Going Green ~ Saving Green

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:1

There’s something amazing to me about God creating the earth – if you read the creation account as if you’ve never heard it before, thinking about it like it’s new information – well, it’s a little bit awe-inspiring. Especially when you then look around and see the limitless creativity and economy he used.  It seems like we are still discovering new creatures, yet sometimes they carry characteristics of others we’ve already come to know and love.

And then to think he put man over it all to protect and nurture it – to take dominion over the creatures – which also implies the need to care for the environment of those creatures.  Man, who was created in his image, is tasked with the care of his special creation.  Pretty cool, huh, when you really stop to think about it?

I probably don’t think about it often enough.

And yet, there are times when I live up to his creative and efficient image in me – when I represent him well in and to his creation.

Sometimes it has been things like cultivating our yard to be beautiful and neat.  Sometimes it’s been things like tenderly caring for a pet until it is restored to health.  And other times it manifests itself in limiting my carbon footprint – reduce, reuse, recycle.

Van de Graaff Electro-Static GeneratorOne little thing we do is minimize our use of dryer sheets/fabric softener.  I did try to give up dryer sheets altogether, but everything stayed so staticky and then my hair constantly looked like I was at the science center touching one of those giant balls at the end of a Van de Graaff generator.

I went back to dryer sheets.

Then I read an article about how dryer sheets could be used multiple times – there’s enough fabric softener on the sheets to be effective for FOUR uses.  I tried that, but it was hard to locate the dryer sheet between loads, plus I could never decide if it was as effective on the fourth load as the first.

Then I decided, if a dryer sheet could be used four times, then it’s reasonable to assume 1/4 of a dryer sheet could be used once.

Eureka!

It works.  🙂

I know, it’s not rocket science, but it’s one little thing that saves us a lot of money and reduces our waste.

I should add, when we moved to Tennessee eight years ago and had to purchase a washer/dryer, we bought high-capacity, high-efficiency, front-loading machines.  Since I can wash/dry up to 17 pairs of jeans in my washer, our loads may be larger than yours.  We did make the shift to using 1/2 dryer sheet when we started making use of the full capacity of our dryer.  With nine people, seven of whom are growing bigger by the minute, we have definitely grown into our washer/dryer!

Which brings me to a second way we’ve saved a lot of money and reduced our carbon footprint is in the washer/dryer combo we use.  The front loading machines utilize significantly less water, detergent, and also minimize drying time.  So, if/when you are in the market for new laundry equipment, I highly recommend HE front-loading machines at whatever capacity makes sense for your size family.

I know there are also folks who make their own laundry soap and find additional savings there.  I haven’t personally delved into homemade soap, because our bulk purchases of laundry soap cost $13-$26 per year (since I run at least 2 loads of laundry per day, six days per week, I spend about $0.02-$0.04 per load on laundry detergent, which is well within reason in my book).

Still, it seems some folks are able to save by making their own laundry detergent, and two sweet friends have shared their recipes with me.  Here are links to the recipes they’ve recommended (I cannot vouch for anything else on these sites, so please, peruse with the same care you would on any new website):

Dry Laundry Detergent

Liquid Laundry Detergent

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Photo Credit:
Electro-Static Generator by Dtjrh2 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Green Piggy by RLHyde – http://www.flickr.com/photos/breatheindigital/ [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons