No one wants to pay more than they have to and everyone wants to save money. When most people think about ways to save money, they envision cutting back on luxuries or giving up comforts they have grown accustomed to, but there are other options. You do not need to give up things you enjoy to save money when you can save money and help the planet by going green. There are more ways to go green and help your wallet than ever before, so here are just ten ways you can save money and help protect the environment for future generations by going green in your everyday life.
It might sound silly to simply say walk more to save money and protect the planet, but simplicity has often revealed the best solutions. Instead of using your car to get where you need to go and pay for gas while contributing to pollution, try walking to your destinations instead. There are still situations where taking a car makes more sense, like when you need to haul large items home or your destination is too far to walk reasonably, but many shorter trips can be taken on foot. Suppose you need to stop by the pharmacy. Set aside time to walk there and back instead of hopping in your car for such a short trip. Walking not only saves you money while being green, but it also promotes regular activity or exercise while getting you outside in the sun. Walking more may be a simple answer, but it provides too many benefits to discount or ignore both as a money-saving and green suggestion.
Home Improvements and Upgrades
Your daily habits contribute to your carbon footprint, but your home may be one of the largest contributors. If your home is not eco-friendly, it can undo all your other green efforts. Upgrading aspects of your home may be expensive, but the long-term benefits are typically worth the investment. Switching out your old water heater for a propane water heater gives your home an efficacy and environmental upgrade once you stomach the price tag.
Better Light Bulbs
Swapping out dead incandescent bulbs for CFL or LED alternatives is a cheaper way to make your house more eco-friendly and introduce superior technology without breaking the bank. CFL and LED bulbs shine brighter, last longer, and use less electricity than incandescent bulbs making them the clear choice when replacing dead bulbs. Don’t throw out functional incandescent bulbs just to upgrade; instead, wait for your old bulbs to expire before you buy modern replacements, so you don’t produce unnecessary waste.
Instead of relying on stores to supply one-time use carry bags, bring your own reusable bags with you. You can easily stash five bags in your car door or a backpack, so you always have a reusable bag on hand to carry your goods home. Reusable bags come in an endless selection of colors, sizes, and textures, so you can easily find a bag that suits your needs and tastes. Some stores even offer discounts for people who use their own bags instead of keeping the market for one-time use plastic bags alive.
Public transport might not be available in your area, but if it is, try to use the system as much as you can instead of driving a personal car. Public transit systems are typically designed to take people to popular areas, so you could take a bus or light rail to a popular stop and then walk to your final destinations for the most eco-friendly travel option. Public transit is not a perfect system, but the more people use it, the more city leaders may consider it a worthwhile investment for public and plenary progress.
Reusing items is a crucial tenet of the green movement. We should all strive to create as little waste as possible, and reusing items is part of that goal. Even if an item is old or out of date, that doesn’t mean it is now worthless. Resist the urge to continually upgrade for the latest and greatest by using and reusing what you already have.
Even once an item breaks or is no longer usable for its original purpose, that doesn’t mean the item is now waste to be thrown out. An old t-shirt with holes might not be great outerwear anymore, but you can cut the shirt into cleaning rags or sew a bunch of old t-shirts together to make a commemorative blanket. A computer with a dead processor might have some parts you can scavenge like case fans or a power supply that you can then use in a new computer. Don’t assume that broken things are now worthless and try to reuse or repurpose what you can.
Fans Over AC
Central heating and cooling is a fantastic home feature, but your HVAC system is typically the most significant consumer of energy in your home. Instead of turning on the AC, grab a personal desk fan to keep cool. Instead of cranking up the heat, use a blanket or small space heater. The less you use your HVAC system, the less energy your household uses, and the greener your home becomes.
Many people are unaware of how much energy they use each month, aside from the monthly bill. Most energy bills show a dollar amount owed and corresponding usage, but not everyone knows how to take electricity measurements and convert that into usable knowledge. If your energy company has an online portal, there will typically explain the energy usage that will show you the information in more digestible terms. Some energy companies offer electronic monitoring with alerts that tell you if you are using more energy than usual. Delve into your energy account and see if there are tools that can make saving energy even more effortless.
Borrow And Lend
If you want to try baking or woodworking, or any other activity that requires special equipment, try borrowing the item instead of buying it. Not buying and instead borrowing a big new item, you might not use long-term is eco-friendly and wallet-friendly. Don’t drop money on an expensive mixer if you aren’t sure you will use it later; try to borrow a mixer from a neighbor or friend to try it out first. You can also return the favor for other people if you have a product, item, or tool someone wants to try before buying.