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Go green and keep your green, pt. four: buy smart

Here is the final installment of the Go Green and Keep Your Green series. I hope some of these tips have given you some ideas on how to save money and the planet. Please share your ideas here too!

Buy Smart

  • Find it online. Thanks to some handy web communities, the next time you need to buy something you may be able to get it secondhand for free, or at least for a low cost. Websites like Freecycle, Craigslist and Freesharing can put you in touch with people who are selling or giving away used household items, or people who are in need of something you want to get rid of but can’t bear to throw away. And, there's a great new freebie-finding resource recently started in Chicago called PixieList. PixieList allows you to get or give free stuff, plus they also have a wish list option to help you find those free items more easily.
  • Recharge it. Household batteries may be small, but we use a lot of them, they contain toxic substances and the cost can add up. Buying rechargeable batteries may be a small investment, but they’ll pay for themselves quickly and you’ll enjoy not having to buy batteries or worry about how to dispose of them. And once they wear out, they can be recycled!
  • Hold the packaging. Although individually packaged items may seem convenient, consumers pay for that convenience. The difference in cost between an individually packaged product and its bulk counterpart can be shocking, and the difference in waste can be staggering as well—1/3 of everything we throw away is packaging. Look for bulk food sections in grocery stores so you can get just the amount you want. Or, check out your local farmer's market where the produce items come in their own natural packaging. Remember to bring your own bag!

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