Friday, August 29, 2008

Just A Little Crazy: Uses for Dryer Lint

Well what would The Crazy Green Cheapskate be without something a little Crazy.
Thinking of throwing out that dryer lint……..Well Hold your horses here are a few uses for that fluffy stuff.

1. School Art Projects. Think white fluffy clouds, Do a load of green for some bushes, If you have enough laundry you could make a whole fluffy picture.

2. Stop those drafts. Take an old pair of pant and cut off the legs sew up one end and start filling with dryer lint. When you get enough sew it closed and place it in front of that drafty door. You can also use a pair of old stockings or that one knee-hi who lost it’s partner in the mysterious dryer black hole.

3. Packing material for small packages. Place the item in a plastic bag (reuse those grocery bags you got because you forgot to bring your cloth bags ) then stuff the dryer lint in all those left over spaces.
4. Stuff an Animal. Making a friend for a loved ones little one? Save up that dryer lint to make it soft and fluffy. (if the child has allergies try using the cotton from vitamin and pain reliever bottles).

5. Fix a loose shoe. If those stunning new pumps are a little loose or rubbing funny, use a little lint to fill in those gaps and walk on fluffy clouds of lint.

6. Mix it with some petroleum jelly and store in an old film canister. Then when you go camping take it out and use it to help start your camp fire.

7. Put it out side (along with hair from your hair brush and your pet brushes) for the birds to line their nests with.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Old Blankets

Well as you can probable tell I’m cleaning house. We’ve move into a new home that has much less space then we had before. Well hopefully it will mean lower heating and cooling costs but we have to reduce the amount of stuff we have. I’m kind of a hoarder, its part of my cheap nature, you never know what you can use.

But lets face it the extra three boxes of blankets is probably a little overboard. I mean I still have a Winnie the Pooh comforter from when my daughter was a baby (she’s 11 now). It’s time to make some space and give up some of these blankets to someone who can use them.

There are a few places I can think of to drop them off. The Red Cross help people in need all over the world. Check online for the closest office and give them a call to see if they can use them. Homeless shelters, churches or synagogues are also good choices to donate blankets too. They can be use to help families and individuals in need.

Sometimes its hard to get rid of things that you’ve had for awhile and paid good money for. But knowing your things are going to help people in need makes it a lot easier. You’ll not only feel better helping others but you also gain precious space around your home.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Share Your Love of Reading

I love to read. I’ve got shelves of books and stacks of magazines. I have found it necessary to lighten the loads of reading material that I have around the house. We moved with about 1000 lbs of books (I’m not making this up) and we just don’t have room in our new home. It’s time to clean off the shelves so we fit but what to do with all the books?

Have no fear Crazy Green is here LOL.

There are many place that would appreciate all of my (and your) books and magazines that you and I wish to get rid of.

Think about the last time you were waiting at the doctors or dentists office remember all those out dated magazines? Well check with them to see if they would like your reading materials. You can also check with the local nursing homes. The residents would probable love to have them.

The local libraries may not need the books but they usually hold a book sale at least once a year and use the funds raised to help with operating expenses. This is also a good place for old videos.

Schools and daycare can use children’s books and the magazines can be use for art projects, collages, reading and spelling lessons.

If you can think of any other places that can use books and magazines in good condition please let me know.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ten Green Things

This is a list of Things I would do to this house if I wasn’t renting. (When you rent you don’t get to renovate.)

1. I’d put in a garden. It wouldn’t be large but right now anything I grow myself would help. I would get fresher veggies, use less gas to go to the store and I could guarantee that it is organic.

2. I would add solar power. So far as I can tell we get plenty of sunlight here in Long Island and the electric bill is rather high. (even though we haven’t need the AC and the lights stay off all day.) I believe this would pay for itself very very quickly here.

3. I would replace the old appliances with Energy Star appliances (this is probable where most of our electric bill comes from.)

4. I would have the house tested for air leaks then have them sealed to save on heating and cooling costs.

5. I would install Low Flow toilets to save water.

6. I would add water barrels to the gutters to save the water run off use in the summer on the grass and the garden.

7. I would have a full size compost bin instead of the small (hidden from the landlord) pile that I have now. Composting is the ultimate in reuse and recycling

8. I pull up the boring overgrown bushes in the flowerbed then using xeriscaping to reintroduce the plants that belong here in Long Island. Then add bird houses, bat houses, and a water feature to create a habitat for local wild life.

9. I would install drip irrigation instead of the spray one that is there now. There is so much water wasted with that thing you wouldn’t believe it. The owner pays the water bill so I can’t complain if she wants to water the grass (sidewalk, road and my car) every day.

