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krissy's blog

Greener Snow Removal

snowAs we gear up for some more snow where I live in the Northeast, I wanted to discuss two things that people do to remove snow which are actually bad for the environment:  salt and snow blowers.  

Salt is bad for just about everything.  It's bad for cars, it tears up the road causing potholes, it can kill plants and wildlife, and it can contaminate waterways.  Sure, it's a cheap and easy solution, but it's just plain old bad for the planet.   Most municipalities still use salt for their roadways, but you can minimize or stop using salt on your property.  ... read more

Reusing Used Coffee Grounds

Reuse coffee groundsI don't drink coffee, but my husband does and he is always making a mess with those coffee grinds.  They ultimately end up in the compost bin, but not before they leave a trail all over the kitchen counters and sink.  But, after doing a little reading, I've learned that there are other things you can do with used coffee grounds.  Now I'm trying to respect those usually annoying coffee grounds, because they can be quite useful!

For instance...

You can fertilize plants with them!  Mix your seeds with used coffee grounds.  Apparently this will also help keep pests out of it.  Works best with carrots and radishes.  I'll have to try this next spring!

 ... read more

When is using a space heater green?

Space heaters eco-friendlyA lot of times you hear about how using electric space heaters wastes a lot of energy.  But, what about those in-between times of the year where you're not sure you need to heat up your entire house but it's too cold to comfortably sit and read a book in your living room?  What is more energy efficient:  using a space heater to just heat the room you're in for a short period of time, or to tur... read more

10 Green New Year's Resolutions

Green ResolutionsThe year end is a good opportunity to think about new ways to go green.  Whether you've been a greenie for a long time, a green newbie, or if you're somewhere in between, it's the perfect time to make some green resolutions for 2015.  

Here are some ideas for green resolutions.  I see them as small, attainable goals that can help the environment if everyone does their part. Here's to a Keener and Greener 2015!

1.  Remember to bring my reusable shopping bags everywhere.  I now remember to bring them to the grocery store almost each time, but frequently I forget when clothes shopping, going to the pharmacy, etc.  

2.  Bringing a reusable coffee cup is a great resolution but I challenge you take it a step further and bring your own reusable food containers to restaurants in case you need a doggie bag.  

3.  If you work outside of the home, pick one day a week to walk, bike, take public transit, or carpool.... read more

Keeping Your Drafty House Warm - On a Budget

insulating a house in the winter on a budgetI live in an area where most of the houses are about 100 years old - ours is 140 years old!  A lot of us battle drafty windows and doorways, but doing renovations are not always in the budget.  

Before you get started, look into state programs that help make costly energy efficient renovations more reasonable.  I live in Massachusetts, so we have the Mass Save program which offers loans and rebates.  Check your area to see what's available.

If renovations are still too costly, if your area doesn't offer incentives, or if you rent your home, there are still lots of ways to make your house a little warmer.  My tips are cheap, easy, and quick!

Before we talk about drafts, my first recommendation is to buy a programmable thermostat.  Set it so that the heat goes down during the day when nobody's home and at night when you're sleeping.  This doesn't help with drafts, but it will help with heating costs and wasted energy.  In the past few years, there have been some awesome developments in programmable thermostats.  There are a new type called "smart thermostats" which have wifi capability so you can adjust them from your phone, tablet, or computer.  They're a little more expensive than your average thermostat but you will save money on your heating bills.  ... read more

Green Holiday Gift Guide for KIDS!

eco-friendly toysOne week until Hanukkah and two weeks until Christmas Eve!    Are you still scrambling to think of what to get for the children in your family?  Scramble no more.  I am here to help you.

We live in a world of plentiful, plastic toys.  And don't get me wrong - I'm not adverse to them.  We have a living room filled with Legos and they get hours and hours of use.   But, I am making an effort to cut down on the amount of toys that my 5 year old boy won't use often.  So, I am keeping that in mind while doing my holiday shopping this year.  And here's how I'm doing it:

1)  Buy used.

Some of these toys can get really expensive, especially those darn Legos and things like Thomas the Tank Engine.   Check out craigslist, your local consignment store, or join your town's yard sale group on Facebook.  You can even check Freecycle - sometimes people are so desperate to declutter that they're willing to give away perfectly good toys!   This will save you money AND it lengthens the life of these toys.  ... read more

Are Gift Cards Recyclable?

Every holiday season, you're bound to end up with a few gift cards.  The gift card market is a multi-billion dollar industry, with sales expected to climb to $52.2 billion by 2012!  That's a lot of gift cards that need to be disposed of properly.  

Unfortunately, gift cards are often made of PVC.  PVC is toxic to produce and seldom accepted through curbside recycling plans.  Because of this, I was surprised to see gift cards listed as the greenest gift choice in Country Homes Magazine.  ... read more

Keen For Green Holiday Gift Guide

20 more shopping days 'til Christmas!   I’m sure there are many of you who barely started your shopping.  (Like me!) Stumped on what to get friends and family?  I’m here to help!  Here are some of my favorite green gift ideas:

eco-lovers tea cupFor the coffee lover:

... read more

Real vs. Fake Christmas Trees & the Environment

real vs. fake christmas treesWho is planning to deck the halls this weekend?

You might be wondering what the most eco-friendly solution is in terms of buying a Christmas tree.  Is buying a real Christmas tree bad for the environment?  Or what about the fake ones?  What are your options to keep your Christmas tree, well, green?... read more

Environmentally Friendly Wrapping Paper Options

'Tis the season to start Christmas shopping! There are plenty of ways to keep your holiday shopping green, but how can you wrap your gifts in a festive way that is also eco-friendly?

A lot of times typical wrapping paper is not recyclable, especially if it has tape on it, so be aware of that before wrapping your gifts in that. There are lots of recycled and sustainable giftwrap options out there, so if you like the traditional look of wrapping paper, go that route! ... read more

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