Monday, August 6, 2012

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Today's post is about reusing what you have.  Not only is that a great way to save money, but it also helps the environment.  I know these ideas are just small things.  But, if we all do a few small things, it can add up to a big deal.

The first idea is very simple, but so cool.  Did you know that if you put the root end of a green onion in water, the green onion tops will grow back?  They do!  This is a fun idea to do with your kids.  After you use the green onion tops, just stick the root end in a small jar of water on your kitchen windowsill.  In a few days, the green onion tops will start to grow.  Your kids will love to check the progress everyday.  And you get another round of green onions for free.

Cleaning supplies aren't always the best for the environment.  Plus they can be expensive!  Try using plain white vinegar as a glass cleaner.  It works great!  Put some in a spray bottle.  It takes off any smudge and gets the glass super clear.  It will also remove build up in your coffee maker.  Fill your pot with half water and half white vinegar (don't put any coffee grounds in!).  Then turn it on and let it make.  When it's done, empty the pot.  Then run it again, but this time only use plain water.  Your coffee maker will be fresh and clean.

Baking soda mixed with water to form a paste makes a wonderful scrub.  It's perfect for cleaning up sticky spills in your refrigerator (you don't want to use chemicals around your food!)  Or use it to scrub stuck-on food off pots and pans.

If you have a wooden cutting board, you can remove stains with the cut side of a lemon and some kosher salt.  It will deodorize the board, too.  And don't buy special oils to keep it from cracking.  Use canola oil.  It works great!  Just rub a small amount into the clean, dry board with a clean cloth.

Instead of buying scented candles or liquid potpourri, simmer a small pot of water on the stove with a few dashes of cinnamon and nutmeg.  Your house will smell like Christmas!  You can also add citrus peels to the water if you want.  Smells great and helps remove cooking odors from the air.

Reusable shopping totes are all the rage right now and they help keep countless plastic bags from ending up in landfills.  You can purchase them almost everywhere now, but they can be a bit flimsy sometimes.  So, make your own heavy-duty tote with an old pair of jeans!  Just turn them inside out and cut the legs off.  Then sew them shut.  If you don't have a sewing machine, you can super glue them shut.  Then, turn them right-side out and add an old belt or a bandanna for a strap.  These are great to use at the fruit stand for a shopping bag, or for carrying library books, craft supplies, etc.

So, I hope you found an idea or two that you'd like to try.  Save some money while saving the world.  Remember, every little bit helps!

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