10. I would add a tank-less or solar powered water heater to the house. A tank-less water heater heats water as you use it so you aren’t constantly reheating the same water over and over. A solar powered water heater uses solar energy to heat the water. My choice would be based on what is available locally and which model I could get that gives me the most bang for my environmental buck.

Monday, August 18, 2008

They Should BE Ashamed

I've been wanting to comment on this particular product for awhile and since we went shopping for one I figure now is the time.

New York has very clean water but It also has OLD pipes. We were told to make sure we use cold water for drinking and cooking and to make sure we let the water run for a bit before using it.

Why you might ask the reason is LEAD. The water sitting in the pipes leaches out lead from the pipes and you end up drinking or eating it. Letting the water run is suppose to clean out the lead tainted water and give you clean water to drink. That is all good in theory and it may actually work but I'm not willing to risk my kids health on it.

So we went shopping for a water filter. We decide we wanted on that attaches to the faucet so when we move we can easily remove it and take it with us. While we were shopping around I rediscovered a product that really makes me angry.


Here is a product designed to give us clean fresh water, designed to take lead and all kinds of harmful stuff out of our water. Then what do they do. They give you the option of dumping all kinds of unhealthy crap back into your nice clean water. I mean check out the ingredients

Water, Propylene Glycol (14%), Citric Acid, Peach Flavor, Sodium Citrate, Malic Acid, Acesulfame K, Sucralose, Benzoic Acid (Preservative), Sorbic Acid (Preservative)

EWWWWWW! Definately not something I want my family having and don't you love they way the advertise directly to our children. Showing the kids with their Lemonade style stand in the kitchen sell chemically altered water to their friends.

Shame on you Procter & Gamble.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Weed Free Patio without chemicals.

Have you ever used a weed killer to kill off those pesky plants that insist on poping up where you don't want them?

You could just pull them out.

Yeah I know what your saying to that, I don't want to! I don't have time! This is easier! I get it we don't all have the time to sit there and pull up every little weed that pops up. But I have a suggestion that will work just as well as those poisons you plan to apply.

I once saw someone suggest putting salt down in the area where you want to keep the pesky plants from blooming. DON'T!!!!! Not only does it kill the weeds but if you ever change your mind. Lets say you want your patio on the left side of the yard instead of the right away from those nosy neighbors. You won't be able to grow anything where you've put the salt down. Not to mention when it runs off in the rain it will kill anything growing around your patio or other areas you may have salted.

So What do you do? Its easy every time you steam your veggies or boil pasta don't dump that boiling water down the drain (strain the pasta over another pot instead of the sink). Take take that boiling hot water and pour it over the weeds you want to kill. The boiling water kills the roots and by the time is has reached the edge of your patio it has cooled off enough that it won't harm any other plants.

Take care this suggestion is for sidewalk and patios and should not be used to rid your flowerbeds of weeds. I know this is a pretty obvious statement but

The HOT WATER WILL KILL YOUR FLOWERS TOO. Just wanted to say that so there is no misunderstandings.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

About Me

I guess I should tell you a little something about myself. I had a friend read my blog to give me her opinion and she asked me if I really thought I was crazy. No I’m not certifiable but some of the things I do, some people might think is totally nuts.

I have a bucket next to my shower to catch the water while I wait for it to heat up. I then use the water for plants or just dump it into the washing machine. I have been known to stop the washing machine before it drains and drain it by hand to use the water on plants. There is nothing in my laundry soap that can hurt the plants and during a drought or if you live in the desert it is a good way to get extra water to keep trees and bushes and ornamental flowers alive. Unless you have a very small lawn this won’t help grass much and if you live in a desert what the heck are you doing with grass anyway?

I walk my kids to school everyday. Now you might not think this is so crazy but I did it in Arizona summer heat and Arkansas icy winters and rain storms. So far there hasn’t been a day bad enough that has made me say let’s take the car. Never underestimate the power of a good umbrella. It keeps the rain and hot sun off.

I’m an avid composter. Once again you might not think this is nuts but we move ever few years and I rarely get to see my compost put to good use. I pass the rich earthy stuff to the next home owner move on and start again. You might ask why I would do such a thing. Well, what good is it doing in the garbage? If I create the compost and it is used by the new owner it is still helping the local environment. Fewer chemicals get dumped on the lawn or flower beds to feed them and while I’m showing them the compost pile I get the chance to show someone else about composting.

Now probably the craziest thing I believe. I DON’T THINK THEY SHOULD BE SPRAYING FOR MOSQUITOES!!!!

