We’ve all noticed how mad the weather has been lately. Scorching summer weather in October (not that I’m complaining, mind) and tornados in Africa. This is not normal. So, in honour of the planet here are some ideas on how you can go green this Halloween as well as this Christmas and over the school year. Try it, you may be surprised at how easy it is and how much better it is for your wallet too.
1. Swap Swap Swap
Whether you fancy joining a website that offers you the chance to swap and sell old clothes, or you just want to get into a swapathon with other parents in your area, this is an excellent way of saving money while getting in new clothes.
I heartily recommend sites like Swapcyle and Swapshop as a place to start your newfound swapsie freedom. And, if you have a specific school uniform, then why not try chatting to mums at school. Swapping outgrown clothes for others is cheap and minimises waste.
Halloween outfits are particularly brilliant for swapsies. Kids grow out of them so fast, or they refuse to wear the same ones twice. Instead of dumping it, swap it for a nearly new gem.
2. Turn it all off
Yeah, yeah, I’m sure you’ve heard it all before but are you turning off your lights as you leave the room? Do you still have TVs and other similar paraphernalia on standby? If so, you are contributing to the collapse of the planet. Just turn them off at the mains and only turn them on when you need them. Not only will you be reducing your carbon footprint and doing your bit for the Earth, but you’ll be saving yourself money on your bills.
You can even turn it into a game in the mornings. Give an extra penny to the child who turns off their lights or who notices the standby button was left on. Soon turning things off will be a habit and you can be green and smug about it.
3. Join a community
Sometimes we think we are greener than we really are, or we don’t feel like anyone else is bothering so why should we. One way to get savvier about your green status and to meet like minded people is to join a green community.
Recyclebank is currently running an initiative called Green Your School Year and their site is all about things you can do to be greener in the home and at school. It’s a pretty clever initiative that originated in the US and is all about encouraging people to undertake green actions. You can even get points that can be redeemed for discounts and vouchers with their partners. Even M&S is part of the team!
Their tips on how to green your school and your life, while saving money at the same time, are provided by experts and by other members. It is a good place to start if you fancy making a difference.
4. Something old
Old clothes and text books may seem like things to bin, but they can be repurposed in so many different ways. Think about all those old and tatty t-shirts for example. Instead of binning them, why don’t you follow this canny tutorial on how to make a carpet with them. It’s easy and fun.
Old textbooks are a great way to save money. Don’t gallop out and buy new ones, see if you can get used ones from previous students instead. These are a lot cheaper and you won’t feel miserable if your kids spill juice on them or lose them in the playground. And, even better, you can sell your old books on Amazon and use the money to buy second-hand books for next year!
5. Supply and demand
One of the tips I found on Recyclebank was to take old crayons, melt them, and pour them into moulds to create different shaped crayons. This really appealed to me. You can make all sorts of weird shapes and colour combinations and the kids can join in the fun, carefully of course. This could even translate into weird Halloween moulds and gifts, or even handmade gifts from your kids to their cousins!
Clear out old closets, cupboards and dark stairwells and see what items have been long forgotten in “safe” places. I recently did an overhaul of two of the main rooms in my house and I was frankly stunned at what I found. I put them all back safely and I’m sure I’ll find them again next year and be delighted all over again! Some of them have been taken out and used and saved me spending unnecessary money.
So there you have it. Five simple and helpful ideas on ways you can reduce waste and save our planet. Just doing one thing will make a difference.