Practical Parenting Ideas: 25 Practical Ways to Go Green {and Save Money}

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

25 Practical Ways to Go Green {and Save Money}

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If you're like me, the term "going green" is something you're familiar with and try to incorporate into daily life in some ways. In anticipation of Earth Day I've been looking for additional ways I can help my kids contribute to preserving the earth. Truth is, a lot of little changes make a big difference when it comes to creating a more eco-friendly community. And not only will "green" practices save you energy, but they'll help you save money, too!
  1. Plant a Garden: Eat healthy & organic while saving money on food planting a garden. If you live in an apartment or somewhere you're unable to have your own garden, you could find out if there's a community garden in your area.
  2. Recycle: Check out your city website for recycling options. Where I live there are free local recycle bins for dropping off paper, plastic, and aluminum/tin cans for those that don't pay for a personal recycling service.
  3. Live by Natural Light: Open the curtains in your home and live by natural light during the day as much as possible to cut down on electricity.
  4. Drive Less: Look into carpooling to work, or walking/biking/etc. short distances when possible to cut down on pollution and save gas money.
  5. Pass on Magazines: Share your magazines by reading them and passing them onto foundations, collection agencies, or doctor's offices that will make good uses of them.
  6. Unplug Electronics: When not in use, unplug electronics or unused chargers from the wall. Even if your phone or iPad are not hooked to the end, it's still using a small amount of electricity left plugged in.
  7. Reusable Food Products: Use reusable food pouches, lunch boxeswater bottlessnack bags, etc. that can be washed and reused rather than thrown away. Be sure to label any products, especially the kids', so that if lost they can be returned.
  8. Maintain Appliances: Check to ensure your refrigerator, dishwasher, washer, dryer, water heater, and AC/furnace are in working condition and are properly cleaned & maintained to help them run more efficiently and safely.
  9. Newspapers: Cancel your newspaper subscription and read the paper online.
  10. Rechargeable Batteries: Buy rechargeable batteries to cut down on the waste and cost of disposable.
  11. Cloth Diapers & Training Pants: Consider using cloth diapers, such as Grovia, instead of disposable ones to save on cost and protect the environment. Aren't fluffy bums the cutest, any way!?
  12. Turn Off Your Computer: Shut down your computer at the end of the day to conserve electricity & create an eco-friendly home or workplace.
  13. Cloth Napkins: Use cloth napkins/towels rather than paper.
  14. Conserve Water: Be conscious of how much water you use throughout the day to conserve more water, especially avoid leaving the tap running while not in use.
  15. Energy Efficient Light Bulbs: Use compact fluorescent, LED, or halogen bulbs instead of conventional incandescent bulbs to save on energy and your electric bill.
  16. Open Windows: Save energy running the heat or AC as much in the spring/summer by opening a window in the morning/evening to let cool air create a comfortable temperature in the home. When the AC/heater is being used a lot be sure to change the filter at least every 3 months to ensure it will work properly.
  17. Donate Old Newspapers: Rather than recycling newspapers you could also donate them to animal shelters.
  18. Yard Sales: Have a yard sale or visit one before you throw things out or purchase new things to get more use out of them. Freecycle is another option to find items you need or don't want.
  19. Pick up Trash: Involve the kids in picking up trash in your neighborhood to beautify the area. Find out if your area has a spring clean-up you could attend as well.
  20. Pay Bills Online and sign up for paperless billing to reduce paper waste and postage costs.
  21. Greener Cleaning Products: Purchase free and clear cleaning products or make your own to protect the environment.
  22. Eco Dishwasher Detergent: Switch to an all-natural dishwasher detergent or make your own.
  23. Water Pollution: Avoid contributing to water pollution by never dumping paint or unwanted chemicals to a hazardous waste collection site.
  24. Regular Vehicle Maintenance: Schedule a regular tune-up and needed maintenance done on your car to avoid excess wear and tear, ensure your vehicle runs cleaner, and ultimately save on gas.
  25. Cloth Grocery Bags: Purchase reusable grocery bags at the check-out for just a couple dollars each. Many stores will give you 5 cents off per bag each time you bring your own and you save the waste of using plastic bags.
Have additional ideas for living more green? We'd love to hear in the comments!

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Photo credits: All photos are my own with the exception of the garden, used with permission by Zion's Studio and the water bottles by

1 comment:

  1. Great list!!!! Thanks for the reminder on a few of them!!