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Simple Ways to Save Money and Help the Environment

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Spanish for You! strives to make teaching and learning Spanish simple, effective, and affordable. In the same vein, I like to take that same approach to other areas of daily life. So, here is a list of simple and effective things you can do to save money AND help the environment:

  • Pack lunches and lunch items in reusable containers. Just think how many paper lunch bags along with plastic wrap and plastic sandwich bags you would not use over the course of one school year! And, oh, if only everyone would do that, how many millions would not go in the garbage!
  • Use dishes, container lids, and pan lids to cover food rather than plastic wrap. I learned this one from a friend I was visiting in Spain. If she has a bowl or plate of leftover food, she just plops another plate, plastic lid, or pan lid on top of it, and puts it in the fridge. She rarely uses plastic wrap. To make grabbing plastic lids easy, I keep them all in a drawer so I can easily find the right size. The fit isn’t perfect, but is sufficient to do the job.​ Of course you can use plastic containers and lids, but sometimes you don’t have clean ones available or you don’t want to dirty more dishes. Note: She doesn’t do this with plates and bowls people have been eating out of.

The lids just need to fit well enough to cover the food. No plastic wrap needed.

  • When brushing your teeth, turn the water off while you brush.
  • Cut fabric softener sheets in half. My mom always did this, and most of the time it is enough softener for even a big load of laundry.
  • Use reusable water bottles. Everyone knows this one. Even if you don’t/can’t use them all the time, every little bit helps.
  • When hand washing dishes, only fill your sink part way with soapy water. Also, turn water off between rinses.
  • Use a sharpie pen to write names on disposable cups at a gathering or party so people use one cup each.
  • Wash plastic disposable forks, knives, and spoons used at a party. Have guests toss them into a bin where you can later rinse them and throw them in the dishwasher along with other things you will be washing.
  • Add a little water to the little bit of hand soap left at the bottom of a pump bottle. You will still get soap, a little watered down, that you can use for several more days.
  • Turn pump hand cream bottles upside down in a small plastic container to get what’s left of the cream before you throw the bottle away. There’s still a lot in there. Then cover the container so you can store and keep using that cream quite a while longer.
  • Eat leftovers. They make great lunches. I have a friend, who the night before grocery shopping, has leftover night. She clears the fridge of all that needs to get eaten, and they have a leftover buffet. Nothing goes to waste.
  • Empty all house garbage cans into one bag. When my kitchen garbage is full, I pull the bag out and go around my house emptying the smaller bathroom garbages into it leaving the small plastic bags from those smaller cans for reuse. Every so often I change those out just to freshen them up, but they can be reused many times over.
  • Use the small bags your groceries are packed in from the grocery store in small bathroom garbage cans.
  • Use dehumidifier water to water indoor and outdoor plants. During the spring and summer we run a dehumidifier in our basement to prevent a musty smell and mold growth. The container on the dehumidifier fills up pretty quickly, so I take it outside and water plants, bushes, or trees.

Do you have any simple things you do that help save money AND the environment? Please share!


PS – If you’re looking for a Spanish curriculum for grades 3-8 for your HOMESCHOOL or to TEACH CLASSES, take a look at Spanish for You! It is simple, effective, and affordable!

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