Mark St. Patrick’s Day with these 17 ways to live greener

  • Friday, March 14, 2014 1:55pm
  • Life

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by wearing green, drinking green and going green.

Don’t panic. You don’t have to make your own cleaning products or use cloth diapers.

Here are 17 easy ways to be green any day of the year, culled from utility experts to moms everywhere.

1. How many times do you forget to bring your bags inside the grocery store? Instead of telling yourself, “OK, next time I’ll remember” (you probably won’t), just go back to the car and get your bags.

2. Avoid the temptation to use the drive-through lane at pharmacies, banks and fast-food joints. Walk inside, and you’ll get a little exercise.

3. Wash clothes in cold water. That way you don’t turn the whites pink if a red shirt sneaks in with the load.

4. Don’t stand there with refrigerator door open while you ponder. There’s nothing good in the house to eat anyway.

5. Unplug unused cellphone and laptop chargers.

6. Pay bills online or by phone. Sign up for electronic statements for bills, banking and credit cards. Stop unwanted mail by going to www.ecocycle.org/junkmail.

7. Switch to reusable water bottles and coffee cups.

8. Keep tires properly inflated.

9. Don’t run the water while brushing your teeth.

10. Walk the kids to the school bus. Take the bus to outings in Seattle: It saves on parking fees and parking tickets. You can plan a trip at www.soundtransit.org.

11. Feeling a tad chilly lounging around the house half-naked in shorts and T-shirt? Put on more clothes rather than cranking up the heat.

12. Use light dimmers and energy-efficient light bulbs.

13. Invest in energy-saving appliances. These really do cut bills. Some qualify for utility and income tax rebates.

14. Got lots of grass to mow? Rent a herd of goats. They’ll fertilize it while they’re at it.

15. Get organized. Know where your stuff is. Before you buy an item, look around the house to see whether you already have something that will work just as well.

16. Buy gently used toys at yard sales, thrift stores or online at sites such as www.babyplays.com.

17. Relax. Quit expending energy. St. Patrick’s Day is a fun holiday. Drink a green beer.

Sources: www.snopud.com and www.50waystohelp.com

More in Life

The ‘Whimsical Woman’ shares what she learns on the trail

Jennifer Mabus came here from Nevada and Hawaii. She leads hikes and blogs about them.

Branch out: ‘Tasting Cider’ recipes call for hard apple cider

Top cider makers share how they like to make hush puppies, bread pudding and the pear-fect cocktail.

‘Tasting Cider’ a sweet resource for hard apple cider fans

Erin James, the editor-in-chief of Cidercraft magazine, wrote a book all about the fermented drink.

For Texas BBQ, look for the school bus at the reptile museum

This husband-and-wife team has been serving up brisket and more for a decade in Monroe.

You won’t be able to stop eating this colorful chicken salad

The slaw of bell pepper, cabbage and carrot holds up well overnight in the refrigerator.

Raising grandkids can feel like the second time around

The responsiblities of serving as a parent can compete with the joys of being a grandparent.

Commentary: Community Transit to keep up with regional growth

Snohomish County’s bus system prepares for more people — including more older residents.

Fur & Feathers with energetic Lincoln and big-attitude Chase

One dog is not a fan of cats or men. The other definitely prefers adults only.

Almost everyone has questions about Social Security

The most frequent guestion about retirement benefits: ‘When can I start receiving them?’

Most Read