been buying bottled water because I can’t stand the taste of chlorine, but Brita has cleared it out. Having that jug on my desk encourages me to drink more water every day.

    I also find I’ve been getting picking about packaging. Sometimes commercial products often have more packaging then necessary. So, rather than buying individual portions, I make my own and dish them into individual glass containers that I can wash and use again forever (unless they break). These last far longer than the plastic ones you can buy.

    Lauren P

    April 13, 2009

    Buy concentrated laundry detergent so that the empty containers you end up throwing away or recycling are much smaller and take up less space.

    Maggie

    April 13, 2009

    Use your clothes dryer as little as possible. When it’s warm and sunny your clothes will dry super fast outside. I used to lay mine on the walkway in full sun or drape them over the bushes. For larger items like sheets and towels just drape them over a chair. Especially when it is hot and you are running the AC, electric dryers are a huge waste. If you are able to, string a clothesline even.

    Amanda

    April 13, 2009

    I gave up plastic grocery shopping bags almost a year ago. I bought the canvas bags at my local Wal-Mart as soon as I saw then and I haven’t looked back.

    We use cups–not water bottles. We rarely use paper plates (once a year MAYBE). We have swapped out all the light bulbs in our house for the better more energy efficient light bulbs.

    We are looking at getting a wind mill installed in our back yard. We WANT one but coming up with the $$$ is the hard part.

    All of our bills are paid online.

    My milk comes to me in glass re-usable bottles that I rinse out once the milk is gone and set them out for the ‘milk man’ for the next delivery.

    We recycle everything we can. We are the only ones on our street who do, though. :(

    These small things are our way of making sure our kids have a brighter future. I think that about covers it for me.

    Leslie

    April 13, 2009

    Like most everyone else I use the canvas bags for my groceries. What used to be like 10 cheap plastic bags is now always less than 4 of my canvas bags!

    Also trying a garden this year. I have little tomatoes and green pepper seedlings in my dining room just waiting to be planted outside….just a few more weeks indoors to be safe from the frost!

    Thanks for sharing your tips!

    Maureen

    April 13, 2009

    You are doing great, I also recycle like crazy. I have been told I am obsessed. Nothing makes me madder than to find something recyclable in the trash. In our small village they make recycling so easy, they give you the totes to sort into and you just set them out when you set trash out. The trash truck comes and the recycle truck comes shortly behind it.
    I also use the reusable totes for stores, and have replaced all of the light bulbs in my house with the new bulbs. Also we have turned down the thermostat and layer it up even inside.
    I also have learned to shop “in town” this was hard for me. It used to be to easy to run to Walmart, 25 min drive away. Now I try to plan ahead and if it is something that isn’t in town I try to make a list and only go once a month or so. Has help with impulse buys as well as saving gas and wear and tear on the van.
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway. Sun Chips are honestly the best and I love the commercial. Great idea on the Tshirts.
    Thanks.
    itsjustmerene2003 at yahoo dot com

    Amy P

    April 13, 2009

    I save all the fabric softener sheets and tuck them into old socks in my clothes drawers. They help keep our clothes smelling fresh. I also tuck them up under our sheets and inside our pillow cases.

    We are considering replacing our hot water heater with a tankless one to save on energy. We will need to replace it in the next few years and are researching ahead of time to find out what the most efficient one is.

    That is the other thing that we do. We research the big purchases ahead of time so that when it comes time to spend money on something we can save money and help the environment at the same time.

    Laura Braunel

    April 13, 2009

    I have stopped throwing out items that I am done using by networking on freecycle.org I have given away everything from old bedspreads, pillows, and furniture to tulip bulbs and old rollerblades.

    Thinking twice before tossing items in the trash can keep alot of stuff out of the landfills. It amazes me the things people are looking for on free cycle and will find a use for my trash! It benefits everyone.

    Cassie

    April 13, 2009

    At work, I print documents on both sides when possible. And I recyle memos, etc as scrap paper. When my children were small, that’s what they used for artwork.

    ikkinlala

    April 13, 2009

    When it’s too cold to garden, I often sprout seeds to eat instead of imported fresh produce.

    Liz

    April 13, 2009

    My green tip is to re-use the plastic grocery store bags. I usually use the heavier material reusable grocery bags and just walk to the store to pick up a few things. But if I stop by on my way home after work I don’t usually have a bag with me and they of course put my groceries in a plastic bag. I then use the bags for lunch sacks for hubs & my work lunches as well as garbage bags for our bathroom trashcans and bags for the dirty cat litter. I just store them under the sink and I always have one ready when I need it.

