- Avoid disposable items.
Trading convenience for a little more work is costly not only
to our wallets but to our environment. Here are a few examples:
- Paper plates
- Use dishes and wash them after each use.
- Paper Towels/Napkins
- Use dishclothes and clothe napkins, washing after
- Plastic Utensils
- Great for picnics, bad for the environment! Use your silverware
and wash when finished.
- Disposable cameras
- Invest in an inexpensive digital one. They take excellent
pictures and you can print as many as you want any time.
- Toys - If it's
going to break, why buy it? Avoid those "kid's meal"
toys and opt for a more durable one for the children.
- Tools - Buy
durable, dependable power and hand tools. They'll outlive the
cheap ones. What you spend more on now will save you in replacements
in the future.
- Avoid packaging. Take
reusable bags to the store with you. Buy items in recyclable
containers. If you must ship something, use newspaper to pack
instead of styrofoam peanuts.
- Buy in bulk.
Larger containers usually mean less waste as well as less cost.
Buy a bigger size instead of single-serve sizes.
- Buy Non-Toxic.
Cleaners and other household chemicals now have less toxic alternatives
that are safer for your family, pets, and the environment. Consider
these as a serious alternative.
- Buy Recycled! If
you recycle, but don't buy recycled-content material, you're
only doing half the job. If you must buy disposable paper items,
make sure they have recycled content.
- Why buy it when you
can borrow it?
Sometimes it just makes sense to borrow an expensive item rather
than buy one. If you and your neighbor have a small yard, consider
borrowing a mower instead of buying one for each household.
Need a 3/8" socket? Ask someone instead of buying a new
- Fix it. If
a shirt loses a button, don't pitch the shirt, fix the button.
If the faucet leaks, replace the O-rings, not the whole fixture!
A little handywork at home can save a lot of money, time, and
- Freecycle It!
Freecycle is an international group of people who can give and
take free items based on Yahoo message boards. To
learn more, click here.
- Have a yard sale.
Let others know what you have and maybe make a buck or two in
the process! For tips to have a great
yard sale, click here.
- Donate it.
When something is still in great condition and you just don't
need it anymore, donate it to someone who needs it. Whether
it's a neighbor, family member, or local charity, passing it
along really helps. Click here for listings
of local charitable organizations to donate your used goods.