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Bankrate's 2007 Living Green, Saving Green Guide
Green today
Learn 153 ways to be eco-friendly while saving green.
Green today
153 ways to go green
Food/groceries: Quick fix
Tips » Quick fix $ Factor
Tip 85:
Fresh fish vs. canned.
Consider purchasing fresh fish instead of canned. You will reduce the amount of resources wasted in the canning process and might even save money. For every 10 pounds of canned fish produced, 20 gallons of water and more than half a pound of edible fish are wasted.
$ Factor:
Given that a six-ounce can of fish generally contains only about four ounces of meat, the price for canned fish ($4 to $8 per pound) is actually comparable to that of some fresh fish varieties.
Tip 86:
Skip canned fruits and veggies.
Whenever possible, limit purchases of canned fruit and vegetables and substitute fresh. The process involved in canning fruit is at least 10 times more energy intensive than picking fresh fruit. If every U.S. household replaced just one pound of canned or jarred fruit with one pound of fresh fruit during each of the three summer months, the total energy saved could operate the kitchen appliances of over 21,000 households for an entire year.
$ Factor:
When in season, fresh vegetables can also cost less than canned or frozen.
Tip 87:
Plan meat purchases carefully.
Only purchase as much as you know you'll need or use. The average person wastes more than 22 pounds of edible store-bought meat each year. Given that is takes 5 pounds of grain and 2,500 gallons of water to produce just one pound of beef, that's more than 100 pounds of wasted grain and 55,000 gallons of wasted water per person.
$ Factor:
You do the math: At 22 pounds of waste per person, an average family is wasting about 100 pounds a year -- at $3 to $9 a pound.
Tip 88:
Cut back use of bottled water.
Just because it's in a bottle doesn't mean it's better than what comes out of your tap -- or even as good. Some bottled waters are tap water, while others are from a spring or natural aquifer (in which case it will likely say "spring water" or name the source). If label language includes something along the lines of "purified drinking water," it could be simple tap water or tap water that is run through additional cleaning mechanisms. The bottles for water amount to 4 billion pounds of plastic and cost $70 million to bury annually. Recycle or look for glass bottles -- one of the cleanest recycling materials.
$ Factor:
A six-pack of bottled water can cost at least $2.50 if not more. And better water isn't always more expensive, so do your homework. Look on the company's Web site for a recent analysis of the water.
Tip 89:
Avoid polystyrene containers.
Instead, opt for cardboard, aluminum foil (which is easy to recycle) or even recyclable plastics. Polystyrene (commonly, but incorrectly, referred to by one of its brand names, Styrofoam) is not accepted by many recycling programs, and is banned in some cities because it takes a long time to decompose.
$ Factor:
The cost of avoiding it: free. Plus, you're not clogging the landfills just because you need a hot meal.
Tip 90:
Paper or plastic? Neither.
Use reusable cloth or canvas bags. The hard part is remembering to take them with you. But they are sturdier and carry a heck of a lot more stuff, saving you energy in trips from the car to the house, plus the bonus of a little upper-body workout. Have a couple of sets and leave one in your vehicle at all times. Paper may be slightly better than plastic because it holds more per bag, but baggers also frequently double bag. Paper bags can be easily reused in many forms and have a better chance of being recycled. If you happen to get a few plastic bags, reuse them as much as possible until they can be used no more. Small trash can liners, doggie waste bags, take lunch to work in them, cover your hair should you get caught in the rain. Keep one bunched up in your handbag for those impromptu purchases.
$ Factor:
Some grocery store chains will actually give you credit for each bag you bring of your own, whether it's plastic or cloth.
-- Posted: Oct. 4, 2007

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