    Stephanie

    April 13, 2009

    Like lots of others, I try to re-use canvas grocery bags at the store. I can’t even imagine how many plastic bags I was going through before. I really like the big canvas bags that I get at Aldi.

    stacey

    April 13, 2009

    We replaced all of our light bulbs with compact florescents. We also only use canvas bags for grocery shopping now, which is pretty cool because I don’t have a million paper and plastic bags floating around my house now.

    I’m also a recent paper plate user, it was hard going off the teat but well worth it I think. We are saving money and the environment at the same time. Now I just need to manage to give up plastic cups :)

    Crystal

    April 13, 2009

    Roni,

    To me there was nothing like having my little girl to give me the kick in the pants that I needed to start taking care of myself and the earth!

    My hubby and I now recycle and reuse everything we can. We don’t use paper plates any more either!

    I too have been thinking of getting a composter, but since I live in a townhouse, I have been concerned on whether or not they smell, especially in the summer heat. I don’t want to be the stinky neighbor! I will have research this some more. I’m interested in what you find out too.

    We have replaced all of our light bulbs with the new energy efficient ones, and I am crazy about turning off the water and lights when not in use!

    We can all do a little bit!

    Crystal

    April 13, 2009

    There are many things we do in our house but my favorite is walking to our local library for story time instead of driving. I get exercise and my daughter enjoys her wagon and some fresh air.

    Crystal

    April 13, 2009

    Roni,

    Have you looked into all the local farms CSAs? I think they are a wonderful idea.

    http://www.bradsproduce.com/

    I think almost all the farms around Harford County have them.

    Crystal

    Krista

    April 13, 2009

    Recycle, recycle, recycle. I’ve even talked a few friends into doing the same. Reuse what you can and don’t let it make it’s way to the landfill. Basically, try to respect Mother Earth.

    Rollercoaster

    April 13, 2009

    We use Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs in all of our light sockets. We also only own one car and walk as much as possible and use the electric streetcar (we live in New Orleans so easy to walk places).

    Also, weird as this sounds, we eat less fast food. It’s amazing how much garbage fast food produces compared to cooking at home!

    Amanda

    April 13, 2009

    We use the compact florescent bulbs as often as we can, use reusable grocery totes to eliminate all of those plastic bags, use a Nalgene reusuable water bottle. We also recycle everything that can be recycled!

    Alisha

    April 13, 2009

    I use a reusable water bottle that I refill at home, don’t use paper plates, try to use cloth napkins instead of paper towels (at some meals, this one is hard), limit dishwasher and washing machine use (we used to do these whenever which could end up being several times a week, now it’s more like twice).

    Elise

    April 13, 2009

    Recycle! I’ve started keeping old glass jars around for drinking glasses, too.

    Jen

    April 13, 2009

    As far as gardening goes, I use old newspapers as mulch for the garden to prevent weeds. After we lay the newspaper down, we cover it with straw.

    Also… I love the joys of coffee grounds!!! We go to local coffee places and collect coffee grounds for fertilizer. Some places in our town even have garbage cans of grounds outside for anyone to use.

    If you add a half pound can of used grounds to water in a five gallon bucket, and let it sit outside for a few hours, you have your own liquid fertilizer! You can also sprinkle grounds (or eggshells) around the base of a plant to get rid pests, mix into soil for houseplants, add to compost with the used filter (even tea bags work here), and sprinkle on plant beds before it rains for even more fertilizer!

    I didn’t learn this stuff until I worked in a sweet old lady’s garden and started looking things up online. Oh the joys of google =). If you can do all of that in your garden with coffee grounds, what else can you do?

    Leslie M.

    April 13, 2009

    This is a Goodie! This is too good to just name one!
    1. I leave my tote bags in the trunk so when I go food shopping they are always there, I bring them in with me so I use LESS paper or plastic!

    2. Energy saving light bulbs! Only leave the lights on in the room you are in! duh!

    3. Brick in the Toilet tank… helps you use less water each time ya flush!

    4. Eat a veggie diet, its good for you AND the earth. (I’m a vegetarian)

    5. Buy products with Less packaging.. and cal the companies and tell them WHY you are NOT buying their products! They’ll catch on!

