Think the only way to be truly eco-friendly is to dole out extra green for the sake of being green? Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be the case. Whether you’re taking your first steps toward being a green-guru or just looking to cut corners with your spending, these seven small, easy-to-implement money saving tips add up to big savings and a big step towards a healthier environment.
Money Saving Tips for Going Green
1. Unplug: You spend all day tethered to the computer at work, so why go home and do the same? Save energy and cut your electric bill by unplugging your gadgets, powering down the laptop and switching off the television. You’ll be amazed how much faster you unwind after the day’s stress is done.
2. Five degrees of separation: Weather the weather of tough times by turning down the thermostat in the winter and turning it up in the summer. It doesn’t take much — just five degrees each way will help cut your electric bill even more. You won’t feel the temperature change, but you will feel a bit cooler when you pay your next bill.
3. The coffee crunch: Need coffee to get through the day? Don’t blame you! Skip the $5-a-day latte and java up at home if you really want to save. But, if you insist on going to the coffee chain on the corner or the cute little cafe down the street, be sure to bring your own travel mug and save a tree. Most places offer a discount for bringing your own cup and cutting down on wasted paper cups. It may not be much per cup, but over time it should add up to one free coffee a month!
4. Filter out the bad stuff: Attach a water purifier to your kitchen sink or buy a filtering pitcher and stop buying bottled water. Significantly reduce waste but cutting out the number of bottles you throw out to the landfills every month by drinking filtered tap from a reusable, aluminum water bottle.
5. Now that’s a bright idea: When your incandescent light bulbs flicker their last light, replace them with compact fluorescent light bulbs. Green all the way, you can buy a 15-watt compact fluorescent bulb that produces the same amount of light as a 60-watt regular incandescent bulb. They last 4-6 times longer (less last minute trips to the hardware store – hey! you just saved on gas, too!) and can save you up to $20 a month when you replace the light bulbs in your home.
6. Eat green, go green, save green: If you’re a carnivore, add one meatless meal a week to your menu. You know how much meat costs at the store — and it’s even more costly to the environment. Buy locally-raised greens for dinner. They’re cheaper (didn’t have to be transported in a big, polluting truck), healthier and keep money in the local economy.
7. It’s all in print: Instead of buying brand new books and magazines every time you’re looking for something good to read, borrow. Head to the library or set up a media share with your friends. Not only will you save significantly by keeping your wallet shut, you’ll cut down on clutter and save a few trees by encouraging less printing.