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10 Things to Stop Buying to Go Green

Updated on June 7, 2011

Things to Avoid and Their Earth Friendly Alternatives

Buying green products has never been easier to do with all of the new "green" and organic items on the market today. With all of the choices we have to make, it can be confusing. What's truly organic, and what's truly important for the environment? Making a more eco friendly choice is a matter of education, not buying everything you possibly can organic. Items like baby food are extremely important to buy organic, while disposable batteries can cause big damage to the environment for such a small item. Read on to find some of the products you should stop buying, and what you should replace them with to live a greener lifestyle.

CFL Bulbs by GE Energy Smart

GE 13-Watt Energy Smart Fluorescent Light Bulbs, 8 Pack, 60 Watt Replacement
GE 13-Watt Energy Smart Fluorescent Light Bulbs, 8 Pack, 60 Watt Replacement

* Uses 13 watts with 60 watt light output!

* Last 8 times longer than a standard incandescent!

* Saves up to $45.00 in electricity over the lifespan of the bulb!

* Runs cooler saving on cooling costs!

* Going Green Will Save You Green!


Incandescent Light Bulbs

Enter the age of the new light bulb, the CFL bulb. The CFL bulb uses far less energy than incandescent light bulbs, and will not only save you money on your energy bill, but will help produce less emissions. The only downside of CFL bulbs are that they have highly hazardous mercury inside of them. These need to be properly disposed of, and can usually be done so at the place you purchased them. Lowe's, Home Depot, and other retailers accept these bulbs after their use has expired (which is a long time - 5 years on the average). Lower mercury bulbs are now being produced that are safer for the environment.

Non Programmable Thermostats

A thermostat that isn't being programmed is simply a waste of money (and energy). New thermostats can be programmed to turn on and off at any time you wish, with different times for different days. Turn the heat on a few minutes before you arrive home, and program it to turn off an hour or so before you go to bed, and you'll reduce the amount of time that you're heat is on dramatically. You can always set the heat to a lower degree while you're at work, and have it turn higher later in the day as well. With rising heat costs, this not only makes sense for the environment, but makes perfect sense for you.

Recharge Your Batteries!

Sanyo Eneloop AA NiMH Pre-Charged Rechargeable Batteries - 8 Pack (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Sanyo Eneloop AA NiMH Pre-Charged Rechargeable Batteries - 8 Pack (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

Are you really still using alkaline disposable batteries? Rechargeable batteries have come a long way, and have improved greatly. These have received rave reviews on Amazon from customers for their durability and high quality.



Batteries, like CFL bulbs, are highly hazardous to the environment and can poison our public water supply. Most people unfortunately just toss these into the trash without thinking about them, but they have big consequences on the ground soil and to wildlife. With the proper disposal of batteries, we won't have to worry as much about these effects on the surrounding land. Next time you pick up batteries at the store (or online), consider getting reusable batteries. These will recharge and won't wind up in a landfill. They're also much more cost efficient, and you won't have to worry about old batteries dying out before you even use them.

Go Paperless

Kindle Wireless Reading Device (6" Display, U.S. Wireless)
Kindle Wireless Reading Device (6" Display, U.S. Wireless)

It's a big upgrade from the original Kindle! Paperless reading, with a screen that resembles the resolution and readability of an actual newspaper. You'll be sparing paper from hitting the landfill or recycle bin, as well as saving yourself money with your downloads.



Newspapers are a thing of the past nowadays with the internet. As media transitions towards online news, some people still receive newspapers on a daily basis. Not only does this cost money, but it's very bad for the environment. Some newspapers are recycled, but most are thrown away. Even if they are recycled, that's energy unnecessarily wasted on recycling (yes, recycling takes energy!). If you're on the go, iphones and the Amazon Kindle can deliver the news to you electronically, but most people are opting for their laptop to catch the latest news.

Photo of SUV under Creative Commons 2.0 by flickr user i see modern Britain.
Photo of SUV under Creative Commons 2.0 by flickr user i see modern Britain.


In 2008, gas prices rose in the United States to an all time high. As the prices began creeping up and up, the mentality of the car buyer slowly began to shift. It's one thing to be green, but it's another thing when not being green is affecting your wallet. New car purchases of SUV's sank as the gas prices rose. Then in the fall of 2008, something happened. The economy burst, and just as we were electing a new president, the gas prices began to tumble. As the gas prices went down and down, SUV sales started to rise again. Gas prices are always going up and down, but in the long term, you can bet that gas prices will rise. Not all hybrid cars are created equal, but we all don't need an SUV either. Simply switching to a more efficient passenger car or smaller vehicle will save enormous amounts of gas, money, and spare the atmosphere of needless emissions.

Single Serve Packaged Products

Single serve packets like the 100 calorie serving packets and microwave dinners have become more popular as society becomes busier and demands more of their time and attention. They're very convenient, but do cost more and have a big toll on the environment. All of these foods are packaged in often non recyclable foil packets and cardboard boxes.

