Tuesday, May 19, 2015

How to help the environment accidentally by being cheap!

Hey everyone! So as some of you know I am really incredibly cheap. Its not that I don't wanna have nice things actually its the exact opposite. I really want nice things but I want to pay as little as possible for them. Sometimes that just happens to come with an extra added benefit of actually reducing waste and being better for the environment than the more expensive way is anyway so I figured I would share a few of those things that I've been doing lately. (To be fair some of these I have always done)

Water only washing:
The first thing I wanted to mention is the fact that I've not been using shampoo or conditioner or really anything but water to clean my hair... All year. Actually a bit longer even. The why is because my head was constantly itching and even having gross scabs and such on my scalp that wouldn't go away through the many many things I've tried. So, I looked it up and found out you don't actually need shampoo and turns out that was what was messing me up in the first place. So I ditched it and instead scrub my head under hot water followed by a cold rinse whenever it looks greasy or use a bit of arrowroot powder if I don't have the time. Detangle with a wide tooth wood comb (it doesn't snap your hair up cause it doesn't really bend at all) and then brush like crazy with a boar bristle brush. Hint to get 100% boar bristle brushes super cheap look for "wave brushes" in the African hair care section of a store. Remember the old adage of brushing your hair 100 strokes? Well the point of that was to take the oil your a hair makes and coat the entire length of your hair with it instead of letting it sit on your scalp looking ugly or scrubbing it out with chemicals since it actually serves a purpose. My hair has never looked or felt better than it does now. Plus you know its free and natural so that's a bonus too!

More traditional shaving:
Next up is the safety razor. I can kill even the fanciest chock full of blades and bonuses razors in one sitting. I hate it, they are so expensive and wasteful and it turns out unnecessary. Now for starters what I should have done was bought a straight razor. But well it's kinda scary and yeah I might shave my legs and pits with it but I dunno about my um... Bikini zone... Yeah so it might last forever and be the longterm best solution but I probably wouldn't have used it. So anyway in picked up a cheap safety razor kit from Walmart on a whim. I should have researched it and got a full set on amazon but whatever I went on to pick up accessories on amazon later. Now the only thing you change is the razor itself. There are tons of different brands out there and I haven't played around with any but what came with my kit but you need a brush and cream or shave soap and a cup or bowl to make suds in. You can use the aerosol kind but it costs more doesn't work as well and is aerosol so... I really really like it. Both me and my husband can use the same shave set excepting the blade of course, the blades are super cheap like 10 bucks for 100 on average and in my experience the shave lasts longer so it must be closer with no irritation.

No soap laundry:
This one is a shocker and I got it free to review its balls filled with some sort of ceramic pebbles that change the pH of the water by changing the size of the water molecules and therefore allowing the dirt to come out of your clothes. The crazy thing is it works. Better than using detergent. My husband even said it took out stains his tool bag leaves on his work shirt that nothing else has worked on. It doesn't leave any scent on the clothes they just come out clean (but could be a really good team with the granuales you put in just for the scent though I'm sure)  best part is they last 5000 washes with just a little time in the sun here and there. I'm loving it. Plus its a one time investment, chemical free and Eco friendly.

Microfiber + Essential oils
The next thing is microfiber. I got a microfiber mop and some microfiber rags mostly because while I love my steam mop it isn't really practical for everyday with having so little hard floor plus its a pita to pull out for every little spill. Really though I'm super happy with the microfiber, I was using just vinegar which cleans fine and leaves a nice shine but kinda leaves your house smelling like a salad so I switched to Mrs. Meyers cleaning stuff. One ounce of their concentrate plus water makes 54 oz of cleaner so it's super cheap, smells amazing and is made with natural ingredients and essential oils so its not bad for you like most cleaners. Not sure about the germ killing capacity but heck it gets dirty hand marks off of wall edges on flat paint and makes everything all shiny and good smelling and using it with the microfiber means it pretty much costs, whatever it takes to wash the laundry. It also keeps me from using near as many paper towels.
Sacks and thrift shopping:
OK this store inn particular isn't everywhere but a lot of places have stores like it. Basically it is a store that sells food that the regular stores aren't. Ever see something at a store that was a really cool idea but drastically overpriced? Special edition flavors? Holiday packaging or new packaging or the store simply overbought the item and it didn't sell as good as they thought. Well all of that along with items that are approaching and yes sometimes even over their expiration dates ends up in stores like sacks at super low prices. On top of it if you think of all the freaking food thrown away just because it reached an arbitrary date that really doesn't mean the food is bad (seriously there are NO FDA GUIDELINES on expiration dates) or even close to it for that matter. So you get great freaking deals and do your part to reduce the amount of food waste.

Everyone knows about thrift shops but I don't think everyone realizes all of the items thrift shops sell, or the fact that there are so many more than just goodwill and salvation army which can honestly be picked over and over priced compared to non chain thrift stores. Just this week I picked up some new clothes, a wicker storage chest($6 for something I cannot find for under $160), a pair of ottoman foot stool cubes(also $6) some glass coffee mugs($4 for a set of 7)  a nice TV stand($5), a set of glasses(15 glasses for $5), an awesome quilt($6), and a deep frier ($10)! Which I can absolutely afford thanks to the grocery savings! On top of that of course there is the fact that you are saving all of the materials that would be going into the new products plus the space in the landfill that these items would be taking, not to mention all the excess packaging the new items would inevitably come in. Not to mention that you actually get way more options than you do in a real store because there aren't 100 of each different item wasting space.

Ditching the disposable lady products:
This one was an annoying expense that I simply wasn't aware until recently that there were other choices. When I was researching cloth options I ran into a kit that had a menstrual cup and a set of cloth pads which I bought and fell in love with the cup. That's about a $10 a month savings plus a huge chunk of garbage that doesn't exist anymore, not to mention that its more comfortable, sanitary and convienently never runs out!

There are really tons of things you can do that save money and/or reduce waste at the same time, these are just a few of the things I do that happen to fit into both categories. If you have any little tricks of the trade let me know, I'm always interested in making life a little easier to manage!

A few notes before I go, if I have a giveaway running you can find it at the bottom of any of my current posts (none are active at the time of this post) it will only be visible if you are on the mobile version of my blog. From chrome there are three dots in the top right corner that brings down a list of a bunch of options, one of those says request desktop site, this does work on phones and tablets and honestly makes a lot of webpages a lot easier to navigate so is a handy thing to use anyway just check that and you will be in business. If I remember I will try to copy and paste this on posts that include a giveaway as there has been some confusion. The blue or purple links with the word "here" are always a link to find the product I'm talking about available for purchase. I don't actually make any money off of these links I just add them as a courtesy in case you are interested and will update you if that ever changes.

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