Easy Ways to Go Green

I think we all want to be green and do the best we can to help the environment, but sometimes it can get overwhelming!  Here is a list of things that can help you go green and save some green to.  Best thing?  They’re all easy and inexpensive!

Green Your Cleaning

Environmentally friendly cleaners can be expensive, but it’s actually very easy to make your own!  The next time one of your cleaners runs out, consider replacing them with one of these easy options.  Most only need white vinegar and a few other things! 

Cut Out the Meat

Cutting out meat for just one day a week is not only good for the planet, it’s good for your wallet and your waistline as well!  Need some ideas?  Try out some of these recipes!  If you eat meat during the rest of the week, be sure to keep the portions in check (2-3 ounces is one serving), and supplement with healthy vegetables. 

Reuse

Swap out your paper towels and napkins for cloth.  Microfiber cloths are great for everyday cleaning, and we keep a basket full of rags (mostly my husband’s worn-out t-shirts) for messier jobs.  I just throw them in the washing machine when I’m done with them so they’re ready to go whenever I wash clothes.  If I have to clean up something really yucky, I just toss them in the garbage – no guilt!  If you don’t have someone who goes through a lot of clothes, check your thrift store.  Mine always has a box full of ten-cent t-shirts! 

You can buy cloth napkins for around $2 each, or you can pretty easily make your own.  Cloth napkins will class up your meals, and save a lot of money in the long run.  Plus you never have to worry about running out! 

Cook From Scratch

Cooking from scratch saves resources from packaging to processing, and is also better for you!  Processed foods take a lot more from the environment to produce, and often they don’t taste as good nor are they that healthy.  Choose a few items to cook from scratch, then add on.  Beans and rice are a great place to start, since they require planning ahead but not much active time. 

Declutter

Extra stuff is an extra burden on the planet.  Consumerism leaves you with stuff you have to clean and store.  It can also cause stress when it gets to be too much.  The less you have, the less you have to worry about!  When you’re decluttering, try to donate or sell as much as possible so it’s not going into the trash!

What are some of your easy tips for going green?

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Comments

  1. Dana says:

    Totally agree with all those things you say. Have made my own cleaning / laundry products for a while and it has worked well. Have recently been considering one of those Ecozone balls that does 1000 washes. Has anyone else tried this? What are your thoughts? oxo
    Dana recently posted..Quotes of BeautyMy Profile

  2. Melinda says:

    Thank you so much for sharing the recipes. I love browsing recipes and will be looking through the ones you’ve shared. I’m trying to find some recipes that are healthier.

  3. Angie Nelson says:

    I was just recently discussing green cleaning. I really need to focus on this little task. Some much can be done with so little, there is really no excuse.
    Angie Nelson recently posted..Huge Sale on Big Buddha HandbagsMy Profile

  4. Jamie says:

    Great tips!!! And easy enough! I really like the idea of cutting up old t-shirts. As simple as that, but I hadn’t thought of it!

  5. D says:

    I have taken most of those steps within the past year and it really is a nice transition. Cloth napkins feel so much better and making my own cleaner has saved a lot. Thanks!

  6. what a wonderful post. such simple ways to make a huge difference! We make every effort to recycle and have changed out all our lightbulbs to flourenscent
    Susie My SoCal Life recently posted..♥ 12 Goals in 2012 ♥ February Update ♥ Going Strong!My Profile

  7. Brooke says:

    Excellent resource for easy green tips!

  8. Jill says:

    Great list of green tips! I do the same with old clothes for rags – and my parents have always done that too. It was strange when I moved to a new country on the other side of the world with just a suitcase, and had no rags – I had to buy a bag! Now I have enough I could sell bags of them myself!!

  9. Thanks for the tips. I’ve always wanted to try making my own cleaners and laundry detergent, but I just haven’t made the time to do it yet. :(

  10. You know, I’ve been hearing the tip about getting rid of paper towels for a while. I’ve just been too lazy. But I think the switch is 1) easy and 2) manageable! Thanks for the encouragement.
    Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom recently posted..The Half Way MomMy Profile

  11. Eschelle says:

    I saw on another persons blog here on this list where they suggested that you install motion detectors in all your kids rooms lights, even bathrooms I was thinking too or laundry rooms if you had them etc..

  12. I totally need to work on the last one: declutter! I have so much clutter and if I cleared it out, I would help out my family’s sanity and someone else who could use them more would benefit. I feel like I try to cook as much from scratch as possible but I allow myself to cheat every now and then! Thanks for the post!
    Kathy (Kangaroo Mama) recently posted..Journeying With a FriendMy Profile

  13. I’ve just started using SKOY cloths – 1 cloth equals 15 rolls of paper towels!

  14. Easy2Save says:

    We recycle all of the trash we can and cut up old shirts to use as rags. I need to start using green cleaners and microfiber cloths. Thanks for the other tips.
    Easy2Save recently posted..Join Style Society TodayMy Profile

  15. Judith says:

    Thanks for the tips. We’ve been vegetarian for a long time in the family. I hate all the packaging that come with processed foods and am trying to reduce eating those. A blogger friend is actually doing a challenge trying to eat non-processed foods all month (http://www.lovelaughterinsanity.com/2012/03/going-au-natural-in-march-eating.html).

