Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday FiveSpot presents... more favorite green tips!

Last week, Tera and Becca shared their favorite tips for going green. This week, it's Alyson and my turn to share our green-happy favorites. (And then we want more ideas from you!)

What are your favorite Living Green tips? Are there any cool Living Green gadgets or techniques that you've discovered in your quest to live greener?


Green gadgets?!! If anyone knows of a cool “green gadget” bring it on!! I love anything gadgety that promises to make those little life chores easier!

But so far, in my gadget free existence, I do all the usual things like:

-- Turn off the water while I brush my teeth

-- Recycle, Recycle, Recycle

-- Wash only full loads of laundry with environmentally correct soap

-- Change all my light bulbs to the energy efficient kind

-- Turn off said lights when I’m not using them

-- Open a window before turning on a fan to see if nature alone will cool down the house

-- Oh, and this is a big one for me as a writer, but whenever I have to print something, like a manuscript or whatever, as soon as I’m done with it I cut it into scrap paper, that I use for notes, grocery lists, to do lists, you name it. It’s not much, but it makes me feel far less wasteful.


My favorite green tips are very similar to Alyson, Becca and Tera's. Since they've covered a lot of mine, here are some of my all-time water-saving favorites (including some gadgets).

-- We're not big fans of watering our outdoor plants or lawn, but there have been occasions when it's been necessary. We grew our backyard grass from seed rather than buying sod and needed to keep it moist during germination and the early growth stage. Here's a secret: water only in the early morning before the sun comes up. The temperature is cooler so there's less evaporation (less waste) and it has time to soak in down to the roots before the heat of the day kicks in. (You could do this after the sun goes down as well, but it can increase the risk of fungal growth on your plants. The experts I've talked to unanimously recommend early AM watering.)

-- If you must water, make it easy to do an eco-friendly AM watering by buying a programmable water timer from your local garden store. You attach it to the faucet and plug your hose into it. Then you set it for the day(s) of the week and time you want it to turn on and how long you want it to water before shutting itself off. It's a fabulous way to get the most of your watering when you absolutely must water while keeping an eye on the earth. It's also a great tool for keeping your garden healthy while you're on vacation.

-- If you're watering a garden, use a soaker hose rather than a sprinkler. Soaker hoses are available at most home and garden stores and have tiny holes along the hose that allow the water to seep out directly onto the ground. It can be woven in between your vegetable rows so that it targets every plant evenly. There's much less evaporation than a traditional sprinkler and it delivers water directly to the root area where it's needed most. Using a soaker hose in the early AM is the best of both worlds - a terrific, eco-friendly way to keep your vegetable garden flourishing (and supporting a healthy eating lifestyle!).

-- Install low flow toilets, faucets and showerheads. Not only are they inexpensive, but I've never yet noticed a different in the water flow from the faucets and showerheads. And they can save a significant amount of water.

-- This is a simple one, but that half glass of water you didn't drink before bed? Don't pour it down the drain. Use it to water your indoor houseplants. Every little bit counts.

So there you go, more green tips to kick off the weekend. What about you? Let's hear some more of your favorite green tips!


  1. Here's a showerhead to help you save water and energy:

  2. I'm no lawn expert, but I just found Pennington's SmartSeed ( It is a grass seed that requires less water. I have not used it yet, but will probably do so next season. I just want to conserve water, and might as well give this seed a shot!