January 1, 2011

More Green Year's Resolution ideas

Need some more ideas for going green(er) this year? Here are a few more...

Hang laundry to dry - the dryer is the most energy-consuming appliance in the house. Did you know that you can't buy energy star dryers? When we asked the salesman for one last summer, he laughed at us. But hanging laundry to dry takes no energy at all, at least not the electrical kind! Hang a clothesline or buy a drying rack. If you have a wooden fence in your backyard, hanging a clothesline is as simple as 2 cuphooks and a few yards of clothesline twine. Total cost? About $3! Drying racks range from $10 to $30 or so.

Toy Swap - instead of buying new toys when your kids tire of the old, get together with some friends and do a toy swap. Try to have all the pieces together in ziplock bags and wash toys first if needed. On the day of the swap, arrange everything on a table or the floor. You can use a system the equalizes toys brought vs toys taken, or you can just let it be a free-for-all where everyone gets to take home "new" toys! I know our family will be doing this at least once later this year! It's a perfect summertime activity.

Yard Sale - have one or shop at one, either way saves money and earth's resources. Anytime you can reuse something old rather than buying new, there is savings.

Swtich to phosphate-free detergents - Many of us probably already do this since a lot of laws have been passed about phosphates recently, but if you're not already using phosphate-free detergents and dish soap, take a look at all the options available now. Planet is always a great choice. We've used that brand for dish soap, dishwasher powder, and laundry detergent and all have worked very well. Planet detergent is also safe for diapers! But many other brands are phosphate-free now. At least in our area, even Tide is phosphate-free. Read the label...they're required to disclose phosphates.

What are YOUR ideas for a greener new year?