Here's a blog that you can get tips on how to save money, live better, and be a little more environmentally friendly all at the same time.

Posts Tagged: saving

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If you drink coffee and buy something nearly everyday, you might want to get a reusable container for that, a mug, etc. Styrofoam cups takes nearly 500 years to degrade and billions are used every year in America alone. These cups are not recyclable, at least not practically, they can’t be used to make new styrofoam or other products. Use something that will either degrade more quickly or is reusable. 

Most coffee shops that you buy things from will sell reusable mugs. Buy one of those and it’ll last years instead of using a cup that’s thrown away everyday. 

A lot of shops will credit you money too! 10 cents or more if you use a reusable tumbler on that purchase! 

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Most people try and avoid traveling because of expenses, gas costs, hotel, whatever else you may do. There are some alternatives to this. If you use Amtrak to get to your destination this will probably reduce gas costs. It will cost you for your tickets to get on the train, but you will most likely be promoted to walk around and do things rather than drive everywhere once you’re there. 

Hostels are another great way to save money, I’m sure a lot of students have heard about it. Hostels cost a lot less than hotels but have rules most of the time, like being gone during the day, but this can’t be too bad, you’re traveling and should be out doing other things anyway! There are hostels in the U.S as well as other countries, so don’t be afraid to check them out.

I’ve personally stayed in hostels in Santa Cruz and various other places and have enjoyed my stay every time. I just go drop my stuff off in a hostel *the one I stayed at was 20 dollars a night* and then go do whatever I want to do. It’s an excellent way to meet people too, you can meet people from other countries a lot of the time. Most hostels actually have food there for you already at no extra charge! 

Source: mtweber.com

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There are several benefits to making your own cleaning products, here’s the list:

1. You’ll be saving money! The ingredients are cheap and most people already have them.

2. You’ll be using a reusable bottle, so that’ll be environmentally friendly.

3. The ingredients are organic or abundant.

You can use 1 part water and 1 part vinegar to clean bathroom tile and kitchens, such as floors and stove/counter tops.

The three concoctions: 

1. Vinegar/Water = Kitchen and Bathroom cleaner, make sure it’s half vinegar and half water or else it will dissolve your tile grout.

2. Baking soda/vinegar/lemon juice = Soap Scum remover! It’s a great replacement for comet, this will create a paste like substance.

3. Olive oil/lemon juice = Furniture cleaner, use 1 cup of olive oil and 1/2 cup of lemon juice to clean the wood on your furniture.

Source: housekeeping.about.com

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Homes that are a little older sometimes aren’t insulated properly. Insulation is what keeps cool air from escaping your home in the summer and warm air from escaping during winter. 

My family actually just got done remodeling a home from the 70s, so if you’ve got any questions, email me at Greenjerrid@gmail.com. I’ll reply with in 24 hours. Thanks!

Ways to save:

1. Check your attic for insulation, if it doesn’t have the recommended amount, add more. You can get insulation from places like Home Depot.

2. Check for holes in walls, doorways, mail slots, window seals, etc, these let air escape and come in.

3. Caulk these spaces that are letting air leak in and out.

4. Wall and window mounted A/Cs are a major problem a lot of the time. If you have one, make sure it’s properly inserted and that air isn’t leaking in or out of the spaces around it.

Doing this can reduce your A/C and heating bills by 5%-30% a year depending on the amount you’ve closed up. Check the energy savers website for more information.

 

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Before I get started, please do not make your soap with palm oil. It contributes to the deforestation of the rainforest and ruins the environment and ecosystems for orang-utans. Four percent of green house gases are directly linked to palm oil harvesting as well.

Required Items:

1. Six ounces of olive or coconut oil as a base.

2. Two tablespoons of olive oil.

3. Fifteen drops of essential oils, if you want.

4. Dried herbs or flower petals if you want.

5. Soap molds (to make them into whatever shape you want)

6. A microwave.

8. Microwave safe bowl.

9. Plastic spoon/stirring stick.

10. 

How to get started: 

The easiest way to get started is with a melt and pour soap base that already contains olive oil or a soap base with coconut oil and add the pure olive oil.

1. Line up all the ingredients you’re going to use and have them ready to put into the mold.

2. Cut 6 ounces of the olive oil base or coconut oil base into small pieces. 

3. Heat the base in the microwave safe bowl for 10 seconds at a time, stirring in between the heating sessions.

4. When the base is melted, quickly add the 2 ounces of olive oil and whatever  essential oils or dried flowers/herbs you’re planning on using into the mixture, make sure to stir them all in, this is essential.

5. Quickly pour them into whatever shape mold you’re using, in either two 3 ounce molds, or one 6 ounce.

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Turn your water off when it’s not being used! Seriously! This is one huge way to earn you some cash and is also a method of conservation. It’s a two for one deal. 

Some examples of what I know people do:

1. Leave the water on while they’re brushing their teeth, the whole two minutes.

2. Leave the water running while they’re washing dishes, instead of just filling up one side of the sink.

3. Turn a shower on and leave the room while it heats up and not go back until a minute or two after it’s finished being heated.

