Living Green

hints for green living

Looking to save energy and live a greener life?

Try these hints and tips to cut energy use, reduce waste, and clean green in your organized home.

Make Ice With Recycled Milk Cartons

Need ice for summer events? Turn to the humble milk carton! As you empty them, drain, rinse and refill square milk cartons with clean water. Leave an inch in the top for expansion, then tuck into the freezer. Use frozen cartons whole to cool ice chests. For crushed ice, turn the cartons sideways and smack smartly against a concrete floor on all sides, then tear open the top and pour. Energy saving bonus: keeping freezers full cuts energy use.

Give The Fridge Some Air

Cramming food into the refrigerator cuts air circulation and leads to cold spots that waste energy (and freeze food!) Give refrigerator contents some breathing room to reduce energy use and food waste. In the freezer? Go the other way and pack it full for best energy consumption. Get more tips to cut energy use in the kitchen:

Chill Out! Cut Energy Use in Refrigerator and Freezer

New Use For Old Sponges

When the kitchen sponge has reached the end of useful, give it a new lease on life! Rinse it well, then place in the bottom of a flower pot when planting. The sponge will retain moisture and prevent soil from washing away.

Save at the Farmers' Market

Shopping the farmers' market? For maximum savings on fresh, locavore produce, shop the market near closing hours. Vendors are often willing to cut prices on surplus goods at day's end, so they won't have to cart it home. Make them an offer ... and cut food costs!

Ceiling Fan Solution For A Warmer Winter

In summer, a ceiling fan adds a welcome, cooling breeze--but did you know your fan can help you stay warm in winter, too? Most modern fans include a reverse setting to draw cold air upward and redistribute warmer air downward around the edges of the room in cold weather. How to tell the difference? Look up! In summer, you'll want the fan's blades to run counter-clockwise for cooling; in winter, blades move clockwise to draw cold air upward.