Surprising, Thrifty and Green Household Hints

  1. Pour hot salt water down your sink and tub drains once or twice a week to keep them free of grease and odors.
  2. Sharpen scissors by cutting a piece of sandpaper once or twice with them.
  3. Chill candles in the fridge for 24-hours before using them so they will burn evenly and not drip.
  4. Clean varnished surfaces with a cloth dipped in cool, weak tea or coffee.
  5. Pour a cup of vinegar into the tank of the toilet to keep the bowl fresh.
  6. In a spray bottle mix one part vinegar with two parts water and use to clean windows, countertops, mirrors, etc. Add a drop or two of lemon juice to add a touch of scent.
  7. Use the shredded paper from the paper shredder ask stuffing and/or packing material.
  8. As lightbulbs burn out switch your lightbulbs to CFLs (or switch them all at once).
  9. Wash laundry in cold water instead of hot.
  10. Turn off lights when you leave the room.
  11. Support you local economy and shop at your farmer’s market.
  12. Completely shut down your computer at night.
  13. Pay your bills online. Not only is it greener, it’s a sanity saver.
  14. Reuse scrap paper. Print on two sides, or let your kids color on the back side of used paper.
  15. Before buying anything new, first check your local Craigslist, Freecycle, Thrift Store, or my favorite Half Price Books.
  16. Fix leaky faucets.
  17. Use household cleaners. I have a few up my sleeves.
  18. Collect rainwater, and use it to water your houseplants and garden.
  19. Unplug unused chargers and appliances.
  20. Switch to cloth diapers – or at least do a combination with disposables. Even one cloth diaper per day means 365 few disposables in the landfill each year.
  21. Repurpose glass jars as leftover containers and bulk storage, especially in the kitchen. I use mine to keep trinkets and collect change.
  22. Donate to – and shop at – thrift stores. You’ll be recycling perfectly usable items. you’ll be supporting your local economy (or a good cause), and you’ll be saving money.
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