    I bookmarked your post on cleaners – so easy and inexpensive. Thanks!

  16. I use white vinegar and water as an inexpensive green cleaner all the time – especially in the kitchen, where I don’t want to spray chemicals anyway.

  17. Dawn Storey says:

    I really like these ideas. My husband and I have always wanted to observe “Meatless Monday” but for some reason never manage to get there – I’ll have to take a look at your recipes for inspiration! Thanks for the post!
    Dawn Storey recently posted..Shameless self-promotionMy Profile

  18. Jamie says:

    Great tips, thanks for sharing. I know in the back of my mind that there are so many things that I could do better. I really like the idea of eating vegetarian one day a week.

  19. Robin says:

    I’m good at all of these, except decluttering. New stuff seeks me out like heat-seeking missiles. I gave myself permission to throw out catalogs before I take them to my office, but I’m still swimming in piles of paper in there. I always feel good on the days that I can take out a garbage bag. Or two.

  20. My tip: do as much running around as possible in one trip. Saves gas, time, and money. For me though tip #2 would never work. On my special diet I survived on meat since I couldn’t have dairy or eggs. Lost 30 lbs. But I bought natural good for you meats.
    Clarinda Olenslager recently posted..03/03/2012My Profile

  21. Julie says:

    Another thing I use instead of paper towels is newspaper. Old towels are good to rip up also.

  22. Glenda Cates says:

    Such a wonderful post and such useful information we all can use this fits in with the theme I offer on my blog of handy household tips if you would like to come and do a guest post for me Please let me know as I would Love to share you with my readers.

  23. Brett says:

    great tips.

    and REUSE Things!! i’ve seen people go buy all these new things to make green cleaners. its kind of funny?!?!

  24. Daily Citron says:

    I completely agree with your list, although I find that my husband is usually grumpy when I don’t serve meat with dinner. Not sure how to work around that…
    -Viva recently posted Homemade Pizza Dough

  25. Lisa says:

    I have become more green in my cleaning. And I LOVE to declutter. But I am an environmental nightmare with the amount of paper products and ziplocks our family uses :(

    :)
    lisa
    Lisa recently posted..40 Days ~ 1 Whole House ~ Day 9, 10 & 11 –PaperMy Profile

  26. kelli says:

    I love this list, especially “declutter.” I am in the process of that right now, and as a reformed packrat, it feels GOOD! :)

  27. A few things that my family has implemented in an effort to be more Eco-conscious are:

    1. using a water filtration pitcher instead of buying bottled water
    2. re-using plastic bags (when we have to use them)
    3. using washrags and cloths instead of paper towels
    4. we bought a water aerator to limit water usage
    5. instead of cranking up the heat in the winter we have a heated mattress pad
    6. I have become good at meal planning which creates less waste from food going bad
    7. we limit our use of the dryer when we can. Jeans and towels take up so much wasteful time and resources, so we just hang dry them outside in nice weather.
    8. we recycle

  28. I always use dish towels instead of buying paper towels. Every once in awhile we seem to get hooked on using paper towels again and they are just used so quickly so I make a point to not buy them.
    Mrs. Accountability recently posted..10 Things We Hate Spending Our Hard Earned Money OnMy Profile

  29. andrea says:

    Easy – and VERY inexpensive – ways of going green that anybody could do…. :D

  30. Lou Lou says:

    The less you have, the less you have to worry about!

    Very true, good to be reminded of it. But it is hard to live by sometimes… Thanks for the tips..

  31. Amanda says:

    Using reusable containers for leftovers or sandwiches rather than ziplock bags.

  32. Gest ideas! I just found our local recycling center pays for our cans, so all the soda hubs drinks and canned veggies and soups can earn me a little money back, while going green.
    I just need some tips to get hubs on board first.

  33. I’m getting better…do most of what’s on your list. Thanks for reminding!

  34. Emily says:

    We try to remember to bring our cloth bags to the grocery store and other stores. It helps to cut down on the amount of plastic sacks we have!

  35. One of the best ways we go green on a limited budget is by having a huge garden. My husband loves gardening, so this is an easy solution for our family.

