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?

81 thoughts on “Easy Ways to Go Green

  1. 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

  2. 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. 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!

  4. 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!!

  5. 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..

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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..

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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!

  26. 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.

  27. 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!

  28. 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

  29. 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.

  30. 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 🙂

  31. 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.

  32. 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!

  33. 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!

  34. 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.

  35. 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!

  36. 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.

  37. 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. 🙁

  38. 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!

  39. 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!

  40. 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.

  41. 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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