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Go green and save money in 2010

Involve the whole family in your New Year's Resolution to "Go Green" this year.
Involve the whole family in your New Year's Resolution to "Go Green" this year.
Photo by hortonguru/Stock Xchng

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:

  1. 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!
  2. 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!)
  3. 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.
  4. Walk or ride a bike where you can (hey, this will help you achieve or maintain your diet goals for 2010 too!)
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!).
  8. 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.
  9. Investigate "green" cleaning supplies for your home.  Use vinegar and baking soda instead of store-bought cleaners. 
  10. 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!


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Recycle your old computers & televisions (it's the law in OR!):  Oregon E-cycle locations


  • Cowabunga 5 years ago

    I like your take on going green, it should be to save money, not the planet. Don't get me wrong, I do not think that we should throw litter around, but I saw a bumper sticker today that said said "recycle, it's a small planet." My first thought was that it is a medium size planet and if we want it to look nice we could start by getting rid of ugly looking bumper sticker. I digress; I'm not sure that the fabric shopping bags are economical. I'm curious how they pencil out. Will the store be responsible when your jar of pickles falls thru your worn out bag?

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