I am combining two of my favorite topics bringing you this list of eco-friendly ways to save money. I know that many of you are concerned about the environment and are already doing your bit, but I hope those of you that still need a bit of a push will see your way to becoming greener, simply because saving money is always a great motivation to do anything. Yes, I know that is a little Machiavellian of me, but if you save money, and you go greener, then you win and the planet wins. Here’s some pretty easy, non-life changing but important eco-friendly ways to save money.
1. Make Use of Cloth Napkins
Using a cloth napkin is one of many eco-friendly ways to save money, and that's mainly because it's a lot more durable compared to other alternatives, like a paper napkin. The good thing is that you will end up saving a lot of money simply by using cloth napkins. With this, your trash output will come down a bit, which will have a direct impact on energy used for transportation of this waste. It is true that using recyclable paper napkins is a good choice for putting less pressure on the planet, but it's always better to have nothing for recycling, and that's when using a cloth napkin becomes a better option. So ditch that diner style napkin dispenser and use some lovely linen or cotton ones instead.
2. Cook at Home
Develop the habit of cooking at home, as it saves a lot of money and uses fewer resources compared to when you dine out or order in a takeout. Cooking from scratch is definitely one of many eco-friendly ways to save money and it doesn't hurt the planet. Not only are you using less take away packaging and paying high prices for restaurant food, home-cooked food is better for your health as you can control the ingredients you use.
3. Learn to Cook with Residual Heat
Have you ever imagined how much energy you'd save if you turn off the oven a just a couple of minutes before your meal is ready? Due to the heat, the food will continue to cook, but you will end up saving money in the process. Also when a recipe calls for simmer, simmer it! Not let it boil furiously.
4. Consider Growing Your Own Food
It doesn't have to be as complicated as you might think, but joining the army of people growing their own food is one way how going green will save you money in the long run. You will end up reducing your carbon footprint and produce delicious healthy seasonal food. Start by growing salad greens, tomatoes, and herbs. You’ll be amazed at how much you can save just on these – plus they taste so good.
5. Avoid Disposable Stuff
Simply by ditching disposable plates, bowls, forks, and knives, you can end up saving a lot of money. You're not helping the planet by leaving the pile of garbage after every meal. And of course, you'll have to spend more to buy new stuff when you have to throw it away after every dinner.
6. Don't Waste Food
It's shocking but true that over 40% of people in America throw food away. By reducing this waste, it is possible to save money and lessen the amount of greenhouse gases released by food transport, agriculture, and food decomposing in landfills. Just try to be more sensible and buy only what you need – you may also want to freeze and save leftovers rather than throwing food away.
7. Make Most of Your Microwave
Using microwaves can definitely be one of many green ways to save money. Just try to be a tad friendlier with your microwave, and you will actually feel surprised to see how many new dishes you can actually prepare using it. It is also a case of being savvy and knowing what to cook, because it’s pointless using a microwave for something that you can cook in the same time on the stove – rice for example takes the same time on the stove top as in a microwave. Using a microwave in this instance is a negative energy trade off and to be avoided.
8. Go for Reusable Water Bottles
One of many ways going green saves money is to opt for reusable water bottles. Many people think tap water is not always drinkable, but that's just a misconception. You will end up saving money simply by keeping a BPA-free water bottle with you and refilling it from the faucets, as this will eliminate the need to get a three-dollar bottle every time you feel thirsty. Interestingly, the amount of money you spend on a single bottle is equal to the amount of money you spend on 700 gallons of water out of the tap.
9. Remember to Turn off the Tap
It is obvious, isn't it? Still, you see too many people with this bad habit of leaving the tap running while brushing their teeth, cleaning the dishes, and so on. Always turn it off to save resources. Similarly, you should ensure that no faucet is leaking – it won't take much to fix it, but it will definitely help you save money.
10. Always Cover the Pool when Not in Use
This will help you in many ways. First, the cover will prevent the water from evaporating, and save you from refilling it when you want to use it. At the same time, it will keep your swimming pool cleaner – you won't have to use any chemicals or keep pump and filters running for long. This saves energy and water, which is why it is one of many eco-friendly ways to save money.
11. Don't Spend Long in Showers
Many people don't understand how much energy and water they will save by taking shorter showers. Try spending no more than five minutes in shower, especially if you're going for a nice, hot shower. By saving a minute here, you will end up saving a thousand gallons of water a year. This will translate into a lower water bill.
12. Replace Your Light Bulb
Replacing your existing light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights is certainly one of many easy green ways to save money. Of course, it's true that a CFL is a bit expensive up front, but they will prove cost-effective in the long run, as they last almost ten times longer and substantially reduce your overall energy bill.
