Come to the Green Side

January 22, 2009, 1:00 am
Filed under: Green Tips, Upcoming Events
Have you changed your driving habits, begun composting or put in a clothes line?  Maybe you’ve recycled your batteries, started using environmentally friendly cleaning products or participated in a Hazardous Waste Drop-off? 

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Your comment will put you in a drawing for a bag of “green items” which will be randomly awarded to 10 entrants.  The contest will run February 1-28 and is open to anyone who has an email address.  Only one entrant per email address.  Prizes will be awarded by March 6.  Show us your Green Side!


26 Comments so far
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i used to individually wrap my husband’s pb and j’s not i use tupperware and just wash the container daily which saves plastic and uses just a little bit of water.
a low electric bill is what i like so i unplug anything that isn’t being used even the television and other items of that nature. i’ve definitely seen a savings of at least $10-$20.

Comment by Candace

have been hanging out our clothes when the weather is good and otherwise I dry them on a wooden rack or hangers. Also have been trying baking soda for cleaning purposes.

Comment by joanne

I’m composting for 10 years,have a clothline
outside and inside,I never ever leave the car run no matter how cold or hot it is, I walk to the library,I recycle everything,I try not to use plastic bags, I use those canvas bags,
I use no harsh chemicals for the house, I never use any killing products outside, I have planted hundreds of plants for butterflies and hummingbirds,I try my best but believe I could do better!!!

Comment by Marion

I am trying to make our family become more grean every year. Last year we started a vermicomposter (worms) so we can compost year-round. We have also stopped using paper napkins and paper towels. We only use cloth now. My kids and dog leave half-empty glasses/bowls of water, but it never ends up in the sink. I use leftover water of any kind to water my many plants in our home. I too, have started using baking soda to clean the house-it is fantastic! The changes we’ve made have not been difficult once we’ve set our minds to them.

Comment by Cyndi

We use reusable bags for all of shopping or tell the cashier that we do not need a bag. Instead of throwing our trash in plastic bags we are now throwing it in reused paper bags because they can degrade in landfills (vs plastic). We use corn based biodegradable bags (biobags) for our cat litter. We recycle everything! Our recycling box is overflowing and our trash bin is tiny on pick up day. We try to minimize plastic- but even take our plastic bags in for recycling. We keep our thermostat heat down 5 degrees less then last year and stay warm in merino wool (which is sustainable and very thermo regulating!) We do not use any chemicals for cleaning/ laundry. All natural products and baking soda like mentioned above.
Driving- we coast to every red light and wait to accelerate to conserve gas. We walk to do some of our errands or to have a quick bite to eat.
We purchase clothes,home products,etc from environmentally conscious companies because as consumers, we all vote with our dollars.

Comment by Crystal

As a household, we recycle as much as possible. Additionally we use tupperware in place of plastic baggies, canvas reusable totes instead of plastic or paper bags, and we make sure to shut off lights and keep appliances on powerstrips to be able to shut them off and save energy. Walking or bike riding instead of taking the car and carpooling are just a few more ways we avoid pollution. 🙂

Comment by jessica

I have a toddler, and a group of moms is having a swap/sale day. We are bringing together all of our toys, books & clothes that are outgrown or just not played with anymore and swapping with each other. Whatever is leftover we are donating to a charity.

I also carry reusable bags for all of my grocery shopping & even have the STDL bag for trips to the library! I even have a mini size reusable bag that my daughter carries. It’s a great way to start getting her in the habit.

Comment by Dina

i cut up magazine pages and fold them into gift bags and envelopes

Comment by carol thomas

Whenever our family goes out to eat at a place where they have plastic utensils, such as Panera, our family usually wipes off the utensils with a napkin after using them. Then we bring them home and dispose of them in our recycling bin; rather than having to throw them away at the restaurant/bakery shop. Another thing our family does is keep the thermostat low and bundle up in sweaters, rather than comfortably walk around the house in sweatpants, t-shirts, or shorts in a really warm house. This really saves the environment; not to mention your heating/electric bills! When we shop, we always bring those re-usable bags that you can find at Target or Jewel for about $1. If on occasion we forget the bags, we always ask if the store offers paper bags. When we go grocery shopping, we always look for someone who is unpacking/ shelving items and ask if we can have one of those cardboard boxes or two. We have really found this useful, and it is sometimes funny to see our groceries in ‘Chiquita’ banana boxes as we leave the store. Right now i am persuading my parents save money and buy and electric car! ^_^

Comment by Laila

carol thomas ~
I like your idea, especially because I am great when it comes to origami!

Comment by Laila

I recycle everything, never leave the water running, use bicycle for transportation (even in the cold), have a compost heap, use natural light until it gets dark, don’t watch tv or use microwave, clean everything in my house with vinegar that i make, go by a vegan diet, use hot water and vinegar to clean clothes, hang dry clothes, recycle batteries, donate regularly to the salvation army, pick up trash that i see laying around, make my own hats as needed, try to only purchase things from environment/animal friendly companies, and am going to volunteer for Mercy for Animals starting 2 weeks from now. I try to enlighten others of things they may have overlooked about their health, the good of the animals, and the care of the environment. Namaste.

Comment by Shannon Duffy

I have a programmable thermostat, which is set at 65 during the day, and while I’m asleep at night. I recycle as much as possible. I collect old batteries from families and friends, and give them to the Chicago museum where my son works. My family gives me their old magazines, which I bring to a Chicago nursing home. My sister and I collect old gym shoes, which go to a recycling center. I, too, use baking soda for much of the cleaning I do.

Comment by Eileen

I recycle all water bottles and aluminium cans.Shoe boxes,toy cartons,Milk and Juice gallons.My 7,4,3 year old kids have also caught on I am trying to encourage our family to do this together so they are aware how important it is for us to recycle.

Comment by Maricela

I walk to the library and I buy things that are made only out of recycled materials. Also Ive installed the power saving light bulbs.

Comment by Claire

We hang our clothes on the line when we can, compost and have a large garden, use cloth napkins, recycle (the weekly pickup and drop offs), and have gotten our garbage down to one to two bags a week for a family of six. We also use vinegar, baking soda, etc for cleaning the house and clothes. This year we are looking into a rainwater harvesting system.

Comment by Lissa

Our family has been putting all water bottles, milk jugs and juice cartons in the recycling container for quite sometime. The elementary school my child attends is now accepting the plastic caps on these containers for recycling. We send the caps to the school. Now we are able to say the whole container is recycled.

Comment by Linda

I use the canvas bags at the grocery store, use power saving lightbulbs, and keep my heat at 67 degrees. I also try to carpool with a coworker two days per week.

Comment by Valerie

I do many of the same things other folks are mentioning: Programmable thermostat at 67 during the day and 64/65 at night, recycle EVERYTHING (even down to clothing tags, gas receipts), save tissue paper and ribbons from gifts I have received to wrap others…give away any old clothes that I can and cut up others for rags around the house. Any other clothing scraps I save up and will be bringing to a textile recycling center. RARELY use paper towels and napkins, use tupperware for lunch (and convinced my husband to stop using ziplocs and brown bags!), added a 2 liter bottle of water into each toilet tank to reduce water when flushing and abide by the rule “if it’s yellow, leave it mellow. if it’s brown flush it down”…but only when we do not have guests over :). baking soda and vinegar for cleaning, recycle old batteries and switched to rechargeable ones in all of our remotes. only use cold water for washing laundry. Also just bought a new washer, dryer and dishwasher that are more energy efficent that our models from 1985! not composting yet…but want to. When I move out of a townhouse I will definitely get a clothesline..and a rain barrel and…and…

I also facilitate informal conservation education programs for youth to help inspire our kids. Glad to see so many families around the area are taking action and getting their children involved :).

Comment by Debra

After purchasing our home in Schaumburg last summer we replaced all of our appliances with Energy Star rated appliances, replaced all toilets with high-efficiency toilets, installed indoor clothesline in the laundry roon, replaced showerheads with 1.75gpm showerheads and installed aerators on all faucets, installed CFL bulbs throughout the house and solar lights outdoors. We saw a decrease in water usage from 10,000 gallons a month to 4,000 gallons a month and electricity usage now as low as 180KWh per month and trying to go lower!

Comment by John

We recycle as much as possible and our young boys know to put yogurt and other plastic containers on the counter for recycling – not throw away. I’m also remembering more often to bring my own bags to the stores to reduce the number of plastic bags. We reuse plastic ware as much as possible and rarely use disposable plates. We’ve also greatly cut down the number of water bottles we use using washable containers instead.

Comment by Denise

Had clothsline for over 20 yrs! Composted for over 30! In the last few, increased composting and home gardening. Built and using a solar food very well. Looking for help with solar space heating (replacement siding with built-in space heater) and rainwater harvesting….and more.

Comment by shan

Instead of bottle water, I bought a big plastic bottle from target and fill it by myself. I also try to walk as much as possible instead of driving. I recycle all the papers, and plastics.

Comment by Baran

I recycle all plastics and newspaper and i buy reusable containers for lunches and ect. My family tries to avoid driving as much as possible and walks. And my whole family uses plastic waterbottles instead of bottle water.

Comment by Nita

We bought a “Water Heater Blanket” for our water heater, and have seen a significant difference in our gas bill. We also sealed all of our windows with a do-it-yourself kit, which has also helped cut down costs. Anytime I do not finish a glass of water, I pour it into my watering can to water my plants with.

Comment by Ahna

I stopped using paper plates and napkins. Use real real dishes and cloth napkins. Do not use any houhold cleaning products but (CLR) endorsed by the EPA.


Comment by Barbara Brush

great tips, thanks
My husband and I decided to go green because we love the outdoors and wanted to limit our daily impacts to the environment. We bought a low-flow shower head to reduce water consumption, I use eco-friendly detergents and cleaning products (which are now available at major grocery stores)and progressively substitute our conventional light bulbs to energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs. We also compost during warmer seasons our veggie scrap, coffee grinds and egg shells and of course, recycle (thanks to Groot and the Village of HE). When we moved to HE, we installed insulation materials in the attic and a more efficient furnace with thermostat to save us on energy bill in the long run. Some of these projects may be expensive that’s why I suggest starting to go green with smaller changes that cost very little or nothing at all but if everybody participates , it could make a measurable difference, such as turning off the light, bringing reusable bags or baskets to the grocery store to limit the use of paper or plastic bags or hanging out clothes to let them dry by a free warm breeze. All of this will save you money by consuming less energy and water and preserving our natural resources. I would suggest to implement a hazardous items (batteries, compact light bulbs and electronic components) collection by placing bins at the library; the library attracts a large crowd and is usually conveniently located.

Comment by Valerie

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