Saving Money and Emissions with a “Staycation”

Ever return from holiday travel only to find yourself more exhausted than when you left? When we felt stressed out just contemplating a vacation with a two-year-old, we knew we needed other options.  Suddenly, my husband blurted out, “Let’s have a staycation!”  Immediately our heart rates leveled out and we began breathing more deeply.  

You might assume that my husband and I have a tiny comfort zone—or a case of agoraphobia.  Actually, we’ve lived and traveled in several countries, but at this point in our lives we have no desire to leave town.  Our son sleeps horribly even on short trips, hates being immobile in the car seat, and often seems out of sorts while we’re away.  It ends up being rather grueling for all of us—so we were excited about the option of staying home for a week and purposely relaxing.

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Savoring the Last Weeks of Summer: Carbon-Free, Low-Cost Entertainment for Kids

As a child, I remember being thrilled to escape school in mid June—but by August, I was bored to tears. Now as a mom I realize how tough it is to find quality entertainment for kids without spending money or driving all over town. This week we’ll revisit a few of our best posts on entertaining your brood for less.

For toddlers:

  • Homemade Finger Paint: These days we just head outside with Roscoe and avoid worrying about the ensuing mess. We use the back sides of household papers and just hose Roscoe down when he’s done! You can find a link to Rebecca’s post on fingerpainting here.
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Using Economic Offsetting to Afford Green Products


Thrifty Green Thursday is the perfect place to consider a whole new version of sustainability that involves both your wallet and your green values.  If cost wasn’t an issue, many Americans would love to eat organic food and use expensive eco-friendly cleaning products.

Since our economy is struggling and prices are soaring, it sometimes feels as though green products will only reach those that can afford them. That’s where economic offsetting can come in very handy. 

Here’s how it works: make frugal choices to reduce your household costs and then apply that extra money to spendier eco-friendly items.  For example, using hand-me-downs for baby can provide hundreds of dollars for organic strawberries and eco-friendly detergent.  (Hint: Rebecca discovered that eco-friendly detergent is actually cheaper than mainstream brands!)  Switching from prepared green cleaning products to homemade versions can possibly even offset the cost of a high quality wooden toy—especially when you find that toy used at a consignment shop.

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Using a Drying Rack to Fight Global Warming


Do you own a solar powered dryer? If not, they’re available for under twenty bucks and can save loads of emissions in their lifetime. Yes, I am talking about the humble drying rack.

Whether you live in an urban apartment or sprawling acreage, anyone can handle erecting a drying rack and letting nature do the rest. You won’t need dozens of clothespins to hang each sock, baby t-shirt, or undergarment.  Just flop the clothing on the rack in the morning and take it off later in the day.

In the summer I bask in the glory of sun dried clothing.  I hang the sheets, towels and adult clothing on the line while my toddler helps (somewhat sloppily) by arranging dishtowels and diaper covers on our drying rack.  

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Borax: A Budget Friendly, Eco-Friendly Wonder Product

A 12-ounce box of Borax costs just $3.62 at my local supermarket—yet it outperforms a variety of more expensive products that have a higher environmental impact. It contains no chlorine or phosphates and can be used in myriad ways. 

Bathroom: 

  • Shower and sink: I had been using baking soda to clean the shower and sink for years until a friend recommended Borax.  After giving it a whirl, I am trying to get the word out––Borax really works! In “I Don’t Want No Scrub” Grist compared eight eco-friendly cleaning products on the market.  The author found that Borax was her favorite as well, despite the fact that it costs just a fraction of what you’d pay for many high-end green cleansers.  Furthermore, Borax works far better than more traditional products like Dow chemical’s “scrubbing bubbles” for a much lower environmental cost.
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Finding Free Organic Produce

Blackberries ripen in the August sun, cherries plop onto neighbors’ lawns, and squash crops overwhelm backyard gardeners.  There is nothing I love more than taking advantage of summer’s opportunities for hand-picked fruit—especially when it’s free, organic, and grown locally. 

Here are my favorite food finding tips:

Wild berries: Blackberries seem to be a national favorite but huckleberries, salmon berries, and thimbleberries are just a few of the other choices available here in Oregon. I usually call our city maintenance department to check about which areas are being sprayed, ask about berry hot spots, and end up picking loads of free organic berries! I slather my clan up with sunscreen and scramble out the door in the morning hours before the sun zaps our enthusiasm.  Then we freeze the berries or make them into jam to last through the winter months.

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Join our Thrifty Green Thursday Blog Carnival!


Although babies, gas, food of any kind, and air travel are becoming ridiculously expensive, we here at greenbabyguide.com believe it’s possible to save the planet and a wad of cash with a few creative ideas.

Do we have these ideas completely outlined for you? Well, no. Although we have to humbly admit that Green Baby Guide posts some fabulous suggestions, many talented bloggers can add to our collection of eco-friendly, frugal ideas.

So, it’s time for a carnival! Starting on July 24th, any blogger can get a piece of the action by joining our “Thrifty Green Thursday” blog carnival. Just write a post on a simple way that families (or individuals for that matter) can save money while going green on your blog. Then just follow the simple steps below:

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