It’s no secret that green living has become a priority for many people in the last few years. What is a secret is how much money it can save you and how easy it really is. I have compiled a list of my top five favorite ways to save money while also living a “greener” lifestyle.
1. Keep Appliances Unplugged.
One way to save on your electricity bill is to keep unused appliances unplugged until they are needed. If you have several items plugged into a power switch board, make sure the power button is switched to “off” when not in use. Toasters, blenders, microwaves, televisions, printers, cell phone charges, etc are not used all the time, yet they lie around and suck energy and money. (Not unlike that couch potato ex-boyfriend you had in college). Here’s the rule to remember: If it’s not on, it’s unplugged.
2. Turn Off Lights.
During the day keep lights off, open blinds and curtains to let the sun in. When you leave, even for a short trip out, make sure to do a “light sweep” before you exit the door. At night, try to keep as few lights on as possible, while also running energy efficient light bulbs. Here’s a good rule to help you remember: Take the number of people living in your home and make that the maximum number of lights you have on at any given time. Example: In my home we have four people so we never have more than four lights on at a time.
3. Singing In the Rain.
I cringe every time I watch my neighbors fill up their watering can from the garden hose. In the summer especially, water bills can sky rocket from careless use. Why not use something natural and free? While rain barrels are a bit pricey up front, the average being about $60-$150, it is worth it in the long run. Not only is it the best possible water for your garden, but after the initial purchase of the barrel the cost to use it and refill it is free. Currently, I am using the Suncast 50 Gallon Rain Barrel, which I recommend since it is on the less expensive side and it has both an overflow hose and a watering hose. Once you’ve purchased your barrel place it under a rain spout you’ll be singing in the rain while your neighbor continues to fork over hard earned cash to city utilities.
I’ve recently started composting and found it amazing what you can all compost; fruit/veggie scraps, paper, coffee grounds, coffee filters, yard waste, grass clippings, etc. How can composting save you money? Well, compost is the best garden fertilizer you can find, so instead of spending money on fertilizer why not take from your own composted kitchen and yard waste. The waste itself is free so it costs you nothing to start, unless of course you want to buy a fancy compost bin. Also, there are many people out there looking to purchase good compost, so advertising your excellent compost in the classifieds could earn you money. If you haven’t started composting yet check out the excellent websites devoted to helpful composting tips and techniques, you’ll be surprised at how easy it really is.
5. Push Reel Lawn Mowers
A push reel lawn mower is