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Going Green

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Tips on how to get into the Green Lifestyle 

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Going Green:

 

1.  Reusable Grocery Bags:

I looked into getting some grocery bags that I can reuse and that we functional.  The ones they had on the Oprah show were a really heavy duty organic cotton canvas bag that were around $9 a bag.  I did not want to spend that much on the bags so I called a few health food stores and looked online. 

 

The ones I ended up buying that I really like are from amazon.  I bought 2 sets (one set has 5 bags) and with shipping they came to about $28 for all 10, or about 2.80 a bag.  They are machine washable and have an insert that make the bags stand up like a paper bag would. 

 

I have been complimented by the cashiers at the stores every time I have used them.  They say that they are the best ones that they have seen for bagging purposes.  The grocery stores around here (Kroger and Meijer) sell some reusable ones that are similar for $1 a bag, but the cashiers told me they like mine better than their store ones.  The ones I bought are bigger and have a hook for the cashiers to attach to the bagging station. 

 

Just wanted to let you know what I have found and what I like about them.  But any reusable bag is great.  I have so many plastic bags and I do use them around the house, I just do not need any more of them for quite awhile, but if I do I just will not take my grocery bags with me one week for shopping.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Reusable-Grocery-Assorted-Colors-Printed/dp/B000XSEZFU/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=miscellaneous&qid=1202654352&sr=8-1

 

Just a note…you will save on shipping if ordering some for friends or multiple sets.

 

2.  CFL light bulbs:

My birthday is tomorrow and I asked Greg for these light bulbs, because they are expensive initially to change out your whole house.  And keep in mind that my house is only about 1300 sq feet so it would cost more for more lights than my house.  Greg thinks he paid approx $200 for our whole house and we do have some extra too.  He bought ours at Lowes.  They will save us quite a lot of money in energy so even though we had the upfront initial cost, we will start seeing it over the years since they last up to 7 years. 

For example:  One of our 3 way light bulbs cost $9, but on the package, it reads:

Save $117 per bulb on energy costs as compared to using a 150 watt bulb at 12cents per KWL. 

 

The 3 way bulbs are more expensive than the regular ones, but I had that package handy.

 

So not only are you saving on your energy costs…you are also saving energy…so great for the environment.

 

3.  Reusable water bottles:

We will not buy any more bottled water (we mostly used them when going out, not on a regular basis at home since we use our Brita.  So now instead of taking a water bottle on the road we take one of our reusable water bottles with us.  They have all different kinds and you can search the web or you can just buy some at your local store.  Try not to use any plastic ones as they are finding new health scares with BPA materials that leak into the bottle! (Meijer, or Wal-Mart, or target).

 

4.  Linen napkins

I have 2 sets of linen napkins.  So instead of using paper napkins I use these and throw them in the wash a couple of times a week.  I bought mine at Kohl’s and spend about 1.80 a napkin, but I think about all the napkins we threw out all the time and that adds up.  If I have a large gathering I will use the paper ones.

 

5.  Smart Strip

 

Here is a product description of the Smart Strip:

Basically is turns off your electronic devices when you shut down…for example even when I shut down the computer, the other electronics are still on (printer, monitor etc) or using energy.  So if you shut down your computer and have the smart strip everything automatically shuts down completely.  The same for the TV.  If you turn off the TV with the remote the smart strip shuts everything completely down automatically (DVD player, speakers, etc)

Energy Saving Smart Strip by BITS Limited
With Auto switching Technology

Seven outlets work together, auto switching your devices on/off automatically, to save you money on your electric bills. 1225 joules of surge protection keep your equipment safe from even the harshest power spikes. Conveniently-spaced outlets and a 45-degree, angled space saver plug make the Smart Strip a friendly addition to your electronic systems.

 

Key Benefits Include:

* The Smart Strip makes shut down fast, easy & complete

* Turn on/off your computer or TV and your peripherals turn on/off automatically

* Payback in a matter of weeks based on energy savings.  One study demonstrates payback in as little as 6 weeks, with an average of just three months (depends on peripherals and electricity rate).

* No more bending over to turn off your surge protector

* No more turning off multiple switches

* Peripherals that do not have power switches are not a problem anymore

It's As Easy As 1-2-3:
1.) Plug computer or television into blue CONTROL outlet.
2.) Plug peripherals into white SWITCHED outlets to maximize energy savings.
3.) Plug other electronics into red CONSTANT outlets.

Smart Strip Specifications:

 

https://www.chooserenewables.com/xcart/product.php?productid=16160&cat=0&page=1

 

6.  Unplugging appliances:

I have started unplugging my microwave, toaster, coffee maker every time I am done using.  I learned that just having the appliance plugged in can use up to 40% of energy and cost you money.  So anything that that is not hard to get to and unplug I try really hard and even Greg has been remembering to do so!!

 

I think that might be it for right now.  I have also started looking at more earth friendly cleaners and recipes for making my own.  I cannot say too much about that right now as I have just started to look into that. 

 

Thanks for reading the novel if you have gotten this far.  These products are not the only ones out there, but it is just what I have found works for our family.  So I hope maybe you will look into some of these tips and ideas and see if your family can become more earth friendly too. 

 

There is always more that I can do, but I am starting with these simple steps and feel good about helping Leah and Jonah learn the value of taking care of our earth.

 

Tiffany Heim