Use Your Car Less and Save Money and Be Healthier

Automobile emissions contribute a considerable amount of air pollution and the accumulation of greenhouse gases. The less you use your car, the better it is for the planet and the more money you can save on car expenses – particularly with the price of gas going up and up and up.

But it’s not only gas money you save when you cut down on the use of your car; your tires last longer and you can go longer between oil changes and other maintenance as well.

Reducing our automobile use is something we can all do to improve our air quality, the health of our planet, and our pocketbook.

Carpooling

Not only can carpooling reduce the number of cars on the road, but many urban areas have faster lanes designated just for cars with multiple passengers. See if any of your neighbors want to get together and share a ride to the grocery store or the mall. Maybe some of your co-workers live nearby and would like to share a ride to work – you can alternate drivers daily or weekly.

Walk or Bike to Work

Consider walking or biking to work if the weather and your situation permit it. You’ll not only use your car less, but you’ll improve your health and fitness in the process.

You might even be able to ultimately get a reduction on your health insurance premium if you’re currently overweight and you lose the extra pounds by walking or biking to work.

Use Public Transportation

Check your local public transit information for schedules of buses and trains that serve your area. Typically these services hit the high traffic areas like shopping centers and downtown areas.

While it may be less convenient, you may be able to largely eliminate your dependence on an automobile. Take advantage of not having to drive by using the time to read or listen to your iPod.

Telecommuting

Telecommuting can be a great way to minimize your car usage. Ask your employer if you can stay home one or more days a week and work from the comfort of your home office. Saving the time and cost of your commute are added benefits.

Consolidate Trips

Many of your shopping destinations are located centrally. The goal is to do all of your shopping in one trip. You can do your grocery shopping and buy your clothes as part of the same excursion. Again, you’ll be saving time and saving money on gas.

Reducing your dependence on your car can go a long way toward contributing to improving the air quality in your area. All of these ideas will not only lessen the use of your automobile, but they’ll also improve your life by saving money, saving time, or strengthening your health.

Easy Homemade Cleaning Solutions

Tile cleaner, counter cleaner, wood cleaner, sink cleaner, and more… most of us have at least one cabinet filled with cleaning supplies that we paid good money for. Not only are these chemicals pricey, but also they’re highly toxic to us and the environment!

Homemade cleaning solutions cost about one tenth the price of store bought cleaners, take up less room, and are healthier for you and your family!

These inexpensive, non-toxic items are all you need to keep your home clean and germ-free for a fraction of the cost:

•   Baking soda – Cleans and deodorizes without leaving grit behind

•   Washing soda

•   White distilled vinegar – Mild acid that eats away water deposits and dirt

•  Liquid detergent

•  Tea tree oil – Great for killing all kinds of mold!

•   Clean spray bottles

 

What Can I Make With These Ingredients?

1.  Sink and tub cleaner. Half a cup of baking soda mixed with enough liquid detergent to make a paste is excellent for cleaning your tub. To wipe away stubborn water deposits, pour vinegar on them. If you have some build-up and the deposits don’t loosen immediately, let the vinegar sit for a while and repeat until the deposits loosen and wipe off.

2.  Window cleaner. Mix together ½ teaspoon of liquid detergent, 3 tablespoons of vinegar, and 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Use newspaper instead of a rag to clean with and your windows will come out sparkling and streak-free!

3.  Oven cleaner. Unplug your oven and sprinkle a layer of water, then baking soda, then more water on the bottom of the oven. Let it sit overnight. In the morning, use a soapy sponge to wipe clean.

4.  All purpose spray cleaner. Mix together a drop of liquid soap, ½ teaspoon of washing soda and 2 cups of hot water in a spray bottle. This solution is great for everyday cleaning of counters, stove tops, microwaves, and more. It will cut grease and leave surfaces shining.

These aren’t the only cleaning solutions you can make with these products. Experiment with your own concoctions and save money while you enjoy a sparkling home!