Everybody wants us to be green. What I found is that as I started to become green (environmentally responsible), I also got to keep more green (as in saving money)! All of the tips below are lifestyle changes I have personally made. They are both good for the environment and your pocketbook!
Around the House
- Hang clothes to dry. It’s cheaper and more energy-efficient than using a dryer and adds humidity to your dry house! It’s also better for your clothes.
- Only run washing machine and dishwasher when full; let dishes air dry instead of using the heat cycle.
- Use a programmable thermostat. Not only does it warm up your house before getting up on a cold morning, but it adjusts the temperature throughout the day (as programed) saving heat and air conditioning when you’re asleep or away.
- Put on a sweatshirt and use a blanket while sitting around instead of raising the thermostat of your heater.
- Change your heating/air conditioning filter as recommended. It will keep your house warmer and reduce dust. Open the windows instead of using air conditioning except in extreme weather!
- Insulate your house as much as you can afford. Install weather stripping around doors. Install energy efficient windows.
- Use ceiling fans to distribute hot and cool air, making your furnace and air conditioner more efficient.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs in ceilings and lamps with compact florescent (CFLs) or LED bulbs. Replace old Christmas lights with LEDs. Turn off lights in empty rooms.
- Shop at used stores like Habitat For Humanity’s ReStore for home improvement items and junkyards for car parts.
- Replace your conventional water heater with a tankless “on demand” model.
Recycle and Dispose of Harmful Substances
- Recycle and Dispose Responsibly. If your trash company doesn’t take recyclables, drop them off at a collection site. I recycle cardboard, glass, paper and plastics. I sell my aluminum cans and turn in used electronic equipment on free collection days. I also recycle plastic bags at grocery or big box stores.
- Invest in reusable shopping bags and remember to take them into the store. You will love not having to deal with hundreds of disposable bags!
- Combine errands instead of making multiple trips. This will cut your gasoline expenses.
- Dispose of used batteries at places like Batteries Plus Bulbs or Best Buy.
- Monitor auto tire pressure, especially between summer and winter. Properly inflated tires save fuel and tire wear.
- Use a manual or electric lawn mower.
- Compost leaves, grass clippings and kitchen waste (except meat and conventional banana peels). Put banana peels on roses. Use compost on your shrubs and vegetable garden. You can increase its value by later adding earthworms (their castings provide beneficial microbes and nutrients essential to optimum plant growth).
As Aristotle said, “Worms are the intestines of the earth.”
Watch What You Eat
- Visit a farmers market. They are plentiful almost everywhere, especially in summer. Find one near you; it’s a perfect opportunity to buy local and eat healthy!
- Plant a garden.