At SiamMandalay we take green living very seriously. We try to keep everything as organic as possible – and believe me, we know it’s hard. We also know it’s inconvenient and expensive – at least that’s the common parlance. But Ho! You don’t need solar panels and organic food, at least not the expensive kind.
You can be both green AND budget savvy. We’re here to show you how.
1. Natural household cleaners – no chemicals – no heavy fragrance – check out Kimberly Button and her book “The Everything Guide to a Healthy Home:” or check out wellness mama she uses cheap, natural products like vinegar and baking soda. Easy, peasy.
2. If you want organic, grow your own – luckily us (we got the sun!), we grow our own bananas, papayas and mulberries the pests are pesky – but it’s worth the devotion! Plus, the food simply tastes that little bit better when grown from scratch. If you can't be as exotic as SiamMandalay, no fear - strawberries anyone?
3. Food waste is a big nono! America wastes up to 40% of its food! Which is insane. If you are going to a restaurant bring Styrofoam boxes – easy. No waste. That’s almost half of the $3000 yearly average going straight in the bin – cook less or power your home!
4. If you can’t afford to buy the new hybrid car/electric car – then there is simple way to save a few bucks. When running errands park your car at a central location and walk to where you need to go, keeping your fitness high and your wasted income low.
Also unload excess weight from your boot – more weight directly influences gas usage. Interestingly FuelEconomy found that buying keeping your tire inflated can you can increase fuel economy by almost 5%.
5. Unplug your electronic goods after use, experts call this “phantom load’ where energy is used, just to keep electronic appliances on standby. Simply unplugging your electronic appliances can lower the average household’s annual bill to around $200.
6.Install a programmable thermostat, to control the temperature of your house. These can be picked up for less than $40. Set it to gauge the temperature in your house – and power on and off on command!
7. BYOB: bring your own bag to the Grocery store. With the UK charging 5p for a bag in the UK – it will cost you a pretty penny over a year. Purchasing some long lasting durable bags will allow you to save the planet and your bank balance.
8. Swap out your hand soap for DIY non-toxic hand sanitizer. You can make your own mix without alcohol and other abrasive ingredients and voila: check it out the recipe here: http://www.prevention.com/health/healthy-living/natural-homemade-sanitizer
9. Charge up your gadgets with solar: we like this one – you can purchase solar chargers on Amazon: they can power all your boys’ toys: MP3s, Cell Phones and even laptops – easy.
10. Buy products made from recycled goods! These are hip, trendy, cost effective and eco-friendly. Everything from pencils to handbags are made from green materials - even SiamMandalay products :).
11. Turn off your computer at work. Especially on a Friday. I, for one, am a smidge guilty of this one. You’re going away from the office. Switch if off.
12. Plant a tree in your in the backyard. It seems simple, but just one tree can offset a ton of carbon emission over its lifetime. If planted appropriately, it also will provide shade on a sunny day, perhaps reducing the use of energy for air-conditioning in buildings and homes.
13. Wash clothes in cold water and line dry. An oldy but goody - Using cold water rather than hot in the washer saves electricity and works just as well as hot with most clothes. Line drying not only is more environmentally friendly, but it also will keep clothes from shrinking and fading.
14. Look into carpooling – you will be astounded how much money this saves you. If you need convincing look at this balance sheet for green commuting.
15. Sorry paperboys! Cancel your newspaper subscription and read the news online instead. (We'll bet you're already doing this one!)
16. Napkin cloths instead of paper napkins at dinner – in fact anything rewashable over free.
17. Still in the kitchen: Invest in a roasting pan instead of using disposable ones (you'll save money in the long run and it's a lot easier to pull a full ham or turkey out of the oven in a sturdy pan than an aluminum one).
18. In the Kitchen still! Meatless Monday – If every American skipped meat and cheese one day a week, it would have the same environmental impact as the country driving 91 billion fewer miles a year.
19. Cold water for laundry: No need for the super hot water to clean your clothing. Cold water works just fine in the washing machine.
20. Learn to preserve! Throwing out over ripe fruits and veggies is wasteful. Preserving, pickling and jam making are all easy to do and a great way to reduce waste. A great tip is to freeze over ripe bananas and turn them into a banana cake.
21. Use your own coffee tumbler or thermos. Rather than getting a cardboard coffee cup every day, buy your own reusable mug to take back and forth from home to work. It’s a good way to stand out from the crowd and will keep co-workers from swooping up your coffee.
22. Sign up for e-bills. Receiving your bills via emails reduces the cutting down of tress, paper use and in some instances will save you money on paper bill fees!