Going green and saving green

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Joined: 12/01/05
Posts: 1000
Going green and saving green

A lot of what I do to be frugal started out as being environmentally conscious. I thought I'd share a few and ask others to add their own:

- Refillable drink cup. Some restaurants and convenience stores give you a discount if you bring your own cup/mug for a refill. I like not throwing away disposable cups.

- Homemade bathroom cleaner. Smells better than store bought, is cheaper, and is non-toxic, so I can let the kids clean the bathroom without worries.

- Recycled paper cat litter. Is scoopable and flushable/compostable, and I'm no longer throwing out a whole box full of litter every 2-3 days.

- Cloth napkins, towels, feminine products.

- Reusable shopping bags. They have new ones now that are nylon and fold up small (the size of a wallet) so I can carry them in my purse.

What are your tips?

Mommyin0406080912's picture
Joined: 02/16/08
Posts: 1644

You have some great things you do!

The cat litter, how do you make it? I looked at a website once and um it looked like a lot of work!

And your bathroom cleaner how do you make it?

We use reuseable bags

We don't buy paper products at all, I buy the 4.00 packs of 18 washcloths from walmart and use those until they fall apart! It's less money to wash them and better for mother earth!

Vinager is a GREAT cleaning product!

I am sure there is more but can't think!

Joined: 12/01/05
Posts: 1000

I don't make the cat litter. I buy it. But it is much more environmentally friendly than clay litter.

The bathroom/kitchen cleaner recipe I use is about 2 Tbsp Murphy's Oil Soap and a few drops of cinnamon oil in a spray bottle of water. I don't measure, but it should be yellowish, and not cloudy, and just enough cinnamon oil to make it smell good without being overwhelming. You can use any natural soap (e.g. Charlie's). If the soap is oil based, you can use it on wood too. If you prefer, you can use lavender oil instead of cinnamon, since they are both anti-bacterial. If you do, I recommend using an unscented soap base. (I use the Murphy's because we have a huge bottle of it to use up, but it is scented.)

Joined: 01/28/03
Posts: 105

Wow! just couldn't do the cloth feminine products...that being said, I have a Mirena IUD so I use very very little in the way of feminine products.

We do use the reusable shopping bags, I have recently started making my own all purpose household cleaner, it's got some Dr Bronners and some tea tree oil and water, I can't remember exactly, I've only made it once. I have a front loading wash machine, and I have gone from using 'up to the first line' to 1-2 tablespoons of soap. I use baking soda as a carpet deodorizer instead of anything perfumed. I have gotten rid of any non stick pan in my house and now use stainless steel or cast iron (I know, not really green, but I feel it's better for my family Wink ), and I'm working on eliminating plastics. We also have a local gas station that sells milk in recyclable 1/2 gallon bags, and it's pretty fresh, from local farms, I buy that and pour it into a glass pitcher. Oh, and I also use reusable zipper snack bags for my daughter's lunch stuff instead of plastic ziploc bags, they're made by munchkin. I've also started rinsing and reusing large freezer bags if it's only been used for things like frozen rolls, nothing like raw meat of course...just small stuff, but we're trying!!

Joined: 12/01/10
Posts: 997

"Hollydoll" wrote:

Wow! just couldn't do the cloth feminine products...that being said, I have a Mirena IUD so I use very very little in the way of feminine products.

Oh, and I also use reusable zipper snack bags for my daughter's lunch stuff instead of plastic ziploc bags, they're made by munchkin. I've also started rinsing and reusing large freezer bags if it's only been used for things like frozen rolls, nothing like raw meat of course...just small stuff, but we're trying!!

I use the cloth liners...actually aren't too bad but then I never had a heavy flow to begin with.

I love my table top bag dryer for reusing ziplocs & produce bags after I rinse them out (though I did invest in some cloth produce bags too). I also use it to dry my water bottles between uses.
http://www.gaiam.com/product/countertop+bag+dryer.do

ange84's picture
Joined: 12/28/09
Posts: 6564

I use cloth nappies and have considered going in for mama cloth, but finding enouch at a decent price is hard, all the ones I can find here average around $15 each.

I want to get my Mum (or me once I get my sewing machine back) to make some reuseable sandwhich bags.

Joined: 12/01/05
Posts: 1000

Oh yes, I use reusable plastic boxes instead of baggies in the lunch box. And reusable water bottles.

I actually use a diva cup most of the time, and I love it. But I have cloth liners as backup. I thought the same way until I actually tried one. Much better than wearing plastic all day, IMO.

Joined: 01/28/03
Posts: 105

Love the bag drier!! I just asked my DH if he could make me one;)

I'm probably a complete ignoramous about mama cloth...never even looked into it, lol.

Joined: 12/01/10
Posts: 997

"Hollydoll" wrote:

I'm probably a complete ignoramous about mama cloth...never even looked into it, lol.

I use and like GladRags but there are other good brands.

http://www.gladrags.com/c-2-gladrags-cloth-pads.aspx

If you are really crafty you can even find online patterns to make your own.

Mommyin0406080912's picture
Joined: 02/16/08
Posts: 1644

The diva cup is it worth it?

Joined: 12/01/05
Posts: 1000

"Mommyin04060809" wrote:

The diva cup is it worth it?

Oh yes! I find pads and tampons irritating. I love my diva. I've been using it for almost 5 years now, so it's more than paid for itself in all the money I've saved on disposable stuff. Once you get used to it, you hardly notice it, and you don't have to worry if you can't get someplace to empty it on a timetable except on really heavy days. It's not like tampons where you have to worry about TSS.

Joined: 12/01/05
Posts: 1000

"ange84" wrote:

I use cloth nappies and have considered going in for mama cloth, but finding enouch at a decent price is hard, all the ones I can find here average around $15 each.

I want to get my Mum (or me once I get my sewing machine back) to make some reuseable sandwhich bags.

Can she make you some pads to?

Have you tried ebay? Here's one for $5 if you wanted to try it out. If you don't buy well known name brands, they tend to be a bit cheaper. Also, remember that you're saving money in the long run. Even if you can only afford a few right now, you can use them the first day, wash the second day and re-use the third, until you can buy more.

ange84's picture
Joined: 12/28/09
Posts: 6564

She looked into making nappies for me but when we priced everything we were better off buying ( I only get China Cheapies not the big name brands) and from pricing it seems to be the same with cloth pads. I get some extra money over Christmas and some time off so I may use it to search for decent prices. I haven't been too involved before now seeing as I wasn't getting AF, but I got my first PPAF start of this month so I should start looking more.