Saint Patrick’s Day – Go Green and Save Money

Wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day isn’t the only way for you to commemorate this event. Another thing you can opt to do on this special occasion is to “Go Green.” It means more than just donning attire or displaying ornaments with the color green. Once you have decided to go green, it means that you are embracing the concept of sustainability by maintaining an eco-friendly attitude year round and not just on St. Patrick’s Day.

The initial cost of “Going Green” may seem a little on the high side; however, over time the benefits of going green will reduce your expenses, increase your savings, and benefit the environment. Here are some of the things you can do to maintain both your savings and the quality of your surroundings:

Go for Real Utensils and Avoid Buying Plastic

One thing you can do during St. Patrick’s Day that will help promote sustainable living is by using real utensils during your celebration. Using real utensils reduces pollution since you and your guests won’t have to throw anything away. Real utensils can be washed and re-used, unlike their plastic counterparts that inevitably will find their way into the trash bins before being dumped in landfills. If using real utensils will be difficult due to the volume of guests, consider going for biodegradable utensils so they can be recycled once they’ve been used.

Create Your Own Decorations

Another way for you to save money and avoid the accumulation of waste is by creating your own decorations. The beauty about creating your own decorations is that it keeps you from purchasing various non-sustainable apparel and ornaments, allowing you to save money. Concerning making your own decorations make sure that the materials you use are made from recycled or biodegradable paper. Aside from being environmentally friendly, these materials can be used again for future celebrations, keeping you from spending again next year.

Be Creative and Come Up with Your Own Non-Toxic Cleaning Supplies

Cleaning supplies are notorious for their toxic ingredients, so if you’re leaning towards going green this St. Patrick’s Day, consider cleaning up the natural way. For example, here is a simple recipe for an All-Purpose Cleaner;

Recipe for All-Purpose Cleaner

1/2-cup white distilled vinegar, 1/4 cup baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon essential oil (tea tree, lavender, or lemon)

Mix these three ingredients first. After the fizzing has stopped, fill a 1/2-gallon container for future use and storage. It’s a good idea to label the container so that you know what’s really in it. One other thing, store in a cool dark place.

My favorite essential oil to use is tea tree. It is naturally anti-fungal and fights bacteria. I use lavender when I want a more subtle scent.

Remember, though: a little bit of essential oil goes a long way – less is often more. If you like a lemon scent and don’t have oil, you can try putting in 1/4 tsp. of powdered lemon rind.

Examples of easily made non-toxic sustainable dilutions for easy living visit

Unplug Electrical Devices

Another good piece of advice and an easy cost efficient way to Go Green during St. Patrick’s Day is to unplug your devices that are not in use. Remember that unplugging devices not only cuts down on your electrical bill, it reduces pollution as well. Even if you turn them off during the day, keeping your electrical devices plugged in will still allow them to consume energy and over time eat away at your wallet. Some of the appliances you should leave unplugged when you are not home are the TVs, computers, sound systems, and even your cable modems.

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3 Responses

  1. Chet says:

    Great tips! Another big area of waste (and potential money saver) is water. The statistics on how much water is used daily by each individual is staggering! I have a low flow shower head that allows you to toggle between full force & a lesser trickle, though it takes some discipline to use!

    Do you have any other tips on saving water? I’ve been interested in gray water systems but not sure how much work it would be to install.

  2. Matt says:

    Vinegar is hugely underrated as a cleaning product. My wife and I use a vinegar/water solution when washing our floors and it works great. We also use it as a fabric softener in the laundry.

  3. Barry says:

    Great question Chet. While I am not all to familiar with greywater or Gray water, I have done some research and found that there are many ways that greywater can be safely used around the house and elsewhere.

    For example, if applied directly from the sink some greywater may be used for gardening since it may contain many nutrients. If you plan on using the greywater for your irrigation system, it is very important that you store the greywater before using use in the irrigation system, unless it has been properly treated first.

    Some additional uses are:

    Indoor reuse – When recycled from showers or bathtubs the greywater can be used for flushing toilets. Where International Plumbing Codes have been adopted.

    Space travel – greywater might be used for space flights to other planets to help reduce the amount of water consumption e.g. showers, and increase oxygen generation.

    Heating source – Through a process called drainwater heat recovery heat is recovered from both residential and commercial greywater processing. When used residentially a drainwater or similar sytem can recovery up to 60% of the heat that would otherwise be lost.

    Ecological – the use of greywater helps reduce the demand on conventional water supplies when used in toilet or for gardening and irrigations systems. This is very beneficial from an environmental perspective, especially in times of drought.

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