Ideas to Reuse and Save

June 17, 2010 · by pcriadmin · PCRI

Yahoo! Green posted an article yesterday titled “Stop throwing money away.”  Author Lori Bongiorno proposed that thinking twice about using disposable products and making some simple changes to avoid them will not only help reduce the volume of trash going to the landfill, but can also help save money, and maybe even time.  She points out:

While it might be quicker to throw something in the trash when you’re done using it than washing it and putting it away, you do have to have to spend time going to the store and buying the same products all over again. The costs for buying products again and again can really add up.

In the article, she has several suggestions for simple changes that can make a difference.  Though she points out that in many cases, the up-front cost might be a little extra, the long term savings can be especially worthwhile. Here are a few of her ideas:

For cleaning, use rags instead of paper towels (make your own by cutting up old sheets, T-shirts, towels, etc.) and for cleaning glass, use old newspapers (try it–they actually leave fewer streaks than rags or paper towels–and read on for ideas for cleaners …).  If you’re able to cut back by one roll of paper towels each week, you can save around $83 a year.

Instead of single-use bottled water or soda, rinse and reuse drink bottles (or invest in a spiffy stainless one).  It’s possible to save about $2,187 if each member of your family consumes one bottled beverage a day.

And here’s one of my favorites: rechargeable batteries.  They’re actually easy to get used to, plus most stores now sell rechargeable AA batteries and chargers.  But here’s the best part: you don’t have to run to the store when your remote runs out of juice.  Just recharge the batteries and you’re good to go (or keep an extra set on hand).  If you use around 25 AA batteries a year, you’ll save around $28 a year, you’ll also keep batteries’ chemicals out of the landfill.

There are other easy ways to save money on household items.  Many of the most simple ones are stored in the cleaning cabinet.  Metro Portland has several suggestions for inexpensive, less-toxic and easy household cleaners.  Here are just a few:

For home-made glass cleaner, combine 1 quart warm water with 1/4 cup white vinegar or 2 tablespoons lemon juice (use both vinegar and lemon if you want the cleaning abilities of vinegar with the scent of lemons).  Refill a used-up glass cleaner bottle with the solution … and wipe clean with old those old newspapers!

Need to clean up the kids’ crayon marks?  Forget store-bought chemicals, to remove crayon marks from walls, floors, counters, cabinets and furniture, rub area with toothpaste and a damp cloth.  As with other cleaners, test it in an inconspicuous area first.  Oh, and don’t use it on wallpaper!

Have some ideas of your own?  Share ’em in the comments!

Comments are closed.