Nothing is better than being able to go outside again when spring comes, and nothing is more disheartening then taking a look around your living space and realizing that it’s time to do some serious spring cleaning. If you want to go green while you’re cleaning up your place these simple green living tips can be lifesavers. Continue reading
Green living is a lot like getting 6-pack abs; you know in your head that everyone can do it but it seems like an impossible goal from where you are now. Green living, just like getting a better physique, isn’t something you just accomplish overnight though; it’s a series of small steps you take to change your life gradually.
If you’re looking to leave a smaller impact on the environment, use less energy, and overall live a cleaner, greener life then here are some simple changes you can make today. Continue reading
Sustainable living isn’t easy, especially in this age of “use it once, throw it away” we live in. Buy for those who want to save time, money, and the environment there are a lot of ways to leave a smaller footprint.
Bubble Wrap Window Insulation
Windows are one of the chief places for the cold to sneak in during winter. While no one wants to Continue reading
Green living can sometimes seem needlessly expensive, particularly when you add up the costs of buying fresh produce, making sure everything you use is made up of the proper amount of recycled content, and that you’re using all-natural cleaners and chemical-free cleansers. Going green doesn’t have to cost you all your green though; you just need to make changes that save you money and save the environment at the same time. Changes like… Continue reading
Everyone knows that plastic shopping bags are public enemy number one when it comes to recycling. While it’s certainly not a bad idea to kick them to the curb and just use a cloth shopping bag for all of your grocery needs, most people already have at least one drawer jam-packed with plastic bags that they don’t know what to do with. If you’re willing to get a little creative there are plenty of plastic bag solutions all around your house.
Knee and Shoe Guards
Have you ever wanted to get some weeding done in your side garden, but you didn’t want dirt all over your pants as well as your hands? Tie a plastic shopping bag around each of your knees and put your green thumb to work. If it’s raining and your shoes just can’t take the damp then just slip a pair of plastic bags over them and start walking. Even if the rest of you is wet by the time you get where you’re going your feet will be just fine.
Instant Shower Cap
Most of us associate shower caps with hotel rooms, and we wonder if anyone actually uses those archaic devices anymore. If you’re one of those people who needs to keep your hair dry in the shower though just put your hair in a plastic shopping bag and tie it closed. It might not be an ideal solution, but it works great in a pinch.
Keep Food Fresher Longer
If you’ve got leftovers that are only going to be good for a few days then consider slipping them into a plastic shopping bag and tying it shut. This will add at least a few days to the food, ensuring that you have plenty of time to finish what you started.
Keep Your Cooler Dry
Whether you’re putting an ice pack in your lunch box or into a cooler for a road trip, wrap the packs in a plastic bag. This will stop the build up of condensation, ensuring that you don’t have a layer of water sloshing around in the bottom of your lunch pail throughout the work day.
Handle With Care
If you’re mailing presents to friends and family (particularly around the holidays) there’s no need to buy packing peanuts. Simply fill in all the extra space in the package with plastic shopping bags. This will cushion what you’re mailing, and take up all that extra space while still putting these bags to good use.
Give Them To A Good Home
Some stores will accept their own bags back to be recycled, though that’s not always the case. If you really want to give these plastic bags a second life check with local re-sale shops and thrift stores to see if they’ll accept these bags to use for their own customers. In this way plastic bags can be used again and again until they’re finally out of carrying capacity. At that point it’s best to turn them over the recyclers to be melted down and remade into something new.
Most people never really stop and think about all the chemicals they’re spraying all over their homes when they try to clean up. While these sprays and solvents certainly get the job done, there are easier, less expensive, and more natural solutions that won’t leave behind a residue or impact the health of anyone living in a given home.
#1: Catching Flies With Vinegar
No one likes it when midges, flies, and other pests get in the house. But for those who don’t want to break the bank or leave poisons around in their homes, this simple green living formula will help you catch all of the pests in your home. Take an empty glass or jar (pickle jars work quite nicely), and pour a quarter inch of apple cider vinegar into it. Cover the top with cellophane, and punch small holes in it. Secure the cellophane with a rubber band to keep it taught. The pests will be drawn to the scent, and once they get in they won’t be able to get out. No chemicals, no danger to pets or children, and it even smells rather pleasant.
#2: Get Rid Of Smells With Half an Onion
Onions may not be quite a dime a dozen, but they are cheap. If you happen to have an onion laying around the house then you can use it to absorb some of that musty odor hanging around in your basement. Simply cut an onion in half and set it on a plate overnight. By the time morning comes around you should notice a marked lessening of any smells in the room. No need to pump your air full of perfume when you can suck the bad smells right out.
#3: Use White Vinegar to De-Scent Your Trashcan
Whether you live in a big house or a small apartment the trash can be an affront to the nose. Rather than throwing out your trashcan and getting a new one every couple of months though, all you need is some white vinegar and a piece of bread. Soak the bread with white vinegar (put the bread on a paper towel first), and leave it in the bottom of the empty trash can overnight. Come the morning the smell will be gone, and you didn’t need to use anything more artificial than a piece of bread.
#4: Cleaning Counters and Cutting Boards With Lemons
While most people only use lemons for livening up their drinks, they’re actually powerful cleaning agents. Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice onto stains on either a cutting board or a laminate counter top. Use the fruit like a scrubber, and let the citrus eat away at the stains and mess. Rinse the counter top off a few minutes later with water, and you’ll notice that the stains are gone. Lemons also disinfect an area, and leave it smelling of natural citrus.
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It isn’t easy to make positive green living decisions when you live in an apartment. As a renter you don’t have the ability to make construction decisions, or to install Energy Star appliances much less to put solar panels on your roof. However, if you want to live an eco-friendly apartment dwelling life there are still steps you can take.
Pay Attention To Your Windows
While natural daylight is a great way to not burn electricity, windows are also an unfortunate source of heat loss. That’s why when winter comes it’s a good idea to put shrink wrap over older windows, and to make sure you have a set of insulating blackout curtains. While the shrink wrap will need to be taken off for warmer weather, the blackout curtains will also help keep the heat of the day out if you keep them pulled. This will help reduce your need for artificial heating and air conditioning.
Keep Your Fridge Clean and Stocked
Everyone knows that keeping your refrigerator and freezer doors closed as often as possible will reduce the amount of electricity the appliance uses. What you might not know is cleaning the dust, dirt, and build up of ice in your unit can help it run more smoothly and while using less power. Not only that but if you keep your fridge and freezer stocked it uses less power to keep everything cold because there’s so much less empty space that has to be kept cool.
Get Some Plants
While hanging a plant or two in your house might seem like missing the forest for the trees, it’s actually a really good idea. Houseplants freshen up your air at no cost to you, and what’s more then can actually keep a place cooler by acting as small, green heat sinks. You will need to make sure the house doesn’t get too cold for them, but indoor plants can be a life saver for a green apartment.
Buy Recycled Products
It seems like a no-brainer, but in addition to recycling glass, cans, and plastic it’s important for consumers to purchase materials made from recycled content. Whether it’s napkins or toilet paper, glassware or bottles it’s important to put your money where your mouth is and to make a statement to retailers that you want more products made with post-consumer recycled material. Just check on the packaging, it will tell you what percentage of the product used to be something else.
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