These two things often go hand in hand. Being less wasteful is inherently thrifty, and almost always the right choice when it comes to our environment. I'd like to share some of my favorite, simple tips that not only save money, they can save space in landfills, energy, and carbon emissions.
Cold Water Washing
"Washing every load on the hot/warm cycle (in a top loading machine and an electric water heater) for a year is equivalent to burning about 182 gallons of gasoline in a car; in an average (19.8 miles per gallon) car, that'll get you around 3595 miles. So, wash in hot/warm, or drive almost 3600 miles -- same difference." - TreeHugger.com
With the cost of cold water washing averaging at about 90% less, you are bound to net a considerable savings over the coarse of a year. Cold water washing is not without its challenges, however. Certain stains and garments may need a little extra help to get their cleanest. An article from Mrs. MacGyver's Home Journal takes you through the challenges of cold water washing and provides valuable tips for getting your laundry nice and clean, the green way!
Speaking of laundry, it is also recommended to run a full load each time you do a wash. The same rule applies to your other appliances, such as the dishwasher.
Be a DIY Diva
If it is broken, fix it. If you want it, make it. You may already know that you don't have to spend a fortune to have luxurious bath and body products at home, but there is a whole wide world of DIY to explore. Crafts have come a long way in the last decade or so, and there are plenty of resources online to help you learn to knit, sew, craft, or embellish chic and fashionable garments, accessories, and home decor! DIY skills can also help you to keep your current belongings looking fresh. Many items can be repaired or updated instead of being replaced. This cuts down on waste while saving you plenty of green. Check out the following sites to learn more about the Do-It-Yourself lifestyle.
- BurdaStyle.com features tons of fashionable sewing patterns that can be downloaded and printed at home or at a local copy shop. The best part? Most patterns on Burda Style are totally free!
- Sewing.Org shares free information on sewing, including a detailed Sewing Guide, a tool for finding local sewing teachers, and selection of free patterns and projects!
- DoItYourself.com offers information and How-To's on a huge range of DIY projects including, Crafts, Home Repairs, Gardening, Home Decorating, and even Automotive Repair!
- If you'd like to update cabinetry or furniture that has gone out of fashion, check out the following articles we found online at DIY Network, Savvy Home Decorating, and BeJane.com.
- Visit LearntoKnit.com and KnittingHelp.com to learn how to cast on and get stitching. Once you've mastered tha basics, check out Knitty.com for hundreds of free patterns that will knock your socks off.
- Save money and plastic by creating your own Upcycled Tote Bags, Re-usable Sandwich Wraps, and Lunch Bags at home.
Take a Walk
If you are lucky enough to live within walking or biking distance of places that you need to go, take advantage of this fortune. Leave the car at home, and take a walk or a bike ride instead. Slowing your pace by walking instead of driving can not only save money and fuel, it can promote well being. Adding a little excercise and time for quiet contemplation can do a lot of good for the mind and body. For those who live further away from it all, try hiking as an alternative to more costly passtimes. Visit Trails.com to find a hike near you. Most hiking trails are either free to enjoy. Others require a small donation for use. Either way, they make a pleasant and thrifty alternative to a trip to the movies, mall, or amusement park.
When you do have to drive, share the burden with friends, family, or co-workers. If you use social netowrks such as Facebook, it can be easy to arrange car pools with people that you know. By splitting gas and tolls you can save money while reducing the amount of vehicles in use that day. Besides, carpooling can provide you with extra personal time. Read a book, take a nap, or enjoy a pleasant conversation with your companions.