August 9, 2012

Being Green, or Just Cheap

I like to think that I am environmentally minded, but I'm also selfish. I am more motivated to conserve if it means I am saving money too. When it comes to housecleaning, I like convenience, shortcuts, ease. There are certain products on the market that I have purchased because of those qualities, but they are expensive, and I have since found less expensive and more earth friendly substitutions that I will share two with you now.

The spray as you go mop with the disposable pads? Well, I have one of these, and probably paid about $40 at my warehouse store with all of the cleaner and pads that come with it.  But you can get a new one for around $20.  But then you have to buy replacement cleaner and pads. And, those empty plastic cleaner bottles have to be recycled and if you are not good about it then they wind up in the landfill along with the used pads.

Well I was tired of paying lots of money for the refills, especially the cleaner.  Then I found this at Walmart:

It is an O-Cedar Pro-Mist Cleaning System (kind of a fancy name for a mop).  It does everything that the other one does, except that

  1. You manually pump the cleaner out by pulling the trigger on the handle* instead of pushing a button and it does not use batteries that need to be replaced and put in a landfill.
  2. You use your own cleaning solution - just remove the plastic container and fill it mostly with water and add no more than two teaspoons of cleaning solution, if you want it. No empty bottles for the landfill.
  3. Use the microfiber pad that comes with it, wash it, and reuse it. No used pads for the landfill.
This mop costs about $20, and if you want a second pad it costs about $8. But there are no cleaner refills to buy, and no disposable pads to buy (I think they do have disposable pads to buy if you really want, but you don't have to), and nothing to throw away.

*I am arthritic but I can squeeze the trigger over and over with no problem.

My second hint, which I may have discussed before, is the use of rags instead of paper towels.

 I have purchased paper towels twice in 3-4 years. That's all. I bought a package of white terrycloth rags from the auto department at my warehouse store for the price of a large package of paper towels. I have been using them for the 3-4 years since I gave up paper towels.  I keep a drawer in my kitchen full of them and use them to dry off produce after I've washed it, sop up spills, everything I used paper towels for. If it is a really messy job, like wiping up grease, I use a piece of newspaper.

That's it!  Two ways that I have saved money and helped the environment without sacrificing convenience.

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