Sometimes gadgets and products that are supposed to make your life easier only make it more complicated and expensive. How do you ‘?go green’? when getting back to basics involves hard work you just don’t have the time or money for?
Doing your part can start with a few simple green changes in your daily life. You don’t have to do everything at once. ‘?Go green’? with small steps for a more affordable and rewarding lifestyle change:
Go Green Coffee Hacks
Coffee in the morning is mandatory for most people, and there are green coffee hacks to keep you fueled:
Toss the Keurig and get a French press. The bonus is that you can use the French press with you when you go camping.
Bring your own mug or travel cup when you go to the coffee shop. You get a discount, skip the paper and have more to tip the barista.
Go Green Cleaning Hacks
Make your own homemade cleaning products, and worry less about the safety of dangerous chemicals around your family:
Homemade furniture polish can be green by mixing lemon, olive oil and water. Apply with a soft cloth to polish wood and add a layer of protection to the surface.
Battle moldy, damp areas with a mixture of vinegar and a few drops of tea tree oil, for a de-molder that’s as powerful as commercial products.
Glass cleaner is made by diluting vinegar with water to apply and wipe away as you normally would.
Need a safe all-purpose cleaner? Make a safe spray for kitchen counters and for places that little hands grab by soaking an orange peel in distilled white vinegar. Collect orange peels in a container and pour the vinegar over the peels until they are covered. If too potent, dilute the solution with a little water.
Go Green Kitchen Use and Pantry Hacks
Invest in cast iron pans, and ditch the nonstick pans. You trade up for pans that don’t contain PFCs (perfluorocarbons), a chemical linked to liver damage, cancer and developmental problems. PFCs are released when nonstick pans are heated on high heat.
Besides avoiding harmful chemicals, you are able to pass on cast iron pans to your children because of their durability. Cast iron pans can go right on the fire when camping, too.
Clean your cast iron pan with hot water and a sponge or stiff brush. For stuck food, a paste of kosher salt and water will help remove the gunk. Cast iron pans are low maintenance, durable for generations and safe for the family.
Say goodbye to paper towels and use washable hand towels, napkins and cleaning rags, instead. Old pieces of fabric can be used for grungier messes. Instead of worrying about folding more towels, grab two bins for both clean and dirty rags. A simple no paper towel system easily replaces paper towel usage.
Grow and can your own food for a well-stocked kitchen and pantry. There’s something powerful about being self-sufficient and knowing how to grow and preserve your own food. Even if you live in a small apartment with limited sunlight, an indoor vegetable garden is still possible with the right set up. Even growing a small amount of food can stretch a grocery budget.
Knowing how to preserve your own food by canning and dehydrating is a wonderful hobby that will save time and money once you get into the rhythm of it. This is also wonderful knowledge to pass down to your children. If your neighbors regularly ask for your salsa recipe, consider selling at the farmer’s market.
Go Green by Upcycling
If you’re a thrift store fan, anyway, why not graduate to upcycling? You can find amazing clothes in thrift stores on the cheap! You’ll also find dishware and old furniture that can be converted into new and fun household works of art, with a little TLC. It’s as easy as removing drawers to make shelves or adding a new coat of paint to a chair! Focus on repairing what you have and upcycling before you go out to purchase another item that’ll end up in perpetual storage.
The key to going green is as simple as considering the difference between need and want. Do you need a reliable, fuel-efficient car, or do you need a luxury car?
Do you need a name brand jar of salsa, or will you find more reward and health benefits out of making and canning your own salsa?
A green lifestyle doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult to achieve. In fact, going green is about simplicity and minimalism. You work with what you got to realize you really had a whole lot!
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