For our Happy Green Heart Giveaway to go along with our Green Valentine’s Guide, we asked people to share their favorite “green” tips with us.

We were blown away by some of the fantastic ideas (some you may have never thought of!) and thought we’d share them in a smart mama post!

1) I love taking my own takeout containers to restaurants. We just toss a clean container with a lid in the diaper bag and head out. Fast, easy, and far less wasteful! (thanks to Heather H.)

2) The best way to get rid of things that can still be useful instead of throwing them away is to freecycle. You can find a freecycle group in your area at (thanks to Lesha)

3) In the summer we always save our grey water (i.e. from dishwashing, household cleaning, etc.) and rainwater to water our trees, flowerbeds, & vegetable garden. (thanks to Brian E.)

4) I save each greeting card that I get and use them to cut gift tags for gifts that I give (I always get 3-4 tags from one card). I use both the graphics and oftentimes the message too. Scissors do amazing things! That way the card gets used many times over! (thanks to Mary)

5) I love recycling my plastic milk cartons by cutting them up and painting them for holiday decorations. (thanks to Marilouise K.)

6) Now that my daughter is in school, we have a “create no trash” rule – her lunch and snack must not leave anything to throw away. No baggies, no juice boxes, no paper napkins. (thanks to Carrie)

7) Get your name off of the junk mail list. It will save so many trees with so little effort! Try Catalog Choice. (thanks to Tiffany)

8 ) I’ve made reusable bags from old t-shirts. Just sew the bottom closed and cut off the arms and neckhole. The “shoulders” become the handles, as your hands go through the armholes. (thanks to Kathleen W.)

9) Start a “free box” at your workplace where people can bring items that are in nice shape but they no longer use (items such as books, toys, small appliances, etc.). Some one else can give it a new home. (thanks to Dorothy)

10 Remember that instead of throwing away your ashes from the fireplace, add it to your compost heap for your garden. Nice additional fertilizer. (thanks to Alan M)