Introduction:"Go Green." That is what everyone keeps talking about. But maybe you can't afford those solar window panels to be put in your roof. Here is a list of simple and inexpensive changes you can make in your home, knowing you are helping the environment.
If you don't know of one, start one in your neighborhood or church. A shopping co-op is when some people get together and buy bulk, then divide the product and the price for it. And pay for only what they need. So, say you need some paper towels, tomatoes, and apples. Well, so do Susie, Nellie, and I. Susie also happens to need some cabbage and toilet paper for her family. Nellie needs some peanut butter and jelly for her kids, as well. I could use some toilet paper and some peanut butter. Ok, so, one or two folks actually go and pick up the products in bulk at a local wholesaler. Then we all pick out just what we need, break the product down in price per tomato, or roll of toilet paper, or roll of paper towel, etc., and pay for what we need. It saves us all money, storage space, not to mention the waste is cut down because we are not all buying our own individual packages of each of these and excess food isn't going bad.
Angel Food Ministries is a ministry that buys their food wholesale and passes the savings on to you. Their packaging isn't "pretty." But it is efficient. Not a lot of dyes goes into making the packaging. There is so much food you could split with a family member, friend, or neighbor.
Or start one at your church. We have one where we donate our clothes. Then when you need clothes you go shopping. The lady over it is very discriminate about holes and stains. She says, "so many folks just can't afford to go and actually pay for the clothes for their families. I want them to leave feeling like they have just been shopping." So, she only permits the fine clothing to stay in the clothes closet. She has it set up like a little shop with all the sizes, genders, and ages. It's quite impressive. The rest she sends on to a shelter, by their request, as they accept anything. So, nothing, unless it's just beyond repair or malodorous, gets thrown away.
I have seen an exchange program done for clothes and other things like high chairs, bicycles, wipies, movies, etc. All of it was free. But in order to get something, you brought something in exchange.
They are kind of high if you compare them with the normal bulbs. However, it pays for itself in it's usage. You can get a bulb that puts off 60 watts of light, but actually uses 10 watts of your electricity.
It may seem silly, but all that plastic ends up in a waste field and sits. The cloth bags are washable, fold up, and are easily stored. Not to mention, they are $1 or less, so if it doesn't stay in tact, you can get another one next shopping trip real easily.
Repurpose the plastic ones as much as possible, they can be used as lunch bags, trash bags for the small trash cans. Take them to the meeting place with your shopping co-op and carry your groceries and other items in those bags. Ummmmm. Slip them on the pole in your closet as a hanging shoe organizer. (Lol. I don't know about that one necessarilly, but you get the idea).
Turn off your water while you are brushing your teeth. Turn off lights when you aren't in the room. Keep ceiling fans on and ac to around 77-78 in Summer. Keep ceiling fans on and heater to around 72-73 in Winter. The ceiling fans help to circulate the air. Treat your windows with either dual panes or the clear plastic (not attractive, but effective.). Shut the door. No need to cool or heat the neighborhood. Shut the fridge door. What's in there when it's open is what's in there when it's closed. Get one of those shower heads that help save water. I thought they would be like a trickle, but they aren't they are really good. In many areas, it's required to recycle. Oh, laundry, there are so many products to protect your clothes out there these days. Sorting your clothes into 50 different loads and waiting till you have built up enough laundry for that load isn't necessary anymore. With many of the products requiring cold water, you can throw them all in together.
WAIT!! Before you throw that away!!! .....Reduce. Reuse. Repurpose. You don't need it anymore. Who could use it? These are some simple and inexpensive ways you can go green and contribute to the betterment of the environment. Any other ideas? God bless!!
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