Looking for tips and ideas for living green.
Lilly from Paris, France
I'm surprised no one has talked about buying those organic cotton bags to reuse that grocery stores offer instead of using paper or plastic bags each time you shop; and you can use them to shop anywhere. Other stores like retail stores provide really cute ones.
Then there's also green building. Start from the ground up. Green floors are very popular in homes today. Some examples are cork, bamboo, exotics like coconut, etc. Sites like (http://www.findanyfloor.com) should have more green building ideas. (10/30/2008)
Instead of buying water, purchase a filter, distiller, or RO system. Instead of buying water bottles, purchase Tupperware virtually leak proof tumblers and coffee mugs, they will last for years, and if they break, free replacement. Instead of buying kitchen sponges, buy Tupperware's dish cloth, you can wash it in the dishwasher and washing machine, it does such a good job. If your water spills with ice trays, buy Tupperware ice trays, they are virtually leak proof and do not absorb odors in the freezer. I use them also for freezing lime or lemon juice, great for in drinks. Cook for multiple meals and freeze them in Tupperware containers. You can take certain containers straight from the freezer to the microwave. see www.my.tupperware.com/nickib
Use coffee grinds to freshen up garbage disposals, as well as lemon / lime leftovers. Instead of heating up water on the stove, buy an electric kettle, you can have as much water as you need, and it automatically turns off. It's fast and easy. We have a Melitta Express Kettle and a Toastess Keep Warm Kettle.
Open the blinds/shades to let in the light instead of turning on the lights. Use net curtains to let light in while people can't see in.
Instead of buying those fancy coffee or fruit drinks, purchase in bulk berries, coffee etc and make your own in a blender. There are fabulous recipes and you can be creative. Great for guests and they are as good as the brand name places.
Keep onions fresh longer by using pantyhose to store them, you use a leg and tie it, then allow a space, tie another onion, then leave a space etc. To keep lettuce, veggies, and fruit fresher longer, purchase Tupperware lettuce keepers. My goodness they are awesome! My fresh fruit and vegetables keep so much longer - the containers have guides if you need to have both vents closed, one open, or both open. It's fantastic, my friends all love them too.
Use plastic grocery bags as trash liners. Re-use boxes you get in the mail to send more items. Bank online, pay bills online, only order magazines you will read. Use common household items for cleaning, instead of buying lots of cleaners. Can see DVD's or read books on it - I like HALEY'S HINTS. Awesome!
If you and a friend both want a book or DVD, buy just one and share it. Great excuse to keep in touch and save on the environment. How many people watch the same movie over and over / frequently? If you both like a magazine, share the subscription price then pass it on to one another, especially a neighbor.
Remember how easy and fun a simple dessert is. Clean some strawberries and heat some chocolate for fondue! It costs less than buying a pie or cake, our guests have fun, no obligation to eat a certain amount, and they love it. It's also an interactive family way to have dessert.
Hope these are helpful! (11/08/2008)
I get my cloth/canvas shopping bags at thrift stores. You can find large roomy bags for 50 cents or less.
I use tree branches on some of my windows as curtain rods. I spray painted one white, but left one natural. I found a pair of chocolate colored drapes at a thrift store for $1.00, cut each panel in half lengthwise, hemmed it by hand, tied strips from brown and white material I had, sewed each strip on both sides of drape top and tied to the branch. I was able to cover my 2 LR windows for a $1.00 and they look beautiful. You can also use tablecloths as window valances, by just draping them over a rod.
I buy place mats at the thrift store that catch my eye and sew them back to back, stuff them and have beautiful pillows. I also sew lace, etc. around edges if needed and use permanent sparkle or reg. paint, just to jazz up the pictures on them. (12/18/2008)
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