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Friday, April 23, 2010

Living a little on the green side

I have read so many stories of green living: Family eats wheat grass and organic fruit, weaves their own clothing from home grown hemp, and considers the carbon footprint before making a move.

The truth is, it is difficult for many of us to even stretch the food bill at (insert the name of the cheapest place to buy anything), much less buy organic.

Green living seem to be for the wealthy, just like the best private schools, hybrid cars and solar panels.

Going green does NOT mean going broke. Green living can be doable at any income level. It is a matter of letting go of the things that advertisers say you must have and learning to see what you actually need. My clothing priority is clean, not too frumpy, sturdy clothing that I can do chores in, wash well and are comfortable enough to wear for too many hours a day.

Here are 10 ways go green on the cheap:

* Go green by going home to the kitchen. Make some simple things that your family will eat, that you can pronounce, and that are healthier for everyone. Look at your grocery list(you do make a grocery list, don't you?) do you have the staples on it? Flour, sugar, salt, yeast, baking powder, baking soda, fruits and vegetables, simple meats and grains? Make the time to cook at home.

* Go green by staying in with the family. Take a Staycation. Plan for time off of work to simply be with your family, in your home.

* Go green by trading and buying used - Most people have a bag of clothes laying around that their kids can't wear anymore. They might be miss-matched items but for a few dollars you can replace missing pieces.

* Go green by going out into your community. There are many fun events in our communities that are inexpensive and bring families and neighborhoods together. There is Scouts for boys and girls, multiple 4H groups, soccer, bowling leagues for any age, and that is just off the top of my head. Once you tap into these free or nearly free resources, you will have a hard time choosing from them all.

* Go green by planting a seed - Remember organic? There is no reason you can't plant a few seeds and grow your own organic food. Plant a few seedlings in containers on your deck. I usually plant a few squash plants in my flower bed in my front yard. They fill the space and produce yummy food and great jack-o-lanterns.

* Go green by doing some good - Find something useful and helpful to do in your community. Become a contributing member of your little slice of life. Teach your kids to volunteer. Each spring the kids in our neighborhood go plant flowers at the park. Our city provides the flowers - we just do the work.

* Go green by doing it yourself - Instead of buying something new, fix something you already have. Fix up something you find at a yard sale or thrift store.

* Go green by going online - There are many things we can find online! Have you ever watched TVor movies online? If money is tight in your home you can cancel the cable or satellite and watch TV on the computer. You may be able to hook your computer up to your TV and watch some of your favorite shows with little commercial interruption.

* Go green by researching what you need to know - shop around! Make decisions for yourself. Don't take the salesman's word for everything.

* Go green by doing less - take time to meditate -

A final note: You can save money by checking out the deals posted on Pinching Your Pennies everyday!



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