10 Green Living Ideas for Frugal Families

Think Before You Throw Away and Buy
Instead of doing THIS with your old (or gently used) electronics, why not recycle or donate them instead?
Instead of doing THIS with your old (or gently used) electronics, why not recycle or donate them instead?

Your old lawnmower died. Trash it. Buy a new one. The snowblower blew its last flake. Trash it. Buy a new one. Your husband isn't as fun as he used to be. Trash it. Buy a new one.

Alright, perhaps American culture can't be called quite that expendable, but we do regularly and thoughtlessly replace many expensive items and cart the old ones to the nearest landfill. Be more aware of the items you're getting rid of. Electronics are an absolutely essential item to recycle; they contain toxic chemicals that should not be leaking into our soils. Also, consider that many functioning products can be donated to charities or people in need.

Not so into helping mankind? You can also recycle electronics for cold hard cash. Places like SecureTradeIn.com, YouRenew.com, and Gazelle.com will all pay for your old electronics. Consider using Freecycle.com or Craigslist.org as well, when disposing of something people might be able to use.

Don't forget another, more simple solution. Borrow! Use your neighbor's lawnmower. Pool with the neighborhood to get a snowblower that you can all use -- or better, yet, use a shovel that will both raise your heart rate and your savings account balance.

If you're not green from head to toe (or wallet) yet, read on for more tips to introduce ecological awareness and cost-savings to your family.

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  • Bittman, Mark. "Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler." The New York Times. January 27, 2008. (October 6, 2011) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/27/weekinreview/27bittman.html
  • EcoCycle.org. "Alternative Cleaners and Recipes." 2010. (October 6, 2011) http://www.ecocycle.org/hazwaste/recipes.cfm
  • ENERGY STAR. "How a Product Earns the ENERGY STAR Label." 2011. (October 6, 2011) http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=products.pr_how_earn
  • Guardian Environment Network. "Europe considers plastic bag ban." May 20, 2011. (October 6, 2011) http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/may/20/europe-plastic-bag-ban
  • PlanetGreen.com. June 22, 2010. (October 6, 2011) http://planetgreen.discovery.com/fashion-beauty/50-all-natural-beauty-products-you-can-make-yourself.html
  • Recyclebank. "Who is Recyclebank?" 2011. (October 6, 2011) http://www.recyclebank.com/about-us
  • Shapley, Dan. "Save Money By Going Green." TheDailyGreen.com. 2011. (October 6, 2011) http://www.thedailygreen.com/green-homes/latest/save-money-megaflip#fbIndex1
  • Standby Power. "Standby Power Summary Table." Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. 2011. (October 6, 2011) http://standby.lbl.gov/summary-table.html
  • Toxics Use Reduction Institute. "Green Cleaning Lab." University of Massachusetts Lowell. 2011. (October 6, 2011) http://www.worldwatch.org/node/3915
  • Vanderlinden, Colleen. "50 All Natural Beauty Products You Can Make Yourself."
  • Worldwatch Institute. "Ten Ways to Go Green and Save Green." 2011. (October 6, 2011) http://www.worldwatch.org/node/3915


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