Budgeting & Savings

12 Ways To Save Money While Saving The Environment

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Green living is all around us today, from sustainable buildings to Eco-friendly cars and so on. Everyone is worried about the environment and looking for new ways to protect it and to save money at the same time. Sometimes “going green” can mean spending more money on products and services than we’d like to. But you can save money while trying to go green!

There are ways to save money while helping out the environment. You just have to be a little savvy and shop around. You can still do your part to save the Earth while saving money for yourself. We’ll show you some ways to be environmentally friendly on a budget. Going green does not always mean investing in stainless steel drinking straws instead of the cheaper plastic straws. Saving the environment and saving money often goes hand in hand.

Here are some ways you can go green while also saving money:

1) Unplug and Turnoff –
Your appliances still use power when you are not using them if you keep them plugged in all the time. So unplug your appliances until you really need them and you will save energy while also saving on your monthly energy bill. How often do you leave a room and the lights are still on? If you don’t really need it, switch it off. Many people will keep all the lights on even if they’re not in that room. Teach your children these habits and you’ll notice savings on your next electricity bill. Less energy consumption is always better for the environment!

2) Reusable Grocery Bags –
A lot of grocery stores will give you a discount on your purchases when you bring your own reusable bags instead of using the plastic bags. Save money on your food and go green by cutting down on your plastic waste. It’s easy to keep a reusable bag in your purse or in the trunk of your car.

3) Get Reusable Water Bottle –
Bottled water is awful for the environment and it is a waste of money. People spend hundreds of dollars on bottled water every year. Instead get a reusable water bottle and fill your bottle whenever you need to at a water fountain or a refrigerator with a water dispenser. Don’t like the taste of your city’s water? Get a water bottle with a built-in filter. Within a month the bottle will have paid for itself. Bottled water costs between $1 and $3. You can also try a filter for your water faucet and a reusable water bottle. There are also water purifier pitchers to keep in your refrigerator like the Brita water pitcher.

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4) Turn Up the Temperature In Your Refrigerator –
Having your refrigerator run too cold uses a lot of electricity and it makes your food spoil sooner. Excessive electrical use and food waste are serious environmental issues. They also cost you a lot of money. Cut down on both by adjusting the temperature. The ideal refrigerator temperature is 35° or 36° F (1.6° C).

5) Buy Used –
Hunting around at thrift stores and yard sales can be a lot of fun, and you can get some great bargains on things that are practically new or barely used. By buying used, you also cut down on things that end up in landfills and you are not supporting energy and water-intensive industries, like the clothing industries.

6) Bike or Walk When You Can –
Not only do you save money on gas and wear and tear on your vehicle, but you also can cancel your gym membership if you do it enough. If you can, get rid of your car completely and use public transportation or bike to work. It does less damage to the environment and you save on car payments, gas, and car insurance.

7) Put Weather Strips Around Doors and Windows –
Heat leaks out and in cracks around doors and windows. Weather strips prevent that so you can save money on heating and air conditioning while also cutting down on your power consumption. Use weather stripping or caulk around each of your windows and doors to help save heating and energy costs. Caulk runs about $5 per tube and can be used to help seal drafty windows. It’s a little messier than weather stripping but usually more cost-efficient.

8) Buy Not So Fresh Food –
Sometimes farmer’s markets and stores will have produce that isn’t quite perfect nor super fresh at discounted prices. The food is still good to use, especially if you are not eating it fresh and are using it in a recipe with other ingredients. Buy it up and save money on groceries and cut down on food waste.

9) Take Shorter Showers –
Too much water use causes drought in a lot of areas. With fresh water becoming more and more scarce, it is important to save it by taking short showers, no longer than ten minutes and ideally only five minutes. It is enough time to get clean without using too much water. Not only will you save water, but also save on your electricity and power bill. You’ll have to spend some money up front to purchase a low-flow shower head but you’ll see those savings coming back to you when you get your first water and energy bill. They reduce the amount of water you use to get clean and also reduce energy consumption. Low-flow shower heads usually run from about $12.99 upwards.

10) Learn How to Upcycle Clothing –
How often have you found old clothes in your closet that are too dated or worn to wear anymore? Instead of throwing them out and contributing to landfill waste, upcycle them into different things. A pair of jeans could become a skirt and a baggy blouse could become a flirty tank top. Look online for ideas and sewing tutorials. You will keep your closet fresh without spending money and you reduce your contribution to landfills.

11) Replace Light Bulbs –
Use energy efficient light bulbs instead of the regular ones. They are reasonably priced with the average cost of around $1.50 per bulb. Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) draw less electricity and can last about seven years. You’ll see the savings in your utility bills.

12) Grow your own herbs – 
Grow an herb garden indoors all year round for fresh herbs. There are many do-it-yourself kits out there. You can stop buying dried herbs at the store and save money over time. Also, think about growing fresh vegetables and fruits whenever possible. Produce can be very expensive when purchased at the grocery store.

Conclusion –

Going green or helping to save the environment doesn’t have to be expensive or cost a lot of money upfront. Some people think it’s worth the small investment, no matter the cost. Even if you haven’t jumped on board the “go green” bandwagon yet, by consuming fewer resources, you’ll end up keeping more cash in your wallet. For more money-saving tips, be sure to visit our blog at www.advantageccs.org/blog

We’d like to hear how you’re doing your part to help save the environment! Do you have any environmentally-friendly money saving tips to share with us? Please leave a comment below!

Author: Lauralynn Mangis
Lauralynn is the Online Marketing Specialist for Advantage CCS. She is married and has two young daughters. She enjoys writing, reading, hiking, cooking, video games, sewing, and gardening. Lauralynn has a degree in Multimedia Technologies from Pittsburgh Technical College.