One of this year's most popular New Year's Resolutions is to "Go Green." This is not a new concept for most of us who live in Oregon, but it never hurts to be reminded of the small things you can do that make a big difference in using resources more wisely. Here are a few to start implementing into your daily routine:
- Turn off the faucet while brushing teeth to save water. And if you have a leaky faucet, by all means get it fixed! It might just be a small rubber gasket that has cracked. Small repair, big savings!
- Turn down the thermostat; if you're chilly, put on a sweater and slippers to stay warmer. Use draft blockers on windows and doors (which you can make out of recyclable materials!)
- Use cloth bags at the supermarket. If you must bring home your purchases in plastic bags, re-use them as trash bags in your kitchen and bathrooms.
- Walk or ride a bike where you can (hey, this will help you achieve or maintain your diet goals for 2010 too!)
- Re-use Christmas and birthday gift wrap as drawer liners, for crafts with the kids or as packing material for things that you ship (gifts, eBay purchases, etc.) throughout the year.
- Save your old newspapers and donate them to the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts. They can recycle them for fundraisers, or roll them and use them for kindling on campouts.
- Eat leftovers. It's easy to do if you plan your weekly menu to include leftovers. Cook a whole chicken for a nice family Sunday dinner, then use the rest of the chicken for chicken salad sandwiches, chicken pot pie, and lastly, chicken soup. Or plan a "Raid the Refrigerator" meal once a week. They kids love deciding what they want for dinner, and you'll throw away less food! (Hey, that saves money, too!).
- Turn your old clothes into something else: Shirts and pants become quilts; sweaters and socks become gloves; old socks make great puppets and draft blockers (see above). Old towels can be rags for the kitchen and shop.
- Investigate "green" cleaning supplies for your home. Use vinegar and baking soda instead of store-bought cleaners.
- Got a home improvement project you've been meaning to complete? Buy recycled building materials at Restore Habitat for Humanity in downtown Medford. It's a combination Good Will/Home Depot. You re-use doors, windows, light fixtures and more, you save money, and the money from your purchase helps build houses for the less fortunate. It's a win-win!
Subscribe to The Daily Green
Recycle your old computers & televisions (it's the law in OR!): Oregon E-cycle locations