So how do you break your addiction to conveniently packaged foods like these? It's easy, and you'll save yourself some money. Buy the bigger size containers and portion them out in reusable ziploc containers or tupperware. They'll stay fresh this way, and you'll be saving yourself from throwing out all of that trash.

Remove Chlorine and Metals from your Tap Water with These Filters

Bottled Water

Bottled water tastes great, it's convenient, and often necessary for some places that have no clean water. However, most of the population does have clean running water, especially in the United States and the U.K.

Bottled water uses far more water and resources than just the plastic and the water that's in it.. it needs to be bottled, the plastic has to be made (which produces emissions), the bottles last forever since their plastic, and the heavy water gets transported throughout the country (or the world if you drink European waters). That's extra gas consumed, which is also transported throughout the world. Does this really make any sense when you have perfectly okay tap water to drink?

A tap water filter will cut down on some, if not all, of the metal taste that sometimes can be found in the water. Tap water is also held up to much higher standards than that of bottled water. Bottled is often not made to pass many regulations at all, and worse yet, some companies pass of their bottled water deceivingly as filtered water (they turn on the tap, and filter it a little bit...presto, bottled water). You'll be saving yourself the energy of lugging in those huge bottles, saving plastic, and the environment, not to mention our dwindling public water supply by switching to drinkable tap water.

The saponin soap nut berries.
The saponin soap nut berries.

Laundry Detergent

Not only do you suffer the effects of harsh laundry detergent, but the environment does as well. First, the detergent is created sometimes using nonylphenol and phosphates, which lead to an overabundance of algae growth, which in turn can flip the whole ecosystem of rivers and lakes around, killing fish and other life (and contaminating our food sources). The creation of these substances take large amounts of energy, and energy to transport the heavy liquid to you. An idea that's catching on as an alternative to laundry detergent that's easier on your clothes are the natural soap nuts berries. These are saponin berries, that effectively wash your clothing without the damaging chemicals that pollute our waterways.

Baby Formula

Babies are the most succeptible to the non organic ingredients that can often be found in baby formula. You may have heard in the news that some formulas had an ingredient that was also found in rocket fuel. Is this something you would like to give your child? Breastfeeding research has shown that babies are stronger and develop a better immune system when breastfed. Still not sure? This site lists out all of the dangers of baby formula, which might convince you otherwise.  Baby food is also important to either make yourself or buy organic. Making it is simple, cheap, and quick.

Toys Made in China

Not only could the economy of your own home country use a boost, but you'll be avoiding all of those toxic paints and substances that are used on the cheaper toys that are imported from China. Organic baby and kids toys have become popular over the past few years as an alternative to these toys. Every year, there's a story or two about the dangers of toys from China and other imports. Do yourself the favor and just buy better quality, and buy less. It will cost you the same amount of money in the end.

A New Hope for Organic?


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    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      This is a very good hub on going green. The word needs to get out there. It takes some people a long time to make a change...and time is something we don't have. Mother Nature deserves our best and we all deserve good health. A few simple changes can make all the difference.A very good hub. Voted up and thanks!


    • HealthyHanna profile image


      8 years ago from Utah

      How easy it is! Why do we think it is hard to go go green?

      I think you have put forthe some very doable things in your article. Every little thing we all do adds up having a big impact on Mother Nature. And that doesn't say anything about the impact it will have on our health.

      Thanks for the hub.

    • MoniqueAttinger profile image


      9 years ago from Georgetown, ON

      I can't agree enough on your suggestion to stop using baby formula. Breastfeeding is the most environmentally friendly way to feed - and it is by far the best nutrition. Even once you return to work, you can continue to breastfeed. I simply went to a couple of nursings a day - morning and when I got home - that kept all that immune building and health promoting breast milk going into my child.

      The World Health Organization is now promoting breastfeeding to age 2 and beyond, simply because of the incredible benefits to both mother and child - that are all well documented. My youngest was nursed until 32 months and she is by far the healthiest of my 2 kids.

      It's good for mom too! For instance, want to reduce your chances of breast, ovarian and other forms of cancer? Breastfeed! Nothing could be simpler, and there are no adverse effects (like cancer treatments).

      For women who are having breastfeeding challenges, keep in mind such grass roots organizations as the La Leche League. They helped me when I had almost every problem under the sun. In the end, I had a very positive nursing experience with the help of all that knowledge and expertise in the room during a meeting.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Bottled water is a big problem. American culture thinks its the "cool" thing. That mind set has to change in order to make a successful transfer to green living.

      I move to ban paper newspapers! Behold the Internet. lets have a vote.

      my green blog:

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      According to US legislation signed into law in 1996 (The Battery Act), alkaline battery manufacturers were to phase out the use of mercury in alkaline batteries. In addition, the rechargeable battery industry started a free nationwide recycling program for rechargeable batteries. One can recycle any small household rechargeable battery in the U.S. or Canada by visiting Type in your zip or postal code to find a convenient neighborhood drop off location. It's usually a retailer that sells replacement rechargeable batteries and/or cordless electronic products like RadioShack, Home Depot, Lowe's, Sears, Best Buy, Office Depot, Staples.


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