How to Save Green by Going Green!
“Green” seems to be the going trend and one of the most popular buzzword these days. Hybrid cars, solar power systems and other high-tech advances are at the forefront of today’s news. Often times the individual thought can be “one person can’t make a difference”, but there are simple everyday actions that can contribute to the preservation of our environment. Things like changing the kind of light bulbs you use are not only easy to do and good for the environment, but also help you save money. Here is a compiled list of ways you can “stimulate your wallet, and save green by going green.
- When you’re old incandescent light bulbs burn out, install new compact fluorescent light bulbs, or CFLs. These bulbs use less electricity and will lower your utility bill.
- Unplug appliances when you’re not using them. You can even purchase “smart” power strips that automatically sense when devices are not being used and cut off energy to them.
- Whenever possible, wash clothes in cold water.
- With warmer weather upon us, use a drying rack or a clothesline to dry clothes instead of the machine dryer.
- In winter, set your thermostat a few degrees lower, and in summer a few degrees higher.
- Take shorter showers or turn off the water while brushing your teeth. It will reduce water use as well as your water and heating bills.
- Invest in a low-flow showerhead. They’re inexpensive and will save you enough on water and energy costs to pay for themselves.
- Install a faucet aerator on all your faucets. Faucet Aerators control water flow, and can help reduce your home water consumption as much as by 50%
- Plant drought-tolerant plants in your garden. Find out what native plants in your area require minimal watering.
Use less gas
- Walk or bike to work or school as much as possible. This saves you money on gas and reduces carbon emissions, not to mention the fact that it keeps you fit and healthy.
- Move closer to work, or consider telecommuting or carpooling.
- Lobby for increased spending on sidewalks and bike lanes. One of the biggest reasons why people don’t bike or walk more in suburban areas is because the city infrastructure simply doesn’t accommodate them.
- Look into public transportation, subways, busses, and trolleys save you money.
- If you’re a meat-eater, take meat off your diet at least once a week and incorporate more grains and veggies. Meat costs more and its farming production is intensive on the environment. The American Heart Association has found that incorporating more vegetables, whole grains and less meat can help your health.
- Buy locally grown produce, you’re supporting your community and knowing where your food comes from. Locally grown/raised produce and foods tend to be grown with better quality.
- Eat low on the food chain, especially when it comes to sea food. It is not only cheaper but helps conserve endangered marine wildlife by lower the demand for it.
Think before buying
- Before you spend on brand new furniture or house products, go on craigslist.com or other similar sites and see if you can find a good second-hand deal. Often time’s people give perfectly good furniture away for free. This helps reduce on the immense amount of packaging being used. Check out garage sales and thrift stores for clothing and other small items.
- Review new products to make sure they are of good quality and will last.
- Reuse and recycle packaging materials.
Forego bottled water
- Use a water filter so that you can drink straight out of the tap instead of using bottled water. According the The New York Times Americans buy about 215 billion beverage containers every year. Bottled water is more expensive and generates plastic waste.
- Carry a reusable water bottle with you when traveling or going to work or school.
Borrow whenever possible
- Instead of buying DVDs and books, borrow them from the local library whenever possible.
- Share power tools and other appliances. This will help you get to know your neighbors and keep the clutter on your garage to a minimum.
- Buying food from bulk bins saves money and reduces packaging costs.
- Wear clothes that don’t require dry-cleaning. This reduces dry-cleaning costs for you as well as toxic chemical waste.
- Invest in products that will last. A good quality jacket might be more expensive, but it will last longer and save you money in the long run.
Don’t throw electronics in the trash
- Get the most use out of your electronics as you can, as these are the hardest to recycle.
- When the time comes to get rid of them, donate or recycle them responsibly.
- If there is no electronics recycling center in your area, lobby for your local government to set one up.
Make your own cleaning products
- You can go online and easily find out how to make your own, highly effective cleaning products using simple ingredients like soap, baking soda, lemon and vinegar.
- Doing this will save you money, time, and will help reduce packaging waste.
In our everyday busy lives, it’s easy to get caught up and feel that we may not have the time or capability to make a difference. It’s the small conscious decisions we make that will help preserve our earth for future generations. It all goes back to the youthful saying “REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE!”