13. Set Your Water Heater Properly
Most people don't care much about setting up the temperature while using their water heaters. If it's too hot, they turn on the 'cold' tap. The better option would be to turn down your water heater to somewhere between 120 and 140 degrees F, as this will lead to a 10% decrease in your water heating costs.
14. Pay Attention to Insulation
If your house is not properly insulated, you will lose cool air and heat. In this case, you will have to spend more money on keeping your house warm or cold, which is only a waste of energy and money. Of course, the upfront cost is high, but you should bear in mind that this would largely cut your heating bills. Start from insulating the basement and attic to get good results.
This will help immensely in lowering carbon emissions and making you more punctual, and of course, it saves you from dealing with rush-hour traffic.
16. Use Solar Energy
With so many gadgets available out there, it is a now easier than ever to make the best use of solar energy. In fact, you will receive tax credits if you consider installing some solar panels in your home, and that's the reason why it is definitely one of the better green ways to save money.
17. Don't Forget the Windows
You will be wasting energy and resources by leaving your windows open at the same time as using heating or cooling systems. Always keep your windows and doors closed to keep air from escaping the room – you may also want to fill all cracks or openings to make your heating and cooling systems even more effective.
18. Unplug Your Devices
Many people are unaware of the fact that many appliances, even when switched off, can use up electricity. Some of these devices include DVD players, set top boxes, computers, modems, and the list goes on. Therefore, a simple way to lower your electricity bill is to unplug these devices when not in use.
19. Invest in Energy-Efficient Appliances
Always go for Energy Star Appliances even if you have to cough up some extra money. Not only are these appliances quite environmentally friendly, they are quite durable as well. It also helps you to save cash on electricity bills – an Energy Star clothes washer consumes 50% less energy compared to other conventional washers. Using these appliances is definitely one of the finest eco-friendly ways to save money.
20. Use Your Dishwasher Sensibly
Understand that you'd be wasting energy, waster, and money if you turn on a half-full dishwasher. Make sure it is full, then switch it on. It is also a good idea to use the 'delay' feature to save energy and money.
21. Use the Washing Machine Sensibly
You will save a lot more water and energy if you replace your top-loading washing machine with a front-loader machine. You may also consider putting your money on an Energy Star Front-loader machine with a low 'water factor' to save water.
22. Sell Your Old Stuff
It is always a good idea to sell your old stuff rather than throwing it out for no money at all. Host a yard sale and you will be surprised to see the number of people interested in buying and reusing that stuff.
23. Promote Recycling
There are many bottle return centers and recycling banks so why not use them? By doing this, you're definitely helping the environment, but at the same time, you will be saving money, as many of these 'recycle banks' offer discount coupons that you can use on your next purchase to improve your savings. In fact, an average user may save up to $130/year, which is definitely a good start.
24. Don't Put Junk in Your Car
Always bear in mind that you will waste less fuel if you drive a lighter car. So, why load it up with all sorts of junk? Keep the trunk empty and get rid of that roof rack to save gas.
25. Save Paper, save Trees
You can save paper and ultimately trees if you consider buying secondhand books or opt for e-books instead. They are cheaper to buy and will definitely help reduce your book footprint.
26. A Different Take on Using Cleaning Supplies
Household cleaning supplies contain all sorts of chemicals to kill bacteria, but they are poisonous for environment as well, and leave toxic effects on plants and trees. It is possible to find several DIY green cleaning products that will help you save your environment and money as well. There are plenty of articles on AWS about natural cleaning products that use things you probably always have in your pantry. Like this one diy.allwomenstalk.com
27. Don't Buy when You Can Borrow
Before buying stuff like a leaf blower, ladder, or a wheelbarrow, you should consider how often you're going to use it. If you'd use it occasionally, you may find it less expensive and taxing for the environment to borrow these things from your friends or neighbors. It is also possible to find several websites where they help people borrow whatever they might need.
28. Go Paperless
Whether you own a large enterprise or you have a small home office, you can always save money and the environment by switching to paperless billing. There are other benefits as well – you won't have to worry about losing your bills in the mail, and you may even get to enjoy some discounts, as billers don't have to waste money on stamps and printing.
29. Give DIY Beauty Products a Shot
Beauty products are usually quite expensive, and it is hard to resist the temptation of buying a few for your own use. What you should bear in mind is that these products have a seriously negative impact on your environment. That's mainly because these products contain mercury and other chemicals that can pollute waterways and ultimately affect plants and trees. The better option would be to opt for DIY skin and hair care products, as they are cheap and often just as effective.
Time to fess up girlies! How many of these eco-friendly ways to save money do you follow? Are you going to try some more?