Earth Day Tips to Save Money (and The Planet!)
By Tom Harkins
Earth Day is a great time to start thinking more about the environment and all the little things we can do to make the world a better place. Being more environmentally conscious is the right thing to do. However, did you know that living a more eco-friendly lifestyle can help save you money, too? It’s true! If you take steps to live in a more sustainable manner, you can also cut many unnecessary costs as well. Here are five ways that you can save green by going green this Earth Day.
One of the best ways to be more eco-friendly and save money is to get off the road. If you’re a two-car family, sell one of them, if feasible. When you only have one car, you’ll produce less greenhouse gases and save money on gas and automobile insurance as well. Don’t stop there, though. Even with one car, still try to drive less.
Try to bike to work once or twice a week if you can or telework from home more often. Additionally, make use of ridesharing services whenever you can as well. Doing these things will help protect the environment, and it’ll keep more money in your wallet.
Do you remember your parents yelling at you for leaving all the lights on? Well, it turns out there was something to that. Wasting energy in your home can really drive up your utility bills if you’re not careful, and all the electricity used comes from a system heavily reliant on fossil fuels. So, start making a conscious effort to save energy in your home.
Turn lights off in rooms when they’re unoccupied, and unplug appliances and device chargers when they aren’t in use. Switch out all your old incandescent lights for more energy-efficient compact fluorescent or LED bulbs. Doing so will help to take stress off the energy grid, and save you cash each month.
Save Water, and Money
Water is an invaluable natural resource, but we tend to waste it in our homes as well. If you want to help the environment and save money at the same time, conserving water in your home is a great place to start. Try to update your home with efficient toilets and fixtures; they can help reduce the total amount of water you use each month, thereby eliminating waste.
You can also try old tricks, such as placing a 2-liter soda bottle full of water in your toilet tank, to reduce the amount of water used with each flush. Additionally, relying on natural landscaping can help reduce the amount of water you’d otherwise use to maintain a lawn.
Go Green in the Laundry Room
Do you give washing and drying your clothes a second thought? If you care about the environment, and saving money, you definitely should. Try to minimize the total number of loads you wash each week; doing a single, large load of wash will use less water than multiple smaller loads. You can reduce the amount of energy you use by washing all your clothes in cold water, too.
Finally, if you have a yard or balcony, consider giving your dryer a rest and letting your laundry air-dry on a clothesline. They’ll smell fresher; you’ll use less energy; and you’ll save a bit of money on your electric bill each month, too.
Reduce Your Trash Load
Another easy way to help the environment and save money while doing it is to generate less household garbage. If you produce less trash, you’ll save a little bit of money each month on garbage bags. Additionally, if you pay for trash removal services, you may realize savings there as well. Try to recycle items, such as glass and waste paper, that don’t need to end up in the bottom of a trashcan. You can also buy foods and products with less packaging to reduce your trash load; substituting tap water for bottled water is one of the quickest ways to reduce the amount of waste your family produces each week.
Additionally, you can start a compost pile to turn your kitchen scraps, papers, and other waste into a valuable soil additive. Doing all these things will take pressure off your local landfill and ease the burden on your wallet.
While making changes to your lifestyle can be challenging, going green is the right thing to do, and living a more environmentally conscious lifestyle can help you save some serious money, too. So, this Earth Day, commit to living in a more sustainable manner. You’ll help the planet and save some money in the end as well.
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