Did you know that some environmentally-friendly practices in the home can actually save your family money? Here are some very simple steps that you can take to save money and the environment:
Never Purchase Plastic Bags
In our house, we use old grocery bags for garbage bags and kitty litter. When bringing produce home, I don’t throw out the plastic bags, but instead, I wash them, hang them to dry and then fold them up and put them away. These are then used for sandwiches, snacks, putting food away and other uses. We also put vegetables in the freezer when they are in season. I purchased interlocking freezer bags for this purpose, but as they are emptied, I wash and dry them and then put them away for next time. In two years of freezing vegetables, I have only lost one zipper bag to a hole. Remember these bags can keep intact for quite some time! So why not keep them to use later, rather spending your hard earned dollars on plastic and sending bags out to the landfill? Also, I’ll bet any money that all of us have plenty of old containers, margarine tubs and lunch containers that can certainly be used in place of plastic bags.
Amount saved in one year: about $108
Reuse All Fine Paper That Comes to Your House.
Junk mail letters, envelopes, and most mail that does not contain personal information can be reused. They can quickly be stacked by the printer for two-sided printing. Or, take a moment to cut used paper into smaller pieces, tie it together for use as a scratch pad or for notes to family or shopping lists. Try reusing paper for the kids to colour and write on. Why spend money that you don’t have, on a clean sheet of paper each time you need to print directions, maps, emails or other non-essential printouts? Why spend money on sticky notes and note pads while your family is tossing out perfectly good paper? Trees will thank you! One last tip that I’ve read somewhere recently – is to take your Christmas cards at the end of the holidays, and cut them into small pieces to make homemade pretty gift tags that don’t cost you a dime, but are priceless to our precious environment!
Amount saved in one year: about $50
Save Glass Jars.
I am absolutely not a hoarder. However, we all have an abundance of glass jars at our disposal today. I save the small and unique ones for organizing my makeup drawer, my desk drawers and my kitchen drawers and craft items. I save the larger ones for freezing. If you are interested in preserving food, glass jars are a great thing to have around. For my part, I do a lot of preserving, but I’m too lazy to boil the jars, etc. So instead, I put my stewed tomatoes and jams into jars that I have cleaned and saved, the jars go directly into the freezer. Never put preserved foods into jars that haven’t been boiled if your intention is to keep the jars in a cupboard, as dangerous bacteria can grow in that environment. For preserving foods, glass jars are a healthier option than plastic containers.
Amount saved in one year: about $30