Being Green on a Budget

I often have heard people say that they will go green when they can afford to.  Things are tight now and Green Products are more expensive.  That certainly can be the case, as with anything.  Luxury products do cost more.  I also know that living a green lifestyle myself, that I save money.  I re-use, and re-design and re-furbish and I save.  I use cardboard boxes in my organic garden to prevent weeds. I use my twisty ties and rubber bands that come on my fruit and veggies for all kinds of uses.  I re-use containers and brown paper bags.  My daughter loves to make cool projects from paper bags and left over tissue paper from gifts.  She make puppet stages and all kinds of inventions out of cardboard boxes.  It saves on buying new toys.  She learns creativity and I can re-cycle it when she is done.  I sell on e-bay and Craigslist.  We buy used and we trade toys… all these things add up to saving a lot of money.  I can buy green products that are quality made because I save in other ways.  We use peanut butter jars to drink out of…  it’s great, I never have to worry if one breaks…  I used my tin watering can that finally rusted out, for a new planter.  It’s decorative and unique.  I’d have to say that being green and living a green lifestyle isn’t expensive at all unless you choose for it to be.  It can be very affordable and even frugal.  Freecycle is a great way to be green.  Yard sales, thrift stores are also great and you can sometimes find some really nice finds.  There are countless ways of being green.  You don’t have to wait until the finances get better.  You can actually help your finances by being green.  Besides being green is Hip! and it connects you to a greater cause and one that makes you feel good.  You meet wonderful people and share a common goal.  Being green is fun and educational.  It becomes the new way of life and it becomes a habit.   I don’t even realize sometimes how green I am, because it’s natural for me now.   Green living is the New, consumerism is going out as people realize how wasteful life has been up to this point, and the enormous impact it is having on us all. Give it a try! One step at a time..

The Christmas Tree Debate!

Christmas Tree Debate Real or Plastic?

Over the years I’ve heard so many comments about what is considered the eco thing to do when it comes to buying Christmas Trees.  Some have commented that real trees, cut down trees and therefore it is much Greener to have an artificial tree.  Some say it is much Greener to have a Real Tree!
Here are some facts to help you decide:
Plastic trees last longer, yes, but they also will eventually end up in the landfill and take over 500 years to decompose.  The carbon footprint of the production of a plastic tree and the toxins it produces to make them are of real concern.
  • Artificial trees are made of PVC a toxic plastic which off gas toxic chemicals
  • Artificial trees are non recyclable and non biodegradable
  • Artificial trees are made of petroleum and metal and have a high carbon footprint
  • Artificial trees are cleaner and less messy and maybe the choice with people with tree allergies
33 million live trees are sold in the US every year.  This benefits local tree farmers and helps the environment. Most trees take up to 16 years to harvest.  These trees are re-planted, from seeds, which keeps the cycle of trees constantly going.  Live trees biodegrade much faster.  I suggest getting your tree locally and driving as close as you can get the tree to avoid the carbon footprint of emissions.
  • One single tree absorbs 1 ton of carbon emissions in it’s life time.
  • Live Christmas trees are a sustainable product, they are replanted / replaced each year.
  • Live Trees employ over 100,000 Americans
  • Live Trees can be mulched, used for landscaping, gardening or erosion control
  • Live trees can have an impact on the environment if pesticides are used to grow them
  • Live trees can be purchased with a bulb and replanted for next Christmas
  • Live trees need to be discarded outside of a landfill, landfills don’t provide enough oxygen for decomposition

The best option for live trees would be a chemical free tree or an organically grown tree that is locally grown. If you must purchase a artificial tree search and see if you can find one that is used. It has less off-gassing and is much better for the environment because new ones don’ t have to be made. Until which time food grade plastic trees or other sustainable fiber trees can be made, our vote is on a live Christmas tree! They have a wonderful aroma too! Enjoy your holidays!

Shop Green this Holiday Season with Pumpkin Doodle!

Autumn is near – time to change

This time of year is magical in some ways with the season’s changing, the leaves turning beautiful colors and the crispness in the air. Soon the day light savings time will change, the weather will get colder and we all start to prepare for winter by changing out screens, storing our summer items and winterizing the house and yard.  Most of us will be raking leaves ( which is always a fun chore to have, jumping in piles of leaves playing),  mulching trees and  flower gardens, and  preparing  the garden for winter planting.  Autumn is a time for change in so many ways.

This time of year being Green is very important as we prepare for cold weather.  There are so many ways you can be Eco Friendly during your winterization process.

Here are some great eco friendly winterization tips:

  • Gather seeds and seed pods from plants to plant next spring – its fun educational and saves money
  • Use non VOC paint
  • Use Eco-friendly or bio based foam sealant
  • Use cotton, wool or recycled content insulation
  • Buy Organic cotton, Wool, Bamboo or other Natural fiber blankets or Duvets
  • Buy used blankets to help save the environment from the carbon footprint of buying new
  • Seal windows and doors to prevent air leakage to save on energy
  • Install LED or CFL lighting that uses less energy
  • Use less light bulbs (we use 1/3 the lighting that is suggested in our lamps & fixtures etc)
  • Use biomass heating if possible in place of Oil, buy energy efficient heating appliances, solar or geothermal systems to save energy and off-put less C02
  • Turn off lights when not in use
  • Turn down heat when not at home
  • Open you oven door after baking to allow the extra heat to heat your home
  • Close doors to trap heat in each room
  • Use Storm doors or windows / insulated windows to keep exterior doors & windows air tight
  • Buy low e glass in windows and doors to help with energy conservation
  • Use biodegradable bags if you need to bag leaves for pick-up or compost leaves in the yard or garden
  • Allow for city pick-up or natural decomposition for lawn clippings or limbs/ brush instead of burning
  • Use electric lawn equipment when possible
  • Storing patio furniture and umbrellas,  covering grills will make them last longer.
  • Use Green lawn care products when treating lawn and gardens
  • Store ash from fireplaces/ wood burning stoves or corn burning stoves to use in the garden for spring
  • Pressure washers and other  outdoor cleaning can be done eco-friendly without the use of toxic chemicals
  • Dispose of construction waste consciously by donating unused or used lumber, windows and doors to Habitat for Humanity for re-sale.  Recycle unusable materials to recycling center near by.  You sometimes can get a small amount of cash, but if not, it is worth the effort just to keep it out of the landfills.

Autumn is a wonderful time of the year enjoy it the healthy, eco friendly way!