  36. I live in India – and one to three is what most Indians would do without thinking twice. Decluttering now that’s another question ;)

  37. Anjanette says:

    I wouldn’t say it’s an “easy” thing to do, but we take cloth a step further. We use cloth in place of diapers, sanitary pads, paper towels, and toilet paper. After a while it’s something you just stop thinking about.

  38. Thanks for the no-meat recipes. I’ve been trying to be more green as well – it does make a huge difference to your health and wallet.

  39. Kecia says:

    I need to change my cleaners out for more eco-friendly ones. One thing that we do here is try to use natural lighting as much as possible. We open the curtains and blinds during the day to save on electricity. It’s a simple step but I am sure it saves at least a few dollars each month.

  40. Working on #5. Each year I go through our home top to bottom to declutter. Though I have children who like to keep all their items, allowing them to choose 5 of 15 items has given them choices while ridding our house of excess.
    Tracy @ usingtimewisely.com recently posted..Party Ideas: St. Patrick’s Day 2012My Profile

  41. It feels so good to work at being more green. We no longer buy papertowels, bottled water, harsh cleaners, laundry detergent. De- cluttering is my current project.

  42. BYOB- I feel naked without my Chico Bags.

    Walk or ride your bike when possible.

    Use vinegar and baking soda instead of harsh chemicals to clean the house.

    Use cold water to wash clothes.

    And wear clothes twice if they look and smell fine.

    ~Allie
    Allie | Ramblings of a WAHM recently posted..Blogging Success: Failure Is SuccessMy Profile

  43. Deedra says:

    We are big on recycling at my house. However, I’m looking to more towards more eco-friendly cleaners. Every little bit helps, right?

  44. cooking lady says:

    Great post, I’m working on the de-cluttering part. We already eat pretty healthy and I do all my cooking myself and cook from scratch very often. Thanks for sharing.

  45. Kerry says:

    I have been using vinegar and baking soda for a few years now to clean with. I have actually found that it works better than those stinky chemicals you get at the store- even on our super hard country water!

    I have also been cutting out processed food in my diet and have found that homemade things taste so much better. I do still buy some things for my kids (as they are all teen and tweens, they aren’t as open to complete change). I have noticed though that my youngest doesn’t care for school lunches since we have been making the change.

  46. We do all of these things :)

    We also grow our own garden and shop at the farmers market. Buying local means less resources have to be used to get the food to you!
    Britni @ Our Eventual Homestead recently posted..Homemade Alfredo SauceMy Profile

  47. Suzy Myers says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your tips! I love to re-purpose items and make awesome things out of them. A great way to recycle!

    suzy

  48. Jeanette says:

    Great tips, thanks for sharing!
    Jeanette recently posted..Yep, I just flipped the eff outMy Profile

  49. Kristin says:

    Great tips! I find that http://www.freecycle.org is a great way to declutter and keep stuff out of the landfill.

  50. Minta says:

    Awesome tips, thanks so much for sharing…Hope you have a great Wednesday!

    Stopping by from Pitch it to me.
    Minta

  51. My tips:
    Buy local whenever possible;
    Walk/bike/take public transport whenever possible;
    vinegar/baking soda/Borax for household cleaning;
    Little or no fast food/processed food (and watch the packaging)

    Thanks for the ideas!

  52. Shelly says:

    We compost any food scraps and use the compost for the garden. Our city recently went city wide with being able to compost kitchen scraps with your yard clipping at the curb. We were already composting but for others who live in apartments this change makes it easy for them too.
    Shelly recently posted..My Deals: Everyday Deals Shopping Trip 3/5My Profile

  53. Agreed! I use baking soda to clean most of my kitchen!
    Mary @ The Mommy Job recently posted..3 Lessons learned from a Mommy Sick DayMy Profile

  54. At my house, we reuse alot of things. It saves money, too. Growing up, we always reused all grocery bags (as trash can liners, etc), junk mail envelopes (to this day, my mom writes her grocery lists on them), cottage cheese, cool whip, etc containers (as storage for leftovers, etc)… and so much more!

  55. Wendy says:

    Honestly, I don’t buy the whole “going green” movement! It’s a trendy fad! I’m not saying I’m wasteful or hate the earth…I just think it’s common sense to do the best we can given our current resources.

    Wendy
    Around My Family Table
    Wendy recently posted..Amazing Key Lime PieMy Profile

  56. Krystle says:

    I really should try getting rid paper towels and napkins. I go through a ton with kids. Oh and the baby wipes I use those for everything. Just need to break down and give it a shot.
    Krystle recently posted..Please Donate to Kentucky CaresMy Profile

  57. What a great idea about keeping old shirts around to use as rags! Like you said, if I had to clean something really yucky, I could just throw it out with no guilt! Love that! I also want to try to do a meat-free meal one night a week. My husband loves meat every night, but it would be cheaper and healthier to go vegetarian once in a while :)
    Erin @ My Mommy World recently posted..Weekly Meal Plan, March 5My Profile

  58. Katie says:

    I skip meat quite a few times during the week and also am a major declutterer . I need to look into the green cleaning though, that’s an area I could improve on.

