Go Green on the Cheap

Frontier co-op catalog

Green America staff members share some of their favorite strategies for going green on the cheap.

“I’m a huge fan of Dr. Bronner’s liquid Pure Castile Soap! It’s a multi-purpose product. I use it in the shower, and, combined with water, in foaming hand soap dispensers around the house. Plus, there’s a page on the company’s website that lists dilutions for 18 different uses. I learned you can add about 1/4 tsp. to a bowl of water and use it as a fruit and vegetable wash. Put 1 Tbsp. in a quart of water, and it’s a plant spray that will repel bugs but not harm plants.” —Rob Hanson, Membership Marketing Manager 

“I recently learned that you can wash shower curtains and liners (even the plastic ones, though fabric curtains are better for you and the environment) in the washing machine (on cold with a natural soap, and air dry), which really extends their life of looking crystal clean and not soap scummy or other grossness. It saves money and keeps old curtains out of the landfill.” —Jes Walton, Food Campaigns Fellow

“I shop secondhand for most of my clothes. By buying thrift, I save money and mitigate the demand for big brands, which often don’t treat workers right on the manufacturing side. I also host and go to clothing swaps—they’re super fun, and you get free clothes!” —Eleanor Greene, Associate Editor

“I make my own toothpaste! It’s just mixing 3 Tbsp. of coconut oil, 1 Tbsp. of baking soda, and a few drops of cooking peppermint oil in a small mason jar. It works great!” —Beth Porter, Better Paper Project Director

“We have a buying club in the office with Frontier Co-op where we can get organic or eco-friendly food/clothing/etc. at wholesale prices. People can set up their own buying club.” —Bernadette Morales Gaskin, Senior Information Systems Analyst 

“I love to receive handmade note cards and wall calendars from friends and family members, using photos they’ve personally taken and designed into the cards and calendars. The cards and calendars can use recycled paper, and the calendars can become keepsake albums—or the photos in them can be used to create new cards the following year.” —Fran Teplitz, Executive Co-Director for Business, Investing, & Policy