Friday, April 18, 2008

it's easy being green

i hear all the time, 'i really want to be more green, but i don't know where to start'. i think it's just that there is so much talk about being green everywhere right now. you can't even open up an elle magazine without reading about green makeup and green fashion. i mean come on people. even i just want to read what color is good for the season and which trashy books are out for summer beach reading without feeling guilty that my jeans were made in some sweatshop. what i'm saying is that even for someone like me who is so far up in it, it's a little overwhelming. this blog is dedicated to making being green easy, so i have listed 10 easy things anyone can do to make a little difference. and who knows, maybe you'll all have some for me too. sharing is nice. plus i've been getting a lot of flak lately about how everything i suggest costs 5 times as much as the thing they were using before, so everything i have listed is either cheap or will save you money.

1. local farmer's markets - i can't say enough great things about buying local and in season. i know everyone hates grocery shopping, but going to a farmers market on like a wednesday night or saturday morning is like heaven. the colors, the flowers, the nice people. sigh. it's all farmers from local farms who want to sell you their tomatoes. and it's somehow CHEAPER than the grocery store. and they are delicious. trust me, you will never buy produce from may to september in a grocery store again. click here for a website that will list all your local farmer's markets (ma only).

2. market bags - these are so fun, they remind me of the rain hat your grandma somehow always carried in her purse that folded into a 2" square. they are lightweight and pretty and you'll never have to get a plastic bag at any store ever again. buy them at greenward, scott says he can't keep them in stock and they are so CHEAP - $7.95! if you can't get to greenward (booo...) click here to buy on line. this site has lots of great reusable bags.

3. unplug/turn off - unplug your appliances and cell phone chargers at night. they do still use energy even when they aren't on. also, turn off your computer and printer at night.

4. eco friendly cleaners - this one has been written up ad nauseum this spring with all the mags and their spring cleaning articles. don't go out and spend a lot of money getting new products. start small. think of the products that leave your house via the drain and start there. all that stuff goes back out into the water supply. so, like dish soap, bath scrubs, laundry detergents etc. method makes lots of eco friendly cleaning products that are don't cost much more than the regular brands and are available at target. and you are always at target right? here are some of my other favorites:
mrs. meyers all purpose scrub - i have the lavender. it's so not comet, available at whole foods.
earth friendly products dishwashing liquid - i like the apricot, available at trader joe's.

5. compact florescent light bulbs - take my earlier rant with a grain of salt, these really are great. they use a ton less energy and they last forever. which saves you money. just keep them out of the kids rooms.

6. reduce recycling - for full explanation on this see earlier post, but really buy less things that are in plastic. less to recycle, less impact on the planet (and less stuff to lug to the curb).

7. reuse your plastic bags - rinse em out and reuse em. how is that for money saving? huh, john fitzpatrick? huh? yeah.

8. check your tires - if every american’s tires were properly inflated we could save around 2 billion gallons of gas each year. also, get the junk out of the trunk, it will help with your fuel economy.

9. just say no to plastic water bottles - get yourself a reusable water bottle, sigg makes really nice cool ones. $20.00 but you'll never have to buy another poland spring bottle of water again at $1.25 a pop.

10. green dimes - their motto is 'stop junk mail, save trees, help the environment'. as kate browning would say, what's better than that? there is a basic package which is free, premium that is 20.00/year etc. really, who needs 4 pottery barn catalogs a month?

i hope this helps all of you who don't know where to start. please comment and post any easy tips you have.


Dana said...

I am going to see if I can reform my bad behavior re: the cleaning products. Method has a temporary store front on Newbury street, good deasls and coupons. Via bostonist:

the mama bird diaries said...

Great ideas Alanna!

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