Why should we spray toxic poison into the air for these pests? There are other ways to control the population of mosquitoes other then poisoning every living thing that might be around them. That includes birds, dogs, cats, fish that eat mosquito larvae, every other bug (doesn’t anyone notice the lack of fireflies lately), and Most Important our CHILDREN! Why the hell are we spraying poisons around where our children live and play? You might say that it’s just enough to kill the bugs that are bothering you but keep in mind they do it every night for the whole summer. So every night all summer long our kids get exposed to something designed to KILL.

Now my suggestion for a solution, first stop spraying the poison. Then make sure you empty any standing water. This means checking your yard after it rains to make sure there is no pools of water for them to lay their eggs in. Next try one of these suggestions to keep you from getting bit.

1. Stay inside in the morning and at night.

2. Keep clear of damp and dark areas.

3. Use insect repellent when your going to be out for long periods of time.

4. Wear bright or lightly colored clothing.

5 . Wear long sleeves and pants.

Last provide an environment friendly to mosquito predators. Try providing homes for bats

purple martins

and other birds that love to put the bite on those pesky buggers. If you have a backyard pond make it an environment that you can keep larvae loving fish in or that will attract frogs and toads.

Think about it, If we poison mosquitoes, we poison every one of these animals that eats them. If we kill the predators that eat the mosquitoes there is nothing there to reduce the pest population when it springs back from the poison and THEY ALWAYS SPRING BACK FROM THE POISON!

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Wonderful Site with A super Useful Tip

I was cleaning out my e-mail. Over 3000 of them because I was not able to access a computer during moving.

Just before I left Arkansas for New York I signed up for a newsletter from a site called

I signed up for it because it has tips just for New York as well as other areas plus a general newsletter for everyone. Anyway I signed up for the New York Newsletter figuring what could be a better way to learn about green options in my new home then a Green Newsletter just for that area.

Well I hit paydirt with this site. As I mentioned in my last post My husband is looking for a way to bycycle to work and thanks to Ideal bites tip he now has a way to map out the safest bicycle route using a site called Ride The City . It's a very simple site to use. just like other maping sites you put in your location and your destination and it gives you directions for the safest way to get there on a bike.

They are still in Beta and have a wonderful blog to check out. So if you take your bike to New York now you know where to got to get around.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Big City: New York...........well Long Island

I was a little worried about being able to find the food I like to buy. I've been to New York before but just to visit the muesums and such. I was pleasantly surprised buy the varity of foods I found at the local grocery store. The prices are much higher though and I think I'm going to be doing alot of comparison shopping. The problem is Organic foods hardly ever have coupons and they rarely go on sale. So I have to start out with trying to find the store that sells them the cheapest in the first place. I'm also going to be searching online for my favorites to see if I can get a better deal.

My husband is trying to figure out how to bicycle to work its only about 10 miles away but it takes him at least a half hour to drive it with all the traffic. I wish they had more bicycle lanes to make it safer. You would not believe the number of people I have seen run the stop signs. It seems if there is no traffic coming they treat it like a yield sign. If that is not bad enough, if you stop be careful when you start to take your turn because if you've stopped like your suppose to don't expect the other guy to wait his turn he is just as likely to just keep going.

I had a car behind me the other day that almost crashed into my rear end. I stopped at a stop sign and appearently the person behind me expected me to just keep going. I'm very glad I will still be able to walk the kids to school. The traffic is going to take alot of getting use to.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Green MOVING????

Well we finally finished moving, though I’m still surrounded by boxes. I have to tell changing your address is definitely not a green activity. There is the boxes to put everything in, paper to wrap up the breakable in, there is the gas for the moving truck and the car.

BUT don’t despair if moving is in your future there are things you can do to help make the transition a little more earth friendly.

First make sure your truck and car tires are properly inflated, the maintenance has been done and drives the speed limit. This will help you use less gas on your trip.

Second try having a yard sale before you move to get rid of all the stuff you don’t need anymore. As you are packing up your house take a good look at each item you pick up. Is this really something you need, is it useful or beautiful is, it who you are now? If the answer to any of these questions is NO then put a price tag on it and put it in a box marked yard sale. After the yard sale don’t bring the leftovers back into your home and life give them to charity they can use or sell them to help others. This will help lighten your load and you will use less gas and fewer boxes to move.

Last in dealing with all those boxes and papers, believe it or not there are folks who are planning to move just as you arrive. That’s right they need boxes and paper to wrap up their prize possessions and move them to their new homes. If the boxes are in excellent condition consider putting an ad in the local paper considering the price of cardboard boxes ($15.00 for a wardrobe box) someone will probably love to be able to get some good boxes cheap. If they are not in such good shape or you just don’t want to bother placing the ad then check out they Yahoo group Freecycle. It’s a wonderful group of people taking things they have no use for anymore and giving them to someone else. If you join I guarantee you will find someone who can use those boxes and papers.

Happy Moving