    6. Use Natural ingredients to clean, Vinegar and water clean a Mirror really nice and USE newspaper instead of papertowels to dry them, it really does work!!!!

    7. Turn off your AC and OPEN A WINDOW!!!!

    8. Walk for ride your bike.. do you really need to drive???

    These are a few of MY tips!!
    Leslie

    Debbi T.

    April 13, 2009

    I reuse my grocery bags and we have those energy saving light bulbs also I am a freak about walking around the house and turning off lights that don’t need to be on.

    Marisa (trim the fat)

    April 13, 2009

    I have also been ditching the paper plates in favor of my regular dishes. As a food blogger, it “looks” nicer anyway!!! And I have been making a conscious effort to see that everything that I use that can be recycled goes in the bin. Sometimes laziness takes over and I just want to throw it in the regular trash instead of walking it out to the recycle bin! I catch myself though – it’s that Catholic guilt thing ;)

    Alison

    April 13, 2009

    We finally have a recycling service and I am much more conscious of saving plastics and glass for recycling. I also use Method, a “greener” cleaning product which I very much enjoy.

    Renee

    April 13, 2009

    I dont use the styrofoam cups at work…that helps a lot. I use the grocery store bags, but only b/c I have a kid in diapers still and we use those for the dirty ones to contain the odor. After he is out of diapers, we will use the reusable ones. We dont use paper plates very often, limit our paper towel/napkin use, take short showers, wash everything on cold/cold, and keep our house ‘dark’. Turn off a light when we leave a room, etc.

    Karen

    April 13, 2009

    Cool ideas in these comments, thanks all!

    We buy energy saving light bulbs, switched to a brita filter from bottled water, use cloth grocery bags, shop for seasonal produce as often as possible, limit grocery shopping trips to once a week (I used to go almost daily!), save food containers for leftovers and other purposes, dry laundry on the rack instead of the dryer.

    I’ve encouraged my bf to recycle and he’s enjoying how much less trash it creates! We have to pay $2.25 for our garbage bags, so it really encourages people in my city to think about the amount of waste they create and how much they’re willing to pay to put it curbside each week!

    Katie

    April 13, 2009

    We make our own cleaning products, laundry detergent, and dishwashing detergent. No yucky chemicals!

    Donna

    April 13, 2009

    We use canvas bags for all shopping. Brita filtered water for home instead of water bottles. Aluminum bottles for kids to take to school instead of plastic. Recycle all junk mail and magazines. Mulch grass instead of bagging it. These are just some of the things that came to mind as I sit and think about how we are trying to live greener.

    Courtney

    April 13, 2009

    We switched from the plastic bottles of water to each of us having an aluminum water bottle. It was an easy switch and sure helps the environment. Plus, the water is much colder now!

    Annalisa

    April 13, 2009

    Great post and great ideas!

    The biggest “green” thing we do, that I am most proud of is composting. It helps us make better purchases and buy better (pesticide free) produce.

    We also donate the the carbonfund.org when we fly or take long drives.

    I buy a lot of stuff second hand to save money but, reusing is better for the environment and it directly contributes to my local economy. With that, we get a lot of reading material and movies from the library.

    Marina

    April 13, 2009

    Use a mug or cup instead of a plastic water bottles.

    Janet

    April 13, 2009

    I love this! My whole philosophy is that if you make it easy and fun to be green, more people will do it!

    I love all the tips people had. My best tip is to buy used! There is so much stuff already in this world. And in this economy, it can save a ton of money. I’ve found some adorable clothes at thrift shops and on eBay and Craigslist.

    I also keep a cute reusable bag like an Envirosax in my purse at all times. It rolls up really small so you can use it anytime – grocery shopping, clothes shopping, take-out food, etc! I also try to bring my own silverware and keep a fork or spoon in my purse (real, or a leftover compostable one)!

    pam

    April 13, 2009

    Wow…great ideas. We definately use the clothes line!!!! (only in the summer). I find many treasures at Goodwill. They usually have really interesting plates. When I make gifts of food….I just give them the plate or serving dish it comes on. (NO PLASTIC OR FOIL CONTAINERS). I am definately not too proud to wear something that has already been owned. :) I love trash to treasure…..nothing more challenging! :)
    Awesome post Roni, we all can use some ideas on going green!

    Kim

    April 13, 2009

    We use florescent light bulbs, keeping lights turned off if not needed. We use canvas shopping bags. I am planting a garden this year. I wash everything on cold. That’s about it for now. Want to get a brita water filter and eliminate all those water bottles.

