When it comes to taking care of the planet, Right@Home® readers have great ideas. From recycling like crazy and doing laundry with cold water to filtering tap water rather than buying it bottled, you’re coming up with ways to reduce, reuse and recycle every day.
1. for faster-drying laundry, throw in the towel
Jaime of Pottsville, PA sent in this great idea. Throw a dry towel into the dryer with your wet clothes. “The dry towel helps absorb the moisture quickly and leads to shorter drying time and reduced use of energy.” Full loads also dry faster than loads containing just a few items. Bonus: Clean your lint filter more often for even speedier drying!
2. use old pillows to help fine feathered friends
Deborah from Grand Prairie, TX recycles old feather pillows by putting the feathers outside so that birds can literally “feather their nests.” Simply remove feathers from the pillow and place them in mesh bags to hang from tree branches. “Then sit back and enjoy watching the birds use old feathers to make nice soft nests for their young ones.”
3. don’t waste a drop of water
From east to west, our members are conserving water. Judi in Reeves, FL, Carla in Colorado Springs, CO, and Deborah, in Yuma, AZ, all put a watering pitcher in the sink while they’re running the tap and waiting for the water to get warm. They then use the saved water on their houseplants (which is good, since room temperature water is best for plants anyway).
4. (compost) pile it on
Many of you have compost piles or mulch pits for turning vegetable waste and lawn clippings into rich, organic fertilizer. In Fritch, TX Carolyn tells us that shreds from paper shredders make good mulch. Non-colored pages of newspaper can also be shredded and used for mulch—just weigh down the paper mulch with heavier material, such as wood chips or bark.
5. fake it so real (with fake flowers)
Yes, fresh flowers are lovely, but they’re expensive, they don’t last, and their production isn’t environmentally friendly. Quality silk flowers look so realistic, they’re a great alternative. Kelly of Washington, MO says, “When my fake floral swags get dusty, I put them in a big Ziploc® brand bag with a few tablespoonfuls of salt, and shake. The salt takes the dust off and there’s no mess.”
6. keep your eats local
When you choose locally grown and raised organic food, you’re reducing pesticide use, and gas consumption. Most food that Americans eat travels an average of 1,500 miles before it reaches the kitchen—and that doesn’t include imported food. Those miles are called food miles, and your job is to reduce them!
7. halt the paper chase
Patricia in Louisville, KY, uses return envelopes from junk mail to write her shopping lists and then tucks her coupons inside. Now that’s handy! Literally. Hillary in Chicago, IL puts old magazines to good use by letting her kids use them for collages, and when printing from her computer she always prints on both sides of the paper.