With all the fences we put up, money that changes hands, we people think we own the land but we're really just in charge of it for a time. Eventually someone else will take care of that same section of land, and someone else after that. Being good stewards of the Earth while we live on it and from it is our responsibility. Here are a few of my favorite ways to nurture the planet and save you some money at the same time.
1. The clothesline- You can't beat it for savings, we hang our clothes 7 months of the year and our utility bill goes down an easy $20 a month as a result. Your clothes smell fresh and clean, they stay wrinkle free until you take them down, very often they'll dry faster on the line then they will in the dryer. If your clothes dry a little stiff then you can tumble them on fluff with no heat in the dryer for 5 minutes, they'll be nice and soft. Another plus? You never have to replace the timer or the heat element on your clothesline.
2. Newspaper- If you've got a hamster or other critter in a cage, shred the newspaper in your shredder and use it for bedding material. Speedy, the hamster with incredible longevity, lived for 4 years in piles of fluffy shredded newspaper, it works beautifully. Have you priced small animal bedding? When your cage needs freshening the newspaper can go right into the compost pile for use in the garden later. Newspaper can also be shredded to use as packing material for all you Etsy shippers.
3. Compost your leaves, people! If you live where the leaves fall, find a corner of your yard and start a compost pile. A HUGE pile of leaves will cook down into rich dark soil- garden gold - by spring, and you won't be driving to the garden store and paying for plastic bags of compost. If you've got established garden beds, simply deposit raked leaves on top every fall. Till the leaves into the soil in early spring and you'll have wonderful soil to plant in. For potatoes, all you have to do is put seed potatoes on your garden bed, then cover with a thick blanket of leaves, about 2 feet. The leaves will decompose over the summer, the potato shoots will grow right up through the leaf covering. When you want potatoes during the year just move the leaves aside and pick them up, no digging required!
4. Make a decision now- NO paper plates! It isn't that hard to wash dishes!
5. Cloth diapers are easy to use, save you thousands of dollars over disposables, and keep HUGE amounts of waste from the Earth. Etsy is loaded with wonderful cloth diaper designs, wool soakers and more. We cloth diapered two children, once you get into the routine it becomes quite easy, I promise! I admit, we did use disposables a few times. One particular time when our son was ill, and on a few cross country trips by airplane. They have their place, but rarely.
What are your favorite eco-friendly tips? I'd love to hear them!