Going Green & Saving Green

These two things often go hand in hand.  Being less wasteful is inherently thrifty, and almost always the right choice when it comes to our environment.  I'd like to share some of my favorite, simple tips that not only save money, they can save space in landfills, energy, and carbon emissions.

Cold Water Washing

According to TreeHugger.com, about 90% of the energy used while washing a load of laundry goes into heating the water.  In fact, based on averages, TreeHugger.com made the following estimation:

"Washing every load on the hot/warm cycle (in a top loading machine and
an electric water heater) for a year is equivalent to burning about 182
gallons of gasoline in a car; in an average (19.8 miles per gallon)
car, that'll get you around 3595 miles. So, wash in hot/warm, or drive
almost 3600 miles — same difference." – TreeHugger.com

With the cost of cold water washing averaging at about 90% less, you are bound to net a considerable savings over the coarse of a year.  Cold water washing is not without its challenges, however.  Certain stains and garments may need a little extra help to get their cleanest.   An article from Mrs. MacGyver's Home Journal takes you through the challenges of cold water washing and provides valuable tips for getting your laundry nice and clean, the green way!

Speaking of laundry, it is also recommended to run a full load each time you do a wash.  The same rule applies to your other appliances, such as the dishwasher. 

Be a DIY Diva

If it is broken, fix it.  If you want it, make it.  You may already know that you don't have to spend a fortune to have luxurious bath and body products at home, but there is a whole wide world of DIY to explore.  Crafts have come a long way in the last decade or so, and there are plenty of resources online to help you learn to knit, sew, craft, or embellish chic and fashionable garments, accessories, and home decor! DIY skills can also help you to keep your current belongings looking fresh. Many items can be repaired or updated instead of being replaced.  This cuts down on waste while saving you plenty of green.  Check out the following sites to learn more about the Do-It-Yourself lifestyle.

Take a Walk
If you are lucky enough to live within walking or biking distance of places that you need to go, take advantage of this fortune.  Leave the car at home, and take a walk or a bike ride instead.  Slowing your pace by walking instead of driving can not only save money and fuel, it can promote well being.  Adding a little excercise and time for quiet contemplation can do a lot of good for the mind and body.  For those who live further away from it all, try hiking as an alternative to more costly passtimes.  Visit Trails.com to find a hike near you.  Most hiking trails are either free to enjoy.  Others require a small donation for use.  Either way, they make a pleasant and thrifty alternative to a trip to the movies, mall, or amusement park.

Carpool
When you do have to drive, share the burden with friends, family, or co-workers.  If you use social netowrks such as Facebook, it can be easy to arrange car pools with people that you know.  By splitting gas and tolls you can save money while reducing the amount of vehicles in use that day.  Besides, carpooling can provide you with extra personal time.  Read a book, take a nap, or enjoy a pleasant conversation with your companions.

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