Euphoria’s Blog for Green Mamas

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Top 5 Eco-Switches that SAVE MONEY! October 25, 2008

Filed under: Eco-Friendly Living — Rachel @ 6:53 pm
Tags: , , ,

With the economic uncertainty we’re all facing today, it’s time to adopt new habits that prevent wasted money and wasted resources.  Some folks feel that “going green” is for the wealthy.  Actually, many environmentally responsible practices are thrifty as well.  Here are my favorite changes I’ve made in the last year that have definitely saved my family money:

1. Glass Storage Containers:  What’s with ziplock bags?  Why not use something reusable and washable to store your leftovers?  I mean, sure, you can fit more into the fridge with ziplocks, but do you really want that many leftovers stuck in the fridge?  Are you really going to eat them before they go bad?  Using glass storage containers makes leftovers look appetizing.  In lieu of plastic storage containers, which leach toxins and get those ugly food stains, glass is eco-friendly, safe to microwave in and pretty too.  We stopped using plastic bags and started buying glass containers here and there.  Now we’re stocked with glass and saving money too!

2. Cleaning with Vinegar & Baking Soda:  When I first had that “aha” moment in which I realized that using conventional cleaning supplies was leaving a trail of toxins around my sparkling “clean” home, I started using Method cleaning products.  They say they’re safe and they’re packaged so nicely.  Well, cleaning with home-mixed vinegar and baking soda based products is really the way to go.  It’s easy and so, so, so cheap.  Learn how to Make Your Own Household Cleaners and start saving.

3.  side standing closeCloth Diapers:  It was about this time last year that I switched from disposables to cloth diapers.  My husband and I took a lot of convincing, but once we tried them, we never looked back.  Diapering with cloth is nicer, cheaper and not much more work.  Once you get in the habit of pushing that washing machine button a few more times a week, you wonder why it ever seemed to make sense to drive to the store and fork over hard-earned cash.  Check it out at Cloth Diapers Explained.

4.  Cloth Pads:  Alright, I’m coming out of the closet… I switched to cloth pads.  Ewwww… I know, I know, it sounds awful.  It’s not.  It’s nice.  Softer than paper, not scratchy like disposable pads.  Really, a lot more like underwear!  I was a tampon-only girl, but now I’m happier with cloth.  After all, if I’m going to wash diapers, why not pads?  My menstrual blood is natural, not some nasty abhorrent substance.  Anyhow, they’re cheap (about $10-12 each) or you can make your own so easily.  My mom and I made them with some old cotton flannel shirts.  Recycled and reusable.  Just think how much I’ll save on disposable menstrual products throughout my life!

5.  Oil Cleansing Method:  This is my latest switch.  I put aside my arsenal of facial products (cleanser, scrub, mask, toner, moisturizer, serum) for one little bottle of my homemade oil mix.  I use 20% castor oil and 80% sunflower seed oil to cleanse my face once per day or less.  Now my skin is balanced – not too oily, not too dry – and I’ve had annoying combination skin for ages.  It’s one less thing to do in the morning and it’s saving me oodles of money on cosmetics, which are so often of questionable safety (see Skin Deep: Cosmetic Database to check the safety rating on your cosmetics).

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6 Responses to “Top 5 Eco-Switches that SAVE MONEY!”

  1. Kansas Mom Says:

    Great suggestions. My husband and I are starting to make the move to glass in our kitchen now (spurred by our ditching of the melamine!) and of course I’m loving the cloth diapers as well. I’ve also been making our cleaners for about a year and I’m so glad to have those unnecessary toxins out of the house. A few essential oils and some castile cleaner and we’re set. It seems expensive at first, but one bottle of castile cleaner lasted about a year, so it’s much cheaper in the long run.

    So if you’re using the cloth diapers and the cloth menstral clothes (which interest me, along with the Divacup)…have you considered saving toilet paper only for company? I have to admit, I think about it now and then. I use cloth wipes for the girls…what’s the difference?

  2. Maxine Says:

    I’ve been using vinegar and baking soda for more than a year and I love not having all that nasty smelly stuff in my house.

    Do you make your own laundry soap? I made my own in August and have just reached the halfway point in the jar – talk about cheap! And it really gets the clothes clean and when my son gets really dirty I throw in some BioKleen oxygen bleach.

  3. Rachel Says:

    Maxine,

    I’ve not made my own laundry soap, but that sounds like a good idea! Care to share your recipe?

    Kansas Mom,

    I have thought about the toilet paper, but my husband scoffs at the idea. One step at a time, right! I suppose while we’re already washing cloth diapers, there would be no difference. I wonder what people put in their bathrooms for storing the dirty ones until wash day…

  4. Kansas Mom Says:

    I thought about using one of those hanging bags for storing cloth diapers before wash day. We happen to have an extra one already. I’m sure my husband would not be thrilled with the idea. He doesn’t even know I’ve considered it.

    I wanted to make my own laundry detergent and even went so far as to buy all the ingredients, but then we replaced our broken washing machine with a high efficiency one. I read mixed things on whether it was damaging to the machine and decided not to risk our investment, but I would definitely do it if we still had the old one. Here’s one recipe (there are bunches available online):

    http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2007/03/15/how-to-make-your-own-laundry-detergent-and-save-big-money/

    I’d also be careful about using it on cloth diapers. You might want to double-check any ingredients with the manufacturers.

  5. Heather Says:

    I’ve been rewashing my ziplocs, but I just realized I could be reusing the glass jars I’ve been saving from products I use up! No more wasted honey, spaghetti sauce, and jelly jars for us.

    Kudos on the cloth pads. I’ve switched to the DivaCup (will NEVER use tampons again – it’s wonderful), but I’m still curious about the cloth pads. I may splurge and at least try them soon.

  6. niftymom Says:

    I swear by the vinegar and baking soda for my cleaning!

    Also another alternative to highly wasteful tampons and traditional pads is the DivaCup. I just got one, freaked my husband out at first when I told him about it and that I was getting it but I have a good eco conscious about it!

    With the castor/sunflower oil…I’ll have to try that I have very sensitive/acne prone skin and maybe this will help.


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