There are not very many people who would not be interested in finding several ways to save some money. The recent economic challenges have made money tight for many consumers and saving a little money is a great way to be able to pay down debt or increase savings or an emergency fund. But another major concern for most consumers is the desire to follow the growing environmental movement. It is also important that we live in an environmentally friendly manner. The issue is that most people don’t realize that they can go green and save money at the same time. You just need to follow a few tips and you can happily be accomplishing both goals.
Tips For Inside Your Home
There are many ways that you can save money and the environment at the same time by just making a few very affordable changes in your home. Saving energy will not only cut your utility bills but is will also help to reduce fossil fuel use and its damage to the environment. One great tool to reduce your heating and cooling costs and energy consumption is to install a programmable thermostat. The Energy Department estimates that you can reduce your energy bill by 10% a year just with this one simple item. A good guide to remember is that you can save 1% on your winter heating cost by decreasing the temperature in your home by just one degree. If you don’t want to live in a cooler house then consider setting the thermostat to reduce the temperature a few degrees when you will be at work or at night when you are asleep and will not notice the change. Switching just five of your most used light bulbs can also offer a savings of $70 per year. The Energy Star LED or CFL bulbs use 75% less energy and will last ten to twenty five times as long as an old style incandescent light bulb. You can reduce your water bill by installing fixtures with the WaterSense label. These fixtures are found to be about 20% more water efficient. A WaterSense toilet can be purchased for a little less than $100 and over its lifetime could save a family of four over $2000 in wasted water. Finally, about 6% of your homes energy use goes to operating your clothes dryer. So for the cost of a clothes line you can save energy and reduce the wear and tear on your clothing.
Tips For Outside Your Home
We all know that planting trees is great for the planet but not everyone is aware of the huge benefit trees can provide on your home heating and cooling bills. Strategically planting trees around your home can reduce your air conditioning cost by as much as 15% to 50% according to the U.S. Department of Energy. In many areas the utility companies have programs to offer homeowners free trees or discount pricing on trees for their yard to provide much needed shade. According to the EPA, Americans spend over five billion dollars on lawn fertilizer but you could get your fertilizer for free if you are willing to compost. Not only would you be saving money, but you would also reduce the amount of chemicals that run off of lawns and into natural water supplies. An additional benefit of composting is that it diverts as much as 30% of your household waste from your garbage can which then ends up in a landfill. You can also reduce the cost of watering your lawn, trees and garden by installing a rain barrel at your downspouts. A hose can easily attach to a rain barrel to water plants or your lawn. Some water departments also offer free or discounted rain barrels so see what is available in your area. If you can’t get one for free then you can easily make one out of a large plastic trash can.
Simple Everyday Changes You Can Make
We all know how important it is to drink plenty of water but it can get very expensive. The average person buys 167 bottles of water each year at a cost of about $240. For less than 25% of what you would spend on bottled water you could buy four very nice reusable water bottles that you can refill and use for many years. Another interesting savings could come from reducing the amount of meat that you eat. The money savings is obvious as meat is very expensive but the added environmental benefit might surprise you. The meat industry creates almost 20% of all man made greenhouse gas emissions according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. To put this in a real scenario, if your family skipped eating steak once each week that would reduce the greenhouse gas emission as much as if you were to stop driving your car for three months. Instead of that steak, make a meal that centers around a dish made with beans and you will be able to reduce the cost of that meal by as much as 80%. It’s a win for everyone. You can get some exercise, save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 3,000 pounds a year and all that you need to do is commit to riding your bike to work two days a week, and that is just on a 15 mile round trip route.
Make Your Choice
All of these tips might not work for you but if you just pick a few you can go green and save money. And in some cases you might also be getting some great exercise or improving some other aspect of your health or level of happiness. But what really matters is that you have found a few great ways to help you to save some money and still be environmentally friendly. You can also search online for more great tips for going green and saving green.