Going green is often thought of as being expensive:it can feel like living an eco-friendly lifestyle is a huge commitment, as well as an expensive one! But I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way! Making an earth-friendly change in your life can be really easy, and it could also help you save more money. Talk about a win-win! :-)
Check out the list below for 11 easy ways you can actually save money while going green.
LED lightbulbs are super energy-efficient, since they use a fraction of the energy compared to traditional lightbulbs, and because their lifespan can often last up to 20 years. However, because they are more expensive than traditional lightbulbs, many people just don’t bother making the switch.
Instead of trying to tackle all of your bulbs at once, choose 3-5 of your most-used light fixtures to replace at first. Just by switching out a few of your old bulbs, you can start saving up to $70 each year on energy costs.
Make Your Own Cleaning Supplies
These days, a specialty cleaner exists for almost every possible surface. However, these products can be expensive, bad for the environment, and just plain unnecessary. A great way to save money while staying eco-friendly is by making your own home cleaners. White vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda are wonder products, each costing only cents. Check out all my homemade cleaning solutions here.
Give some thought to your personal “shower routine.” Is there any point at which you aren’t standing directly under the water, maybe to shampoo your hair, shave, or scrub your body? If so, try turning the water off during that time next time you shower…even if it’s just for a minute or two.
Also, shaving even one minute off of the daily shower will save nearly a thousand gallons of water every year.
Both of these habits can really help you cut down on your energy bill and your water usage!
Turn off the tap
It’s a common habit to leave the tap running while washing your face, brushing your teeth, doing the dishes, and so on. To help change that mindset, think of it like turning off a light when it’s not being used—it’s simple, easy to do, and saves a lot of money (and resources) in the long run.
Hands Off Those Dishes!
Dishwashers that are Energy Star-qualified can save up to 5,000 gallons of water a year over hand-washing dishes.
Always fill it to the brim (a half-full dishwasher wastes water, energy, and money) and learn to use the “delay” feature. A dishwasher that doesn’t run until after midnight will rack up some of those sweet off-peak energy hours, saving some cash and helping the planet by reducing peak hour electricity demands.
So load up your dishwasher, kick your feet up, and know that not only are you doing less work, but you’re helping the environment too!
BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle)
Choosing to drink water over other beverages is a great choice for your health, but not a great choice for the environment – if you’re buying bottled water! Invest in a quality water bottle that you can refill and carry around with you. You’ll be keeping money in your pocket and plastic out of landfills.
Silent Energy Thieves
Some of the biggest energy drains in our homes are the things that still draw power even when they’re turned off, such as cable boxes, game consoles, etc.
An easy way to reduce the amount of power these items use is to plug them into a surge protector. That way, you can turn the switch on the surge protector off when you’re not using them, when you’re asleep, or when you’re away from the home. This small step could reduce your home’s energy use by around 10 percent.
The Gift of Recycling
Purchasing and utilizing wrapping paper and tissue paper to package gifts is unnecessarily wasteful. Do your part to help save on waste (and save trees!) but reusing paper from around the house. Junk mail, newspapers, and scrap papers can be used in place of wrapping paper, and you can make your own filler material by putting scrap paper through a paper shredder. Your creativity can really shine here!
Buy Rechargeable Batteries
Whenever possible, use rechargeable batteries instead of disposable ones. Batteries that are thrown away do not break down into organic compounds. In fact, many batteries contain harmful chemicals that can hurt the environment. Rechargeable batteries cost slightly more to purchase at first, but they can be used repeatedly. Be sure to dispose of old batteries properly.
Buy An Affordable, Fuel-Efficient Car
If you can go without a car, you’ll save approximately $9,000 — the estimated annual cost of owning a car, factoring in car payments, insurance and registration, fuel, maintenance and depreciation. But if you must have a new car, you can save significantly by choosing wisely.
A 30 mpg car will save the average driver $888 a year over a 20 mpg car! And, whatever car you drive, simple maintenance can save you as much as 20% on gas.
Bills will always be a headache, but they don’t have to cost as much as they do. Many companies offer a discount for signing up for paperless billing (because it saves them significant printing and postage costs) and you can save on the cost of stamps. Not to mention all that paper!
Have any other cost-cutting green tips?