    Meghan

    April 13, 2009

    Keeping reusable bags in the trunk of my car so that I never have to ask for plastic!!

    Paige

    April 13, 2009

    I used to drink a ton of bottled water. Now, I have a re-usable bottle that I never leave home without. Not only am I helping the environment in a small way, but I’m able to add ice to it; which makes it just that much more enjoyable…lots better than bottled water!

    Jennifer

    April 13, 2009

    My husband and I are avid lunch takers instead of lunch buyers, but we were so tired of all those plastic baggies being thrown out! We invested instead in a few cheap recyclable plastic containers to take our sandwiches, fruits, chips, etc. in to work. Now instead of tossing out 7 or 8 plastic baggies each day, we wipe it out and repack a lunch for the next day! If one ever breaks or loses its seal, we can recycle it. It’s great :)

    Alison

    April 13, 2009

    I realized that I can re-use things. I don’t need to stick a cup in a dishwasher after washing it once. If a shirt isn’t dirty, I can rewear it. A water bottle can be refilled. It saves energy and materials.

    Kris

    April 13, 2009

    I try not to use disposable materials – I bring a bag to the supermart, drink from a reusable bottle, use tupperware for my food etc.

    Jamie H

    April 13, 2009

    I think that I am known as the Hippie Chick at work.

    1. No Paper Towels, no paper napkins, no paper/plastic plates, no paper/plastic plates. I use glasses, glass plates, and cloth napkins (I bought 2nd had). I really freaked my Aunt out on Thanksgiving..she hated the fact that we had cloth napkins, glass plates, etc.

    2. I use a stainless steel water bottle and take it EVERYWHERE.

    3. I use reusable bags and have not used a plastic bag in years.

    4. I LOVE PYREX. That is all I use. No plastic bowls with spaghetti stains. lol

    5. I have been known to fish plastic bottles out of the trash at work to add to my recycling bag that I take to and from work. There I also add paper, glass, etc. I then take it home and add it to my weekly recycling bin.

    6. We have a compost pile.

    7. CFLs

    Krista W.

    April 13, 2009

    I use my own tote bags at the grocery store. If I forget, I get paper bags and reuse them for trash bags. They are great for when you clean out the fridge or to put shoes in when you move (I did this a lot in college). I believe by bringing your own bags, you save a tree and everytime you don’t use plastic, you are saving the environment. Plus, at TJ’s you get entered in for a chance to win free groceries if you bring your own! ;)

    Alyssa

    April 13, 2009

    Go online and read about what your recycling company will accept. I did and I was astounded by how much they accept. Now we have double the amount of recyclable items than we do trash. I keep multiple recycling receptacles throughout the house so that there is no excuse not to recycle something.

    Becky

    April 13, 2009

    Caution… TMI….

    I switched my tampon brand. I use the ones with no applicator so I’m wasting less. I noticed how much waste my monthly friend was making and decided to try to find a better choice.

    JoAnna

    April 13, 2009

    I think the best way to “go green” is something that everyone always overlooks, which is to stop or limit your meat consumption. Becoming a vegetarian significantly helps reduce your “carbon footprint” because of all of the waste and pollution caused by the entire meatpacking system in America.

    McLauren84

    April 13, 2009

    I’ve been using green household products–dishwashing liquid, toilet cleaner, etc. I don’t even notice the difference! I’ve also noticed that since moving from Indiana to Massachusetts, I recycle everything and walk so much more. The little things add up!

    Evilwoman

    April 13, 2009

    I don’t take plastic bottles to work, the park or the gym anymore. I refill my plastic drink carrier instead. I just wash before each use.

    Evilwoman

    April 13, 2009

    I also take my own bags to the grocery store. I bought Trader Joe’s reusable bags and now take them to every grocery store I visit. I just leave them in my car so I don’t forget em’.

    I have also taught my kids what recycling is and make it fun for them to participate and pitch their recyclables into the bin.

    Mary

    April 13, 2009

    I try to do the little things too….lately it’s been trying to re-use my grocery bags…until they give out then I can use the canvas ones I have gotten.

    One thing I learned today….sometimes it’s cheaper to fix the broken freezer than to go buy a new one!!

