Category Archives: going green

Gardening on the Cheap

 With the weather finally getting warmer here in Toronto it is time to think of gardening. On the weekend my favorite daughter Roo decided she was going to do yard work. I am really impressed how clean our garden is. It looks good for mid April.

As we look at gardening this year we will be doing mostly vegetables and fruit. We will have a few flowers though, and will be doing some herbs as well.

What is planned to go into ours: Tomatoes(both full size and cherry), strawberries, lettuce, red peppers, pumpkin, green onions, and for herbs we will do cilantro, basil, and parsley. Really a very basic garden for Toronto. How do I do it and do it on the cheap?

1. First I start everything almost from seeds, that is of what I buy. The only exception is what I get from friends  and that will be started strawberries and tomatoes. Seeds are a cheap way to go and your children get to watch the whole growth cycle.

2. Water in the eveing or morning only, and water roots not leaves. First it is the roots that need the water, not the leaves, as well by watering in the early morning or on in the eveing it takes longer to absorb and is better for the soil and plant and you dont end up wasting water. It is also good to do it at this time to save on the pocket book.

3. I also keep my tools on the minimum and to be honest I got them all for free or from the Dollar store. There is no need for expensive tools.

4. NO chemicals…most of the things you need to fight pests,etc can either be done organically or by using your compostable stuff. For weed killer try PULLING them. Just think of it as a workout.

Well it is evening here and with the weather being so nice a perfect eveing for a walk. So here is hoping that some of you are getting your gardens ready just like me. 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Earth Hour Fun

earth-hour-002.jpgearth-hour-005.jpg Well we did our part last night and participated in Earth Hour. Roo loved it. We used candles and flashlights for the 3 hours that we turned out the lights. Everything in the house was unplugged except for the fridge.

Monopoly was the game of choice, and then we read by candle light and our finale was a walk in our neighbourhood where we found 60 houses that were participating! We could even see the stars and that is rare in Toronto..It really was a fun time and a real reminder that we can still do much to go green.

Works for Me Wednesday- Getting Ready for Earth hour

So what works for me this week is me getting ready to celebrate Earth Hour with Roo. What are we going to do? Well let’s see since 8pm this Saturday night it is dusk her in Toronto Roo and I have decided to have a raw dinner and play board games by candle light…no going anywhere just us girls at home this Saturday night. Now if you are in Toronto there is going to be an eco friendly concert downtown but if you go please don’t drive use the better way:TTC or bike or walk. Now off to Rocks in my Dryer to see what is working for everyone else this week. Are YOU doing earth hour? If yes how?

Works for Me Wednesday

Another of the news stories that got me yesterday was one about going green…we are all trying to do our part right? Now do you purchase green products? This is the part 2 of yesterday, and since it is Works for me Wednesday let me tell you what works for me in regards to this news story.

First the story was this. Ninety nine percent of all GREEN products that are on are shelves have some sot of falsehood or misleader attached….99% what a figure right?

How do they lie? Lets use paper products produced in a sustainable forest, yes the forest was sustainable but the milling practices were very bad for the environment so they forget to mention the trade off. Others lie about what they can do..Others are a good thing put are packaged in stuff that are bad for the environment.So what are we as good consumers and people want to do leave a lesser carbon footprint? Well here is what works for this cheap environment friendly mom:

  • We get meatless twice a week or more…this is not only good for the environment but good for our health and our pocketbooks.
  • We use CFS light-bulbs…..again helping the environment and my pocketbook.
  • I clean with natural products alot that I can make myself no need to buy green here when I can make it at home
  • We recycle and use freecycle as much as we can, this includes shopping at second hand stores..( again I am being a good cheap mom)
  • I walk everywhere I can get to within 30 minutes otherwise I take the TTC.( again good for the environment and the pocketbook). I may use a taxi about once a month.

With these things done I save money, and my environment and all without having to go near the “green” goods….so you might want to try one or two…and check out what you are buying before you do…

Now if you are looking for more Work for me Wednesday posts go over here to Shannon’s…and read..

Christmas Tip#13–Got someone on your naughty list? I really liked this idea from Organized Christmas for Snowman Poop…so get your baggies ready to pick up this yummy stuff that is a favorite of Roo’s.

This morning I am thankful that the rain has stayed away this morning as dear Roo has an outdoor field trip all day…so let it be gone till at least 4 pm.

Starting to Feel A Bit Like Christmas

Tis starting to feel a bit like Christmas. Yes all the store are quickly getting to into Christmas gear, and you truly know the season is at hand when The Bay on Yonge St reveals its Christmas window, they are a site and a tradition here in To.

Well here at Castle a La Cheap Mom we too are getting into the spirit so much so that guess what we broke out this weekend. The Christmas decorations.We went through the box, checked it once, checked it twice, and then began can I say this out loud — to decorate! Last year because we were tree less till just a few days before the holiday I really didn’t get to enjoy the season. So this year I am starting early! But then again I really love the season..

We are using an artificial tree, and have all the decorations we will need for the season minus a table cloth( can you figure out where I will be looking for one this week?).

Christmas Tip #4– When getting out your Christmas decorations why not try and save some green and use LED lights. We switched to these last years and for pennies our tree was well lite while not wasting much electricity…So be good on your pocket book and go green.

Today I am thankful for a daughter who loves Christmas as much as I do! Decorating with her after a hard morning of school work. (She finished her Emperor Scorpion project this morning) was so much fun. We laughed and giggled and remembered where and when each ornament came into our home. It truly was a great afternoon of fun.  

Fall Fair

Today was the fall fair at my daughter’s school. Because the weather was decent we were able to do it outside, but because it was a windy day can you say fly away home! I was working the raffle table all day and well we had to tape down EVERYTHING so it would not fly away home.

The goal was to have a garbage-less event and I think we did well. It was not totally garbage-less but I think we made a very good effort. Much of what was waste was compostable or recyclable so that is good. So we made a good effort in going green this year.

As I said I worked the raffle table so of course I was going to enter, right! I bought $10 worth of tickets ( 6 tickets) and ended up winning 4 of the baskets! Can you say lucky girl! I won about $200 worth of stuff from large canvas tote bag, to shopping gift certificates, to pizza certificates to a Casa Loma family pass. I couldn’t believe when our names were called that many times! Call us lucky!

Well this wind burned mom is exhausted so it is time for a bath and a cup of peppermint tea, may you all be as lucky as we were.

Garbageless Planning

  I am a cheap mom so at the beginning of the school year I thought hmm, this year I want to go without buying juice boxes, without spending a mini fortune on baggies–so I went out a got a thermos, a sandwich’s box( actually got 4 cause well they are a great size for many things), a refillable juice containers..For me this works and works well and think it is good for the environment too!

It seems everyone is getting on the going green band wagon, and with yesterday being Global Action Day there were lots of great ideas on many blogs. For me I have been doing simple and cheap things to reduce,  and recycle and even renew…we even had a garden this year.

Now even Roo’s school is going GREEN and this weekend we are hosting a Fall Festival that hopefully will be garbageless. We are having a skate swap, a book exchange, raffles, bake sale and games for the kids…

There will be water-bottles for sale, travel cups are encouraged, bake sales items are in paper bags with peek thru windows, even the donations will be in reusable baskets. There are no candy prizes instead we encouraged the recycling of small toys for prizing. We are trying hard, even some of the items being won in the raffle encourage reusing like the $70 in Gift certificates for the local good thrift store( Value Village), or the good reusable water bottles. Even our meetings are now mostly paperless.

There sure are plenty of ways to help the environment and still be cheap and for this mom that is a very good thing.