So these are just a few things. I’m sure there are other water wasting methods that people use. 

It’s been known that 150+ liters per day per person that lives in an urban area. That 150 liters is actually on the low end of the spectrum too. So do a few things to reduce your water usage. 

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Having a home garden can be a major benefit to you. if you keep herbs and spices planters in the kitchen window seal, that’ll save you some dough. If you grow tomatoes and other things, that’ll save you some money too. All of these savings slowly accumulate and pretty soon you’ll be buying little to no vegetables. 

When I was little, I had neighbors on both sides, I lived in an urban area. One neighbor grew figs and herbs and spices while the other grew peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, and much more. We grew tomatoes and some herbs and spices as well. Throughout the year our families would probably save $200 or more. This is one example of how gardening can be beneficial to your wallet and you.

When you grow vegetables at home you know that little to no pesticides are being used, and you know that they’re good for you because you watched them grow with your own eyes!

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Getting rid of less means that the things already in landfills will have time to break down and be used as soil and other compost related products. Most of the things we own will last over 100 years in a landfill, and as of lately, we’ve been using quite a bit. If you fix some of the things that you own rather than throwing them out and filling up precious space, the planet will be that much cleaner. If you have a messed up shirt, sew it. If you have a screwed up bed, add a support. This will save you tons of money just by doing small things that add up over time, and in turn, the world we know will be a lot more likely to not fill up with junk. 

Overall people need to learn to fix things themselves, such as apparel, cars, shoes, and especially anything glass or metal. These types of things can be refurbished by you! Just turn on your computer or even look on your mobile device and use one of the many search engines available to you to search how to fix “insert word”. 

The Daily Green is a good website I’ve found that helps you find things that you can fix rather than throw away. 

If you can’t fix that product, maybe find a way to reuse it. For example, if you’ve got a bunch of messed up shirts, turn them into rags, or maybe even into a rug with a little bit of sewing and creativity. 

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Gardening can be another way to reduce your cost on food products and it’s very healthy for you as well. It gets you out of the house and outside in the sun! The sun actually contains vitamins which people are supposed to take in daily, but not too much of it at the same time. The vitamin in which sunlight contains is vitamin D. Gardens also require a lot of upkeep, so you won’t have a problem getting out daily and obtaining these vitamins. It’s also very educational and fun I believe.

Blueberries themselves actually have a lot of health benefits. They contain vitamin C, dietary fiber, and manganese. They have virtually no fat and only 80 calories per cup. Vitamin C keeps your gums and capillaries healthy, while fiber keeps your cholesterol level down, and the manganese is essential for the development of bones. They also contain antioxidants, these antioxidants are used to get rid of any molecules that aren’t stable. Unstable molecules can lead to diseases, such as cancer and even eventually Alzheimer’s disease.

So today I did some research about blueberries. Blueberries require very fine soil, the plant likes moisture, well drained soil mixture is preferred. One thing to keep in mind is how acidic your soil is. Blueberries really like a pH level of 4-5. This acid releases sulfur and zinc, which makes the blueberries thrive. The pH levels are on a scale of 1-14, 1 being the most acidic, and 14 being the least.

How to take a pH test: 

1. Dig a hole a couple inches deep.

2. Remove any debris, such as twigs or rocks.

3. Fill the hole with water that is either bottled or distilled. 

4. Put the test probe into the water (which is now more like mud), make sure the meter is clean and calibrated before you insert it.

5. Wait 60 seconds and take a reading.

6. Sometimes it’s good to repeat this test in different areas of the garden to make sure the entire area is good for the blueberry plant’s growth. 

If the reading is 4-5, this is ideal for blueberries. If it’s too acidic (below 3), I would add peat moss around the base of the plant and cover it with mulch. If it’s not acidic enough, you can actually just plant the blueberries in the peat moss themselves.

This here is a meter I found, it’s Solar and at Ace Hardware. The cost is $13.99, check it out if you don’t already have a meter.  

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I went to a website and found out a few facts about makeup and cosmetic products. Here’s a list of the facts.

1. The average consumer uses 15-25 cosmetic products a day (including teens).

2. These products used with in one day usually have 150+ chemicals total in them.

3. Some of these chemicals that are in the products are used to do other industrial work, such as break plastic down, stabilize pesticides, and clean equipment.

4. These chemicals can harm your health and are can create hormone problems, reproductive disorders, and even cancer.

The problem:

A 2004 survey done by the cosmetic industry shows that 90% of girls 14 years of age and older use makeup and cosmetic products. This age group is extremely susceptible to hormone and reproductive disorders.

Article where I found my information:

 http://articles.sfgate.com/2006-09-27/home-and-garden/17312849_1_campaign-for-safe-cosmetics-chemicals-eye-shadow

The alternatives:

1. Don’t use as much makeup, which I would think to be an inexpensive solution.

2. Use other makeup and cosmetic products that are organic, surprisingly these products are a lot less expensive.

A website that has some good cosmetics that are organic is Beautorium.