Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day

Well, today is Earth Day. A day in which we focus on ways in which we can try to save the planet and stop all the crazy destruction that our industrialization has caused. As things began to go from being "you make everything yourself at home" to "buy a box of the prepackaged just add water/milk and margarine/butter stuff" we started filling our landfills at astonishing rates. Not to mention the increases in paper/plastic waste as people use more and more paper/plastic plates, paper/plastic cups so they dont have to do the dishes. Or even just the cardboard from the boxes...

As more and more of our society has begun to go "green" I think its important to discuss ways in which we can ALL make a bit of a difference. However, I'm going to stick to ways my husband and I are going green.

  1. First off, we dont use paper plates. Even when we have guests over I serve them on the glass plates we received at our wedding (although I wish we had asked for another pair because once I brought them home they definitely seem a bit too big imo).

  2. Next up, we have recently decided to eliminate our paper towel usage and start using washcloths and rags. Now this one is a bit more difficult for us, since my husband uses paper towels for EVERYTHING. This one is also a bit more difficult because finding those rags is proving to be a bit more difficult than we thought. We found a great deal at MARSHALLS on some microfiber towels which will be great for glass tops and mirrors. However, finding some regular ones has been more difficult. I have been told to check out places like Goodwill or the Salvation Army, but I never seem to have good luck when I search those places. But who knows, maybe I'll try this time and find everything I want. This one can also save us a lot of money in the long run. Replacing a few washcloths every now and then as they get too thin to really use will be a lot cheaper than having to buy paper towels all the time. And even the cost of washing them wont add to our laundry bill because they will fit inside our regular loads that I would be doing anyway.

  3. I also started cleaning our house using a vinegar/water solution. Vinegar is a great disinfectant and is so naturally. No need for bleach or any other harsh chemicals in our kitchen and main living areas.

  4. I'm still working on getting something I trust for the bathroom though. I don't know if i trust vinegar in the bathroom (and yes I know how silly that is) so for now I use a tiny bit of bleach with water in there and some of the leftover comet i bought a while back for cleaning. But I'm hoping to get rid of this as soon as I can.

  5. I also don't know if theres any natural way to bleach whites without hanging them out on a line outside. We live in an apartment, don't have a balcony (and most apartments I have found have restrictions on what you can have on your balcony anyway). So I'm still working on that.

For us, going green has become a bit of a side effect from our striving to save money so we can feel comfortable about starting a family and get to a point where we are saving more than maybe ten bucks a week. :-P So this has also been a huge journey for us as we explore couponing and combining the coupons with sales as well as whether or not the buying in bulk thing is actually something that works for us (we feel it does for certain items). Along this journey, I have gotten a lot of help from my dear and sweet cousin Beth who has given me much hope for having a family on a very tight budget. This journey has also led us to realize that some of the cheapest ways to save money are actually great for the environment as well! As long as we make the stuff ourselves and not buying the expensive name brand stuff, it can really be beneficial for both us and the planet to go green!

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