5 Ways to Go Green (and Save Money) Without Going Crazy

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Way #5. Recycle-No, I'm not saying this as the whole "Reduce, Reuse and Recycle CHA!" thing that we hear everyday from school, from the TV, from the internet, from our friends, our family, etc.

No, I mean recycle. If you were to search your community, I'm sure somewhere you could find a recycling plant. And more often than not (whether it's glass, aluminum or paper) they will buy recyclable materials. So first, find a recycling plant, find out what they buy, save that particular item and then go and sell it.

This can also be an activity for kids. You can walk around the neighborhood and have your little brother or sister pick up the aluminum in grass. They can keep the money they earn and will feel good about earning money for themselves. And parents, you can use the money your kids earn as their allowance. They will learn responsibility and the rewards of hard-work; plus, it will save you from having to dish out extra cash each week/month.

The money earned won't be much--usually around five bucks for two large trash bags of aluminum--but hey, that's five bucks more than you had before and you're helping to reduce the manufacturing of aluminum by recycling the used.

And recycling doesn't only mean giving something to a big company to reuse; you can recycle right there in your own home. If you get plastic grocery bags, instead of taking them to to a store to recycle or throwing them away, use them as trash bags for small trash cans instead of buying special bags.

If you have a pet rabbit or guinea pig (or really any animal kept in a cage the majority of the time), instead of buying a special water bottle, buy a lid that will fit and use empty soda bottles (make sure they are clean) for their water; not only are they twice the size, but when they break, there is no need to go spend another seven or eight dollars to buy another water, when you can simply use another soda bottle when it's empty.

Way #4. Start a garden-Think about how many vegetables you eat in a week. We have tomatoes in spaghetti; tomatoes in chili; salad (obviously); some people add peas to Mac n' Cheese; green bean casserole; the dreaded spinach (or okra, in my case) and many others. Imagine, if you chose to plant just one vegetable you ate on a regular basis, how much money you'd save by not having to pay store prices; instead, you'd just have to walk out back and pick it from your garden.

Now, I'm not talking about the Beverly Hill-Billy's type of garden where it takes up the entire front yard (or back yard); just an +Earth-Box (TM) and a couple of seeds or starter plants. Once you buy those, all you need is sunshine and water. Once your plants begin producing, you'll find some extra cash in your wallet and before long, the fruit from your plants will have paid off the small amount you paid for the box and seeds.

Way #3-Can-Canning is a great way to save money. If your plants give you more veggies than you and/or your family can eat, canning the food will be a great way to stock up for the future and not waste any excess.

Or if a grocery store is having a sale, stock up, plus buy some excess and can it. It will save you money in the long run by stocking up while the items are on sale and by not having to buy more when prices are more expensive.

While most people can only vegetables and fruit, chicken and hamburger can also be canned. Many times, my mom will stock up on chicken thighs while they're on sale, can them and we won't need to buy chicken for several months, if not longer.

Canning causes your veggies, fruit or meat to last almost twice as long and will save you money if prices rise and by not having to throw out perfectly good meat due to freezer burn or veggies due to mold.

Plus if you can veggies grown from your own garden, it will cut down on the manufacturing of the packaging for canned/frozen/and even fresh veggies.

Way #2-Coupon-Clipping coupons is a great way to save money. Even though a lot of people think couponing is something your grandma would do (and who knows, maybe she does), it's actually become quite popular since the economy has gone down. Lots of stores are helping you with couponing by, not only making it easy to find coupons, but also, stores such as *Publix will allow you to use coupons on sale items and will accept coupons from other stores.

*In Florida
**Wal-Mart, unlike many other stores, is not up-to-date with the latest fad of couponing. They are not very helpful when using coupons. I recommend you avoid trying to use them there.

Way #1-Raise chickens-I am being completely serious when I tell you that by raising chickens you can save money and go green.

How many eggs do you use in a week? How many omelets do you eat on Saturday or Sunday morning? What about eggs and bacon before school each morning? Just by raising three laying hens, you could cut down on, not only your spending on eggs, but also the manufacturing of egg cartons. By keeping one egg carton to store eggs, you will have plenty of room to store your eggs and will not have to buy excess cartons, which will save the manufacturing of more Styrofoam.

Plus, keeping chickens is not expensive at all. Chickens will eat just about anything, including chicken. So, while it is helpful to keep a bag of chicken feed on hand (chicken feed for laying hens), if times get really bad, you can feed your chickens nothing but table scraps and they will continue to lay eggs (and remain perfectly healthy) and you won't have to feel bad for not eating those left-overs that have been in the fridge for three weeks.

+ http://www.earthbox.com/





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Healing_Angel This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 15, 2010 at 9:59 pm
This was entertaining and informative. Your use of humour kept me interested. Usually articles on this subject are really boring, but I really liked this! The ideas you suggested are really creative! I'd never have thought to pick up aluminium and get money for it as an allowance. That's very original! This is well written.    
 
RallyR This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 16, 2010 at 8:11 am
Thank you very much! That means a lot! :)
 
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