Posted by: jadanzzy | March 28, 2008

Pure, Practical, and Prudent

My girlfriend posted this hilariously insightful entry on her blog about how being environmentally conscious saves us money.

Read. Be changed.

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Simple Ways You Can Help Save the World While Also Saving Money

  1. Air-dry your clothes  (Drying rack: $9-12)

    • You’ll have less wrinkles in your clothing since they won’t be sitting in your dryer long after you have forgotten about them = little to no ironing.
    • They’ll smell fresher and feel crisper.
    • You’ll see less wear and tear on your clothing.  Those unsightly sweater nubs and cotton pills? – drastically reduced by air-drying.  Bottom line: your clothes last longer and look newer.
    • Eliminates the chance of shrunken clothing or set stains.  Didya know that the high heat from the dryer permanently sets existing stains?  (So if you take an article of clothing out of the dryer and the stain is still there, it’s too late to save it.)  And since it’s almost impossible to tell from a wet garment whether the stains have really come out, you can air-dry it to later see if the wash was indeed successful in removing them completely.  If the spots are still there, you can have another go at pretreating/washing the garment.
    • Uses no electricity, thus saving you money and reducing your carbon footprint over time.

  2. Use vinegar and baking soda to clean, and also in your laundry.  And to unclog drains.  And to repel ants from your kitchen.  (all these multi-uses -and more!- for less than $5)

    • Aren’t you sick of inhaling toxic fumes from your Lysol, Clorox, and Drano?  Yeah, those fumes are bad for the environment too.
    • Vinegar works wonders on a streaky mirror.  Throw out that ammonia-filled crap-Windex.  Or whatever, you can just use what you have left and never buy it again.
    • Need to scrub your tub?  Got unsightly berry or curry or whatever stains on your kitchen counters?  Wet the surface, then sprinkle liberal amounts of baking soda on top.  Forget about it for an hour or two, then come back and scrub with a wet sponge.  Magic.
    • Baking soda can also be used in place of bleach in your laundry because it helps to whiten whites.  Vinegar removes odors and works double-duty as a natural fabric softener.  That’s right.  Who knew?  Never mind that I did… bc I’m special.
    • When your drain is clogged, pour about a cup of baking soda down the drain.  Then throw half a cup of vinegar down.  Watch it fizz, then get bored and forget about it for ~30 minutes.  While you’re waiting, boil a pot of water, then slowly pour that down.  Repeat if necessary.
    • Vinegar also repels ants.  Get yourself an empty spray bottle, fill it with vinegar, and spray those ants away.  Don’t ever crush them – apparently they release some pheromone when they’re smushed, which prompts funeral ants (not the technical term, please do not repeat) to take the dead carcass away.  Note the plural: smush one ant, have many respond.  The vinegar works bc its acid kills ’em, while its naturals chemicals alter the ants’ scent and keeps them away.
    • If vinegar and baking soda aren’t enough for your cleaning and laundry needs, buy Method products at Target.  The entire line is non-toxic, plus their detergents are concentrated and in smaller plastic containers.  Perk #1 to this is that you can use less of the stuff to get the job done and Perk #2 is a reduction in packaging waste.

  3. Get yourself a reusable shopping tote.  And keep it in your car so you actually have it when you decide to go shopping.  (99 cents – $12)
          
    • This doesn’t really need too much explanation, now does it?  Don’t you all by now know how harmful those “disposable” plastic bags are to the environment?  Not only do most of them end up in landfills where they pretty much never disintegrate, the bags themselves are petroleum-based (why, hello foreign oil).  Not to mention that just the manufacturing of these bags alone results in a lot of pollution.  From start to finish, they’re just bad.bad.bad. — and we Americans use about 90 BILLION of these things a year!
    • So go ahead, do something good for a change and spend the whopping 99 cents to $1 on a chic reusable bag.  Carry it proudly.  Make it a point to walk very purposefully by plastic bag users and give them full, liberal views of your environmentally-conscious tote(s).  Patronizing smiles may be thrown in for good measure, but do so sparingly and only to people smaller than you.

  4. Recycle your old electronics. (free)

      
    • Electronics contain mercury, lead and cadmium, which can harm the environment by leaching into groundwater or into the air through incineration.
    • In 2005, the EPA estimated there was about 2.2 MILLION TONS of e-waste. About 80 percent to 85 percent of that ended up in landfills, with the remainder being recycled.
    • Go to myGreenElectronics.org or E-cycling Central to find local recycling centers.

  5. Re-use those envelopes that come with your bills and statements.  (free)

    • That is, if you don’t pay your bills and credit cards online.
    • I think it’s creative and I enjoy re-using these instead of buying new envelopes that I know are going to end up in the trash anyway.  Think of all the envelope consumption that’s not going to happen.  That makes me happy.
    • If your envelopes have windows on them, then all you have to do is write the addresses on the outside of the letter so that when you stick it in the envelope they’ll show through the windows.  To do this you can first fold up your letter, insert it into the envelope, then mark onto the letter where the windows are.  Take the folded letter back out, write the addresses under the marks you’ve made, and voila.  Done.
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Responses

  1. This is great! So fun and practical. I’m going to print this out and also go out and buy a big bottle of vinegar and baking soda. But, a question … vinegar smells HORRIBLE! any ideas on how to combat the stench?

  2. From what I know she deals with it. From my experience, the smell becomes vague at around 6-8 hours.

    And it’s worth it. Who knew vinegar was so powerful a cleaning agent?

  3. Living in Taiwan, I’m proud to say that I already do 2 of the 5 things. In supermarkets here, we have to pay to get a plastic bag. And the ones they give out are usually thick and durable, so we could reuse them.

    Another one would be to use tea powder to do your dishes. You can also bring your own lunchbox and utensils to places like Cox so you can avoid using styrofoam containers and another plastic fork. I don’t know if they would allow that, but perhaps you can start a trend since Emory is said to be one of the greenest campus in the nation.

  4. actually, dan the vinegar smell dissipates in a mere 30 mins to an hour, depending on how much you use and how many surfaces you cover.

  5. […] during this trip to Walmart, I have tried some of these home remedies that were listed in the jadanzzy’s post of his gf’s pure, practical, prudent ways to make a difference.  One I’m going to try is air-drying my clothes, although I don’t […]

  6. я считаю: прелестно…


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