Pay It Forward

I’ve been on the road the last few weeks and found myself sitting in the cozy Willamette Coffee House in West Linn, Oregon (great coffee+ pastries+happy high energy baristas+wi-fi=perfect.) There I witnessed pay it forward in action.

A regular customer had filled up her coffee punch card to earn a free beverage. Rather than take the free drink, she requested they give it away to someone else. The guy behind her in line already had his money out when they asked him if he wanted a free coffee drink. He said “Yeah, sure!” and them promptly put the money he had in his hand in the tip jar. A happy moment for all in the cafe.

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Your Money or Your Life

Source: YourMoneyOrYourLife.org

Source: YourMoneyOrYourLife.org

This book changed how I looked at money forever. The recently revised 3rd edition is a step-by-step guide on how to simplify your life and get on the road to financial independence.

Vikki Robin and Joe Dominguez created a proven guide to help you thoroughly examine your relationship to money, how you earn it and how you spend it. Then it helps you get on track to where you want to go.

If you’re ready for the shift to simplify your life, this is the place to start.

Link

The Telluride Free Box

Telluride_Free_BoxVisiting friends in Telluride, Colorado this week, I have to go by one of my favorite places in town – the Free Box. You never know what you’ll find – shoes, clothing, sports gear, even a flat screen TV from someone moving out of town and swooped up immediately.

It’s a great way to recycle what you no longer use, or to find something useful. I think every town and neighborhood needs their own version of a Free Box.

DIY Wind Generator for under $200

Photo: Mike Davis

Photo: Mike Davis

Here’s a step-by-step guide to building your own wind generator made out of basic materials like PVC pipe and sheet metal. Author Mike Davis explains how he started on this project:

I started by Googling for information on home-built wind turbines. There are a lot of them out there in an amazing variety of designs and complexities. All of them had five things in common though:

1. A generator
2. Blades
3. A mounting that keeps it turned into the wind
4. A tower to get it up into the wind
5. Batteries and an electronic control system

I reduced the project to just five little systems. If attacked one at a time, the project didn’t seem too terribly difficult. I decided to start with the generator. My online research showed that a lot of people were building their own generators. That seemed a bit too complicated, at least for a first effort. Others were using surplus permanent magnet DC motors as generators in their projects. This looked like a simpler way to go. So I began looking into what motors were best for the job.

This easy to follow guide is available on Mike’s website. Link.

Best Window Cleaner

Photo source: Care2.com

Photo source: Care2.com

In your kitchen you probably have everything you need to create this kick ass window cleaner. Simple and green, this is from the DIY green home guru Anne Bond:

THE BEST WINDOW CLEANER
Make a great all-purpose window cleaner by combining 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon liquid soap or detergent, and 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Shake to blend and spray on your windows.

Annie’s recipe is on the Care2.com network, committed making it easy for everyone to live a healthy, green lifestyle.  Link.

Gutter Gardens

guttergarden-550x259Here’s a clever idea from GreenUpgrader.com – used gutters made into garden planters.

“When Suzanne Forsling moved to Juneau Alaska from Iowa, she found that it was a little bit harder to get her garden to grow.  Frustrated by cold soil, scarce sunlight, hungry slugs, root maggots, porcupines, cats, bears and ravens she got resourceful.  She got her crops off the cold ground and into the light by afixing gutters to the wood siding of her house on the sunny side and using them as planters.

This is really a great space saving idea for those with green thumbs and not enough yard to exercise them.  Personally I think these would go great along a deck railing or cut down to be mini-window boxes.  So next time someone you know replaces their gutters snatch them up and give them a new lives as planters.”

Link.

Go Green at Work and Save

Going green at work saves money and the environment, plus increases employee job satisfaction and productivity – such a deal! By using technology, creativity and free or low-cost resources you can make your office a more sustainable, efficient, fulfilling place to work.

TheGreenGirls.com presents 40 tips to green your workplace and most are easy to implement. Ideas include holding virtual meetings, distributing information via Twitter plus using online tools to save time, resources and money.

Get your green on at the office and start saving. Link.