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Living green

While some may resist going green because of the cost, others know being eco-minded saves a lot of green, too. Here are some more ideas for saving money and the environment.
Make your own cooking spray Commercial cooking sprays are bad for your health - they contain additives and genetically-modified ingredients - and bad for the environment. Many sprays contain nitrous oxide, an ozone-depleting substance. Buck the trend: create your own cooking spray using a refillable pump-spray bottle with your fave cooking oil instead.
Buy refurbished ink About 375 million ink cartridges are tossed into landfills each year. 97% of materials contained in an ink cartridge can be reused or recycled! Buy refurbished next time.
Use reusable bags The US alone adds 20 million plastic baggies to landfills every day. SnackTaxi is among several companies trying to combat this waste by offering reusable sacks. So far, they helped keep over seven million plastic baggies out of water streams, which equates to about 430,000 pounds. In addition to keeping our waterways clean, these bags are dishwasher safe and can be used again and again.
Green your clean Flushing toxic substances into our waterways has grave environmental impacts. Swap out manufactured cleaner for natural household items to get the job done. Pour a cup of vinegar into the toilet bowl and let sit for one hour. Dip the toilet brush into the bowl, sprinkle with one-half cup baking soda and scrub until clean.
Behold the power of lemons Lemons are a natural cleanser, helping to cut grease on dirty dishes and clean countertops when mixed with water. You can even use lemon juice to keep creepy crawlers from invading your house! Check out this complete list of green uses for yellow lemons, and stock up on one of nature's most useful creations.
Repurpose greeting cards In addition to sending evites and other digital well-wishes,  reuse the paper greeting cards you receive. Simply remove the personal message and retain the decorative part to be used as a postcard greeting.
Close the blinds Since heating and cooling take up most of the energy use detailed on our utility bills, finding alternative ways to keep your home comfortable is paramount. Simply closing your blinds can help mitigate the warming effects of the sun, since 40% of unwanted heat comes through windows.
Cloth, not paper Paper towel contribute heavily to the 40% ratio of paper products in  landfills. At an average of $1 per roll, save money and the environment by switching to cloth napkins, sponges and other reusable methods of cleanup.
Go native Instead of watching your plants wither in the hot sun, revitalize your garden with native plants. Check with your local nursery about the best plants for your region and watch your garden thrive as your water bill plummets.
Recycle your cell Cell phones contain such toxic chemicals as lead, lithium and cadmium. Don't toss your old device; donate it to a charity like Cell Phones for Soldiers, which receives proceeds in exchange for recycling it.


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