  59. Just Jaime says:

    Great tips! They are very do-able! Thanks for sharing

  60. Michelle says:

    I make some cleaners, recycle, I would love to find a good source of cheap good microfiber towels! Mine always walk away!

  61. Carrie says:

    I have been thinking about buying cloth napkins… I think you just convinced me! They look so much nicer and I like that they are reusable. Thanks!
    Carrie recently posted..Book Review: Dannah Gresh’s “Six Ways to Keep the ‘Good’ in Your Boy”My Profile

  62. Maura says:

    Upcycle! I guess that counts as reuse – but for a different purpose. I’m having lots of fun as of late finding things that I might throw out, and turning them into something useful!

  63. Yannie says:

    Back home Philippines, when you buy vegetables at the market, every vendor will provide a plastic bag for the vegetables. My mom refuse using it and put the veggies on her basket directly.

  64. marye~ says:

    I don’t feel so lonely on my soapbox now. I love that you included not eating meat one day a week. I’ll have to stop back by again!
    marye~ recently posted..My Fitness JourneyMy Profile

  65. Marian says:

    We recycle things. On my craft blog, I posted some of my craft out from scrap

  66. Tonya Peele says:

    Great tips! My husband and I cut meat out of our diet when we first got married and it made a huge difference in our grocery budget. Plus, less meat is healthier for you!
    Tonya Peele recently posted..How to lose belly fat by simply eating betterMy Profile

  67. Great tips! I never thought of giving up meat. You’re right – it is better for your wallet and your waistline! Thanks for sharing!

  68. Every Wednesday our trash folks come by for the blue bags of recyclables. The kids get involved by making sure all of the cans are empty and the tops are removed.

  69. I just haven’t made the jump to cloth napkins, though we don’t use a lot of them anyway. It usually takes a month or so to go through a roll of paper towels, if that quick. I have made some old towels into rags to clean the bathroom, but they also get used as rags for other things I might need. They last a lot longer than paper towels and do a much better job of scrubbing.

    So, what else do I do? Well, I turn the lights off during the day, for one. It may look dark from the outside, but it really isn’t that bad for those who are actually inside the house. When I take a shower, instead of turning on the array of lights over the sink, I turn on the one lonely light on the ceiling. Since it is usually dark outside when I shower, I need a light of some kind – just not four or five. If it is daylight outside, I don’t use any. I find it really doesn’t make a differene if I have a light to shampoo with our not.

  70. Stacie says:

    I try to be green, it’s difficult sometimes though! We love to have Meatless Mondays, and we recycle as much as possible, but other than that, we’re pretty weak. :(

  71. Elaine says:

    I’m always looking for ways to live a greener, more frual life, so I just had to subscribe to your blog!

  72. LaVonne says:

    We like to recycle even though we have to pay extra for the pickup. We also like to use reusable produce bags, shopping bags, keep our heat low, wash in cold water, keep the lights off, and buy used.

    Thanks for sharing this post with us. I appreciate it!
    LaVonne recently posted..$25 Flash Cash GiveawayMy Profile

  73. I have been incorporating these same ideas big time lately. Admittedly, it has been to save money, but it feels good to be green in the process!

  74. Since i have a baby in diapers, the first thing I think of is Cloth Diapers! They aren’t like the ones our parent’s used! they have really come a long way, are super cute, cost effective and great for the planet! PLUS, the new kinds work so much better than disposables! I’ve never had a messy blow out with our cloth diapers! that saves clothes from messy stains you can’t get out and it saves extra laundry loads!
    Amber–JadeLouise Designs recently posted..Wordless Wednesday w/LINKY: Cherry Chocolate CheesecakeMy Profile

  75. Energy saving is a huge issue too. I’ve seen people who go around in their over-heated homes dressed in t-shirts in winter; when I am insolent (!) enough to say that it is more natural to wear a sweater (or maybe two sweaters, if it is really cold), they answer sthg like, “This is MY house, I’ll do what I want” — And I think, “No, @#**! This is a tiny room of our bigger house, which is this planet, and you’re ruining it for me too!” I used to say it out loud too, but those who don’t get it already won’t get it in a million years, I guess.
    Eleni Poulakou recently posted..Parthenon wasn’t built in a dayMy Profile

  76. Lisa says:

    These are all good ways on gping green. I also like to sell my old things and make money. Like my old clothing, books, childrens toys and other and antiques items I am not using. Why waste them when would love to own them. I do well by selling them on vintage classified ads on line. I did sell and buy good things on Louisesattic.com. It is great way to re-use items.

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