I’ve often said that the little things you do to save money can add up to big savings. But did you know that there are easy ways to save money and help the planet, too?
It’s quite simple to save money and make your home more eco-friendly just by making a few small changes to your regular routines. Try some of these in your household.
Use less water.
You can save quite a bit of money on your water bill and protect one of our planet’s most precious resources with these easy steps:
- Shut off the water while you brush your teeth.
- Take showers that are a minute or two shorter. (We use a nifty wall timer).
- Only flush the toilet when you need to.
- Only run full loads of laundry and dishes.
- Buy from sustainable producers. These are farmers, ranchers, and other producers that use techniques that pollute less and use less water. You can do some research online or ask at your local organic market to find these products.
Use less energy.
If you don’t have the money to buy a hybrid car or convert your house to solar power, you can make a big difference with small changes.
- Buy energy efficient appliances. They may be more expensive, but you’ll make up for the increased cost in lower energy bills.
- Unplug chargers when you’re not using them. Cell phone and other chargers use up powers even if there’s nothing attached to them. Don’t believe me, try this gadget called a Kill-A-Watt to see how much energy you’re using!
- Put devices with remotes, like T.V.s, VCRs, and stereos on a smart power strip or use a regular power strip and turn it off when you’re not using them. Your electronic devices use a lot of power to run the remote receiver even when it’s off.
- Walk or ride your bike for short trips.
- Turn off lights when you’re not in a room.
- Keep the thermostat turned down in the winter and keep it up in the summer. Just moving that dial a few degrees can save 10 percent on your bill and save energy.
- Buy local products. It takes energy to transport food and other products across the country. Buying local not only supports your local economy, it helps them use less energy.
When it comes to saving energy and water, it’s a great idea to get the kids involved. You can even make it a game. Have them track how much water and electricity everyone is using. You can compete to see who uses the least water. You can often count on your kids to help keep you on track when given the task.
Most of us know the three R’s: Reduce, reuse, recycle, but when we work on conserving, we often leave reuse out of the picture. While you can often find tips on how to reuse common products from other people, what you need most is creativity.
With a little thought there are many items around your home that can be reused. Old egg cartons can be used to start seeds for your garden. Toilet paper tubes can turn into cute wall decor. Old bottles can be used to create cool candle holders or vases. Old food jars can be refilled with homemade foods, used for bulk food storage, or can make great impromptu vases.
There are other opportunities to reuse, too. Bring reusable shopping bags with you when you shop. Skip paper plates, paper towels, paper napkins, and plastic cutlery and stick to reusable options instead.
Use environmentally-friendly products.
When you go to the grocery store, you probably see more and more “natural” or “eco-friendly” products every time. There are generally two big problems with these products: Just because they’re more natural than regular products, doesn’t mean they’re entirely natural, and they’re often expensive.
You can make inexpensive, natural, safe cleaning products yourself. Vinegar is a great way to clean and disinfect glass and other surfaces. Need to remove stubborn stains? Just add some baking soda to your vinegar cleaner. Some quick searching online will lead you to hundreds of other natural safe home-made cleaning products. Most homemade products cost just a fraction of what you’d pay in the store for a much more toxic product.
We all knowing that going green is better for the planet, but it’s also better for you. You’ll save money, and feel better, too.
Looking for more ways to go green and save money? Check out this list of 40 Ways To Live Greener Everyday.
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