    Amy

    April 13, 2009

    I also do alot of the above. I recycle anything that I can. I set up a plastic recycling bin in my classroom and now my students will bring in bottles and cans from the lunchroom. Plus, we have a recelying bin in the staff lounge but waste management doesn’t pick it up so I haul it home every other week and put it out with my own recyclables!

    Nan

    April 13, 2009

    I have learned that you don’t have to sacrifice convenience to be greener. For example, using the dishwasher is fine but only run it when it’s FULL and well-organized!

    Julie

    April 13, 2009

    The biggest impact I’m making is being a vegetarian. Obviously I do it for other reasons too, but it’s a doozy. I recently read in an environmental magazine that a meat eater on a bicycle pollutes the earth more than a vegetarian driving a Hummer.

    I also use canvas bags for shopping, have a reusable aluminum water bottle, take public transportation, use cloth diapers, use only vinegar and water to clean, and even use a reusable menstrual cup (and am amazed at how much I like it better!).

    Christie

    April 14, 2009

    I do a lot of the tips above. I started by using the re-usable grocery bags. I keep them in the car so I don’t forget to take them to the store.

    We also quit using the disposable plates (and forks/spoons – we used to be really bad).

    We bought some recycling bins and started recycling. We also started a composting pile and a garden outside.

    erin

    April 14, 2009

    grocery bags, reusable (camelback) water bottles, no paper/plastic dishes, taking reusable containers to restaurants instead of using doggybags, using coffee grounds in my garden, I recycle.

    Donna B

    April 14, 2009

    THe biggest thing I have done this year is to purchase cloth bags for $.99 each that I use for the local grocery stores to pack mt groceries in. Saves throwing out all those small plastic bags that seem to tear, and they even stand up in my trunk on the way home. THey are easier to un pack as well. If I do get extra bags at dept stores, I use then as trash bags lines in my waste baskets!

    Amy H.

    April 14, 2009

    I bought the wonder bread sandwhich keeper. I use this instead of plastic bags to pack lunches. It works for sandwhiches, wrapes, and even breakfast casserole. It is small, compact, shaped like bread and reusable.

    Christy

    April 14, 2009

    So many green people! Alright! Along with everyone else I have a refillable water bottle, canvas bags and recycle paper, plastic and glass (it is the law here in Germany). Also I have recently discovered a ‘green’ kitty litter. It is a saw dust based litter that is GREAT. It is good for the environment, smells great and costs less than regular litter. it is a win-win situation.

    Emily

    April 14, 2009

    I always carry a reusable bag in my purse, one of those folded up ones … just in case!

    Here’s something a lot of people don’t do (yet) but I’m a firm believer of! Whenever i go out to a restaurant, I pack my own glass tupperware for the leftovers. Not only does this help the environment from yet *another* styrofoam container in the dump, but I automatically put half of my plate in there when I get my food. This helps my cal intake and portion control! We all know how crazy those restaurants can be with portions!

    out of sight – out of mind!

    pam

    April 14, 2009

    Just wanted to point out that going green doesn’t mean eliminating meat from your diet…… Just like it doesn’t mean eliminating vegetables from your diet or clothing to wear. Find a local producer and a local butcher. You have practically no waste at all, and you are supporting your local growers, it is fresher, tastes better! There are ways that we can all go green without sacrificing nutrition, you just have to be creative. Sometimes it also means paying a little more. But if you really think of our ansestors and how they lived, they made their own clothes and washed them by hand, butchered their own meat and raised their own vegetables.

    pam

    April 14, 2009

    I do want to point out that going green doesn’t mean eliminating meat from your diet…… Just like it doesn’t mean eliminating vegetables from your diet or clothing to wear (all can have a substantial packaging and carbon print). Find a local producer and a local butcher. You have practically no waste at all, and you are supporting your local growers, it is fresher, tastes better! There are ways that we can all go green without sacrificing nutrition, you just have to be creative. Sometimes it also means paying a little more. But if you really think of our ansestors and how they lived, they made their own clothes and washed them by hand, butchered their own meat and raised their own vegetables. We can all learn something from them. I just try to use my common sense and go back to basics.

    rebekah

    April 14, 2009

    a few families in our church have gotten together to plant a garden this year. we all will work on the garden…tilling, weeding, planting, picking….and we all reap from the benefits!
    its a great way to eat homegrown food, save money, and teach our little ones the importance of gardening!

    Liz

    April 14, 2009

    I use the reusable bags not just as the grocery store but at all different places. I’ve seen them sold at Target, Macy’s and other stores. Plus you can buy ones online that are very sturdy and good for lugging groceries (especially if you walk to the store like me!).

