At rubbingnickels.com, we often have the feeling that the “green” movement has stalled a little in the era of the economic downturn. Some of the actions we take to be more green cost money, for example, purchasing a hybrid car or installing solar panels. But what many forget is that “eco” and “thrifty” often go hand in hand. Think along the lines of things your Grandma might have done that you thought were strange: i.e. re-using margarine tubs as tupperware or sewing crazy quilts out of leftover scraps of fabric. Here are a few tips that will help you save the planet and save some cash at the same time (just like Grandma used to do).
Tighten up your gas cap. Yep! According to the Car Care Council, we lose 147 million gallons of gas each year, evaporated into the atmosphere, due to loose gas caps.
Use bar soap instead of pump soap. If you buy bars in brown, biodegradable or re-usable wrapping (like the soap in our picture), you decrease your waste from 20 pounds of plastic each year to zero.
Cool your water in the fridge. Running the water into a pitcher until it is cold can waste many gallons of water. Run the water into the pitcher at room temp (not letting the faucet run first) and then cool it in the refrigerator.
Re-use your scrap paper. It never fails that when you try to print a document, you end up with tons of extra pages with tiny bits of print in the corners or bottom. Don’t recycle this in the bin! Instead, us it for kid’s homework, grocery lists and gift wrap.
Use a toaster oven for baking whenever possible. According to Country Living magazine (April 2009), toaster ovens use half the amount of electricity as electric ovens and they don’t raise the temperature of the kitchen nearly as much.
Darcy Ratner and Julie Arnheim