In today’s economy money is tight and everyone is looking for ways to save money while at the same time trying to be environmentally friendly. There are many ways to save money and almost all of them can be done in a way that is also much better for the environment. In times gone past we took for granted that we would always have all that we needed and that our planet was doing just fine. What we are finding out now is that those who were trying to tell us that we needed to conserve and protect were telling us the truth. So here are a few ideas that will not only save you money but will help save our world a little bit at a time.
ï¿½ Perhaps one of the biggest wasters of electricity is the standard light bulb; replace these with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). These use 75% less energy than the standard filament ones.
ï¿½ Replace your old thermostat with one of the new programmable ones. These allow you to set your heat and air conditioning to allow for optimum temperatures for when you are home and for cooler/ warmer settings when you are either away or asleep.
ï¿½ Use weather stripping and insulating pads on your windows, doors, outlets and switches. These reduce air leakage helping to keep your air conditioner and heater from running as often.
ï¿½ Put a blanket around your hot water tank or better yet get one of the new on demand water heaters these work great and only heat the water you need.
ï¿½ One energy waste area that most people are not aware of is the phantom energy waste. This is the waste caused by appliances that while they may be turned off are still using energy. Most houses have a multitude of chargers, cell phones, portable games, laptops etc all of these still use power even when they are not attached to anything. TV’s microwaves, computers, VCRs DVD players the list goes on and on. Put everything on a power strip or a smart power strip and turn them off when not being actively used. This can reduce your power consumption by as much as 40%.
ï¿½ Cut down on your trips into town, most of us are used to just hopping in the car and running into town several times a week to get a few things. Combine as many of your trips by carefully planning your week. Keep your car tuned up, the tires inflated at the proper pressure and your oil changed every 3000 miles to optimize your fuel efficiency.
ï¿½ Use your local library to find the books you want to read instead of buying them. This cuts down on your spending as well as saves on the energy needed to produce books as well as the waste when they are discarded. Don’t discard old books and magazines there are plenty of places to donate them such as senior centers and hospitals.
ï¿½ Shopping at your local farmer’s market, co-ops and bulk stores. Buying local saves energy and money by cutting out the cost of transportation and helps your local farmers out at the same time. By buying in bulk whenever possible you save yourself a lot of money over the year.
ï¿½ Make your own cleaning supplies, these are easily made and are very environmentally friendly and non-toxic. There are many places to find out how to make these online.
ï¿½ Above all the best way to cut down your waste and reduce the imprint you leave on the planet is to reduce, reuse and recycle. You can find recycling centers almost everywhere, if your community does not have one call your city office or council and ask them to get one started. This is a great way to get your whole community involved in keeping our planet healthy and green.
There are so many ways to help cut your cost of living and become more “green” at the same time along with a great many sources for products that help. Some of my favorites are www.earthaidkit.com and www.worldwatch.org. There are many web sites with forums full of good advice on living and eating frugally be sure to check them out what you learn will amaze you and put more “green” in your wallet at the same time.
Sources worldwatch.org, Mother Earth News, earthaidkit.com