    Another thing that I think we forget when thinking about going green is clothing. You can buy a lot of great “green” clothing now in stores or go to vintage/thrift shops which is always fun. A lot of designers and companies are now realizing the importance of making their clothing more earth friendly so I think we should all take advantage of it!

    Vickye

    April 14, 2009

    I bring groceries home in brown paper bags at the grocery store and then shredd them in my shredder. The shreds are perfect mulch around the plants in my flower and vegetable gardens.

    Tina

    April 14, 2009

    As a teacher of toddlers I save ALL plastic containers, bottles, yogurt cups etc and we utilize them in activities or use them for art projects. My favorite is the peanut butter jars. We use them to hold items we find from outside (an empty birds nest) so that the children can look at the objects up close with magnifying glasses without damaging it or hurting themselves.

    Bonnie

    April 14, 2009

    Pur water filter and refill my own water bottles, re-use containers that I buy food in (for leftovers), save and bring my own bags back to Aldi’s, wash clothes in cold water, save newspapers, cardboard, soda boxes to help start burn pile fires, gardening, use Sham-Wow’s and microfiber towels instead of paper towels, use microfiber dust mop pads instead of Swiffer throw-aways, use warm water and a bit of ammonia with a scrub brush and white towels as a carpet cleaner (it works great and doesn’t leave an oil based residue that will attract more dirt later). Thanks for the chance at the $100 giveaway!!

    Heidi

    April 14, 2009

    This may seem like a small thing, but we no longer use our dishwasher! It has already saved me about $30 a month on my electricity bill.

    lunzy

    April 14, 2009

    I submitted a comment yesterday, but don’t see it. please count me in the contest.

    I’m going to start using my clothesline. It was already here when we moved in!

    Kim

    April 14, 2009

    I am trying to be greener myself. My biggest tips are put as much as possible into my recycling bin, and use the cloth bags at the grocery store. Also use organic cleaning products.

    Tiger G

    April 14, 2009

    It’s not much, but I recycle cardboard. With a baby coming, we’ve had a TON of cardboard from baby gear. The little guy and I cut it up, load it into the car, and take it to the community recycling bins (our community doesn’t do curbside recycling and is very limited on what they do take, unfortunately.) It’s so cute to hear him say ‘Mama, recycle” whenever he sees cardboard. I really hate packaging from food, not because I’m a greenaholic, but because it fills my garbage can so much faster and I’m truly lazy about garbage. So that lead me to cook things in bulk and freeze them, such as my own version of hot pockets for the hubby (way more healthier!)

    Julie

    April 14, 2009

    I walk to the grocery store (no gas fumes, good exercise) and use a cloth sack to just get a few things at a time (reduce plastic/paper bag waste).

    Annette M

    April 14, 2009

    Like everyone else I have stopped buying bottled water and use my re-fillable container. I have also stopped buying paper plates, plastic cups, and plastic silverware at home. I unplug electronics when I am not using them. I have also been trying to limit how much water I use when washing dishes. I used to run the water practicaly the whole the time. I re-use containers constantly, bought energy efficient light bulbs, and wash my clothes in cold water. I look for locally grown produce when ever possible, which is not only greener, but tastes so much better. They are all small changes, but I’m slowly working on trying to live greener. I feel good that I am able to help the environment, and saving money on some of these things is a plus too. I’m also working on getting rid of the paper towels, but I haven’t completely broken the habit yet. I use my dishtowels more than I used to, but I still feel I need the paper ones for kitchen spills and messes, mabye one day.
    Thanks for the giveaway. I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s tips on living greener!

    debby

    April 14, 2009

    I have chickens, and save almost all my leftovers for them!

    Lis

    April 14, 2009

    turn the water off while you are brushing your teeth-saves water and cuts down on your water bill :)

    Christin Banda

    April 14, 2009

    I use green cleaners…its amazing what a little baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, etc can do to clean up a mess:) Thanks for an awesome giveaway!!
    christinbanda@yahoo.com

    Cricket

    April 14, 2009

    Like most of the others, we have give up paper plates and plastic cups that are not reusable. My neighborhood does not offer recycling at all so we save all of our plastic, glass and paper products in canvas washable bags and once a week we head to my best friends house and use her and her neighbors curb side containers. I have many canvas shopping bags that I keep in the car however 50% of the time I forget them till I am already checking out. I am forced to use the plastic bags however here we have many grocery stores that recycle plastic grocery sacks. I just save em up till I have a full sack of them and then take them right back to the store for recycle. I have cut back to running the dishwasher only twice a week, use only glass containers for leftovers, have changed all lightbulbs to the energy saver ones ….. next s the cleaning products. I am going to try making them ( like laundry soap, window cleaner, ect..) ….

    deanna

    April 14, 2009

    recycle everything… try not to use plastic bags and if so reuse, reuse reuse… also try to recylce all plastic containers from tylenol bottles to water bottles, and all inbetween. I am just starting the green living, althought it’s a challenge, it’s a learning experience that can be fun! I now have my five year old pointing out when people litter…and we are picking it up!

    Jen C

    April 14, 2009

    Use a regular coffee mug instead of paper cups at work

    Dawn

    April 14, 2009

    I’m sure most, if not all of what I’m going to write has already been used:

    No paper plates in the house

    Use towels to clean up messes from the dogs, or cleaning around the house.

    Turn off computer/printer/laptop when not in use. You can also unplug things like your microwave or lamps when not in use or put in a switch to prevent usused electricity from running up your bill (it can save you a bundle throughout the year).

    Canvas bags for grocery shopping.

    I’ve got a small garden which I hope to increase this year with a compost pile behind it (not only composting, but helping to raise back a low corner in the back of the property). I also keep a compost pail in the kitchen that I empty out once or twice a week to the back (plus it keeps the vermin out of the garbage cans since they’re already being fed in the back).

    We’ve got a well, but I know that a lot of people use water tubs to store water…especially during drought season or areas that have water restrictions.

    Plant butterfly and bird friendly plants and flowers…it helps not only beautify, but helps out your ecosystem as a whole.

    I save all cans from Loverboy’s Mountain Dew habit and take them to a cash recycling place so we get cash for the aluminum. Great for taking old car parts or copper too.

    I save all junk mail and paper that I’ve got in the house and look for those green recycling bins at the local libraries, schools and churches. They get cash per weight recycled, so it’s all going to a good use!

    I plan multiple errands so I only need to make one trip in the car. Also, keep track of the gas you use…some gas has more harmful chemicals than others, and certain gases, such as Shell, have additives to help get rid of the gunk in your car to help it run better, hence better emissions. Loverboy is a mechanic, and he won’t go anywhere else but Shell for gas.

    Buy in bulk, and bring your lunch with you to work…I’ve gotten in the habit of putting Loverboy’s lunch in his front seat of his car before I go to work so I know he won’t forget it (and if he does, I’ll need to smack him upside the head, who’d forget their lunch when it’s already in their car?).

    Again, if you’ve got stuff you don’t want to throw away, take it to a thrift store, call Amvets or Purple Heart, or post it up on Craigslist.com or Freecycle.com…one mans trash is another mans treasure.

    That’s my multiple sense…I love everyone’s ideas!!!

    Dawn

    April 14, 2009

    Oh, and we don’t have a recycling program in the area, but everytime I get a bunch of recyclables, I take it to the next town over. They have a Lion’s Club recycling program where you can drop off all your recyclables. It’s really convenient!

    Inny

    April 14, 2009

    I have a Brita water pitcher with which I filter tap water instead of buying bottled water an wasting more plastic bottles. The local grocery store has recently started selling draft water at a cheaper price if you bring your own water container.

    Jill

    April 14, 2009

    I have a lot of indoor plant to keep the air inside fresh and clean. Also we use reusable grocery bags, and take plastic bags off our neighbors hands and use them as poop-bags for our dogs.

    Jim

    April 14, 2009

    I recently started vermicomposting (worm composting). So far it has been a pretty fun experience. You dont need a huge bin in the back yard and it is a great way to dispose of fruit and vegetable waste. The worm castings are better than traditional compost. You can even make a tea out of the castings and spray it on plants.

    Tracy Parrish

    April 14, 2009

    Every week I freeze leftovers and make refrigerator soup with all my expiring products,leftovers and produce. I’m always surprised when I pull out a freezer meal for my lunch :-) Sometimes I don’t write on the containers so that I will truly be surprised.

    Jackie

    April 14, 2009

    Keep more in your refrigerator! This means less of the cold air it has to make is wasted.

    Sarah

    April 14, 2009

    Like many others, I don’t use paper plates or commercial cleaning products. I hate chemicals on lawns and in cleaning products, so we use household staples whenever possible (vinegar goes a LONG way). We also hang-dry almost all of our clothes–more in the summer when they go outside. My mom hung clothes out even in the winter! We buy from farmers’ markets, and our meat comes from my dad’s farm. My Hubby and I ride to work together every day and only go out for lunch around once a month. We also recycle, use reusable water bottles, and I love pyrex!! I’ve tried to eliminate plastic from the kitchen.

    Kathryn

    April 14, 2009

    Wow, so many great ideas! Most of mine are the same as others.

    I replaced all my light bulbs with the energy saving ones. I try to buy most of my produce at the local farmer’s market or Trader Joes, and I try to use my own bags. I use a Brita filter system for my fridge instead of bottle water.

    Carolyn G

    April 14, 2009

    I have started to compost as well. I am starting small but hope that by summer we will have two big containers outisde, one green and one brown!

    elle

    April 14, 2009

    I save all of the plastic bags I get and reuse them to bring my lunch to work or use them to line my bathroom and bedroom trash cans..perfect size!

    Heather

    April 14, 2009

    My best green tip would have to be this: reducing is better than reusing, reusing is better than recycling, recycling is better than throwing it in the trash. By buying local produce, reducing your consumption of processed foods (=more packaging) and stop using water bottles, you can reduce the amount of waste/trash you produce. But if that isn’t possible, reusing is better than nothing (i.e. reusing your glass nut butter jars, reusing plastic bags you get from the bulk bins, etc). And finally, recycling is better than throwing stuff away. Take a second glance at your magazines and see who you can donate them to, recycle catalogs that are sent to you (or better yet, get your name off the list) and so on. There are so many easy things people can do to reduce consumption and reuse every day items.

    Krista S.

    April 15, 2009

    Roni…I really love this post. It’s so cheerful and helps me to see where I’ve taken baby steps, too. Sometimes that’s exactly what I need to keep my motivation up…to realize that all the little steps add up, whether it be weight loss or changing the way I do things in other areas of my life.

    Carrie B

    April 15, 2009

    My best green tip is to stop buying plastic water bottles. I bought the whole family Sigg water bottles. They come in different colors and patterns so everyone knows which is theirs.

    Shelley

    April 15, 2009

    We stopped using paper towels for “napkins” at dinner, & we use our cloth napkins! We use the same ones over & over till they need to be laundered, & it makes every meal feel “special” to use the cloth napkins! Plus, we’re spending less on paper towels & throwing less away :)

    Peggy C

    April 15, 2009

    I always have a mailbox full of unwanted mail. Instead of throwing the mountain of junk mail away, I use it to write my grocery list on. I also cut it into smaller pieces and put them near all phones to take messages on.

    KK @ Running Through Life

    April 15, 2009

    Best tip: Use a Sigg bottle for water. I take my 32 oz bottle everywhere I go! This way, I drink plenty of water and I help the environment by not buying plastic water bottles. Also, another great tip is to use natural or chemical free products for cleaning…I love Magic Erasers….gets things clean without any chemicals!

    Jen Baerman

    April 16, 2009

    I am saving all the yogurt and pudding cups to start seedlings for my garden.

    Kimberly

    April 17, 2009

    We used to be big paper towel/plate/cup users.. this was all just laziness to avoid washing dishes… although we still use a paper plate now and again we have completely cut out the paper towels and plastic cups and have embraced (well, embraced may be a strong word, lol… how about accepted) the washing of dishes.

    Lisa

    April 17, 2009

    Truth is, I’ve been wanting to recycle more and more. It’s one of those things you know you *should* do, and just don’t take the time and effort to do it. Before reading this post, the really only things I recycled were batteries and soda cans at work.

    The post inspired me to stop using plastic water bottles. Trying to live a healthy lifestyle, water is a huge part of my life. Yesterday I purchased a Brita pitcher for my fridge. :) I also purchased the Thermos mentioned above by a previous poster that has an awesome tight seal lid that doesn’t leak that I love!

    Once I’m in the habit of using the Brita pitcher and my new thermos, I will tackle other “green” habits. I’m so grateful for this post! :)

    Nancy

    April 17, 2009

    I love all of the good ideas and some that I use! My contribution to a greener earth is using silk flowers in my front yard landscape. This way, I don’t have to use so much water each summer! The silk flowers don’t look bad, either