Everyone knows that going green is good for the environment, but did you know that going green is good for your wallet too? That’s right! By cutting needless energy waste, you can save some green while you save the planet. Here, we’ll look at some ways to reduce your energy consumption and keep some extra cash in the bank.
Just a few degrees difference on your thermostat can save a lot of electricity. Set the temperature a bit lower in the winter and a bit higher in the summer to start saving. Programmable thermostats also help keep your heating and cooling systems running only when they’re needed. Replace old incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). CFLs use about a quarter as much electricity as an incandescent bulb of equivalent brightness. Unplug any electronic devices (DVD player, TV, game systems, cell phone chargers) when they are not in use. Even if they’re off, they’re still consuming electricity.
Taking shorter showers will cut back on water and electricity use. Low-flow shower heads are low cost and easily installed, and can really help save on water consumption. Installing faucet aerators on all your faucets also conserves heat and water, while maintaining water pressure.
Walking or bicycling to work instead of driving will save a lot of money when it comes to fuel costs, and can really improve your overall well-being. If you live too far to walk, consider carpooling or taking public transportation. Some companies will even let you telecommute for meetings or if you could easily work from home.
Having just one vegetarian dish per week can reduce the cost of grocery shopping and will have health benefits too. Buying food locally, particularly fruits and vegetables, from farmer’s markets or local farms is especially good for the local economy and will be much healthier for you.
Instead of purchasing soda, opt to drink more water. And forget getting bottled water; invest in a water filter for your faucet or a filter pitcher. Tap water is much cheaper per ounce than bottled water. It is also a good idea to invest in a reusable water bottle, preferably one that is made of aluminum. Some water bottles even have filters built into them.
Getting gently used appliances and furniture will cost a lot less and is more beneficial for the environment. Check out thrift stores, garage sales, and consignment shops for other deals. Buying supplies in bulk is a lot cheaper per item than buying them individually. Things like cereal, dog food, and other items can be sold in bulk, which cuts down on packaging and manufacturing. Buy high quality items. They may cost more, but in the long run will last longer than cheaply made products that could end up costing more with all the replacements. Borrowing items like movies, games, books, and power tools will cut way back on material waste, and will be a lot more cost efficient.
Keep all your electronics for as long as possible, and when they need to be replaced, don’t just throw them in the trash. Many electronic devices contain mercury, which is harmful to the environment. Many stores like Best Buy have special programs to take unwanted electronics. There are also many websites dedicated to trading in cell phones.
You can make your own non-toxic cleaning solution at home with baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and hydrogen peroxide. Not only will this save you money on purchasing cleaners, it prevents you from being exposed to harmful chemicals in store-bought products.