Military Spouse Magazine

MAR 2019

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G O O D A D V I C E 10 Easy Ways to Go Green as a MilFam Save money (and the planet!). 1 VISIT THE INSTALL ATION THRIFT SHOP MIlitary families often have to offload their stuff when they move overseas or when they move from a bigger to a smaller house. When you arrive at a new duty station, hit up the thrift shop first before buying new. 2 SHARE YOUR BOXES Did you just finish a big move? Instead of the moving com- pany picking them up, break down the boxes and put them curbside. "Advertise" their avail- ability on your neighborhood page. Chances are, there will be a family who would love to have them for an upcoming move. 3 REPURPOSE FIRST Don't get stuck in the "first purpose" of an item. Think of how you can fit, redesign, or rework what you have for another pur- pose. Pretty planters can become utensil holders. Dressers can become sideboards. And a scarf can be a curtain tie-back. 4 PL ANT A GARDEN From a container garden on your porch to a community garden on your installation, growing your own food gives back again and again. Be sure to share your vegetables with your neighbors if you can't use them all. You can't get more "local" than your backyard! Planting a garden means the distance between you and your food is only a few steps away which saves pollution from transport and gives you food with the high nutritional value still intact. 5 LIVE SMALLER When the next move comes, don't look for the biggest place you can buy with your money. Buy or rent smaller. You'll be less tempted to buy more stuff plus you'll use less in utilities in a smaller home. 7 SHUT THINGS OFF Turn off the water when you brush your teeth. Don't let the television run when no one is in the room. And adjust the heat when you go away. All of these things are small ways to help save resources (and money). 8 CUT DOWN ON TR AFFIC Try to carpool when the kids need to go to sports. If you live in a city, consider the subway or bus to get to where you need to go. You'll save parking costs in addition to gas! When it comes time to head home for a holiday, take the train or bus instead of driving. 9 SEW THINGS Instead of tossing those socks in the trash, or throwing away that pair of pants that has a rip in the side, get out that needle and thread and get it fixed. We have become a disposable nation yet generations before us made use of their "stuff" much longer than we do these days. When you go to toss something, imagine that you are throwing it into a landfill because that's where it's headed if it's not fixed or repurposed. 10 HAND IT DOWN Kids grow out of clothing super fast and sometimes so do adults! Don't be embarrassed to ask a friend what she does with her children's cute clothes when they outgrow them. If you have a special occa- sion, attend a dress swap instead of buying new. It will save you money and space in your closet. H According to America's Research Group, about 16 to 18 percent of Americans shop in a thrift store each year. What makes up the largest percentage of our landfills? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 22 percent of the municipal solid waste in landfills comes from food. 6 LEARN TO COOK Eating out and ready-made meals create waste. They also cost more than cooking yourself. If you don't know how to already, take time to learn the basics so you can whip up a few cost-saving dishes (but be sure to skip the paper plates). Illustration by Glen Piestilik 12 MILITARYSPOUSE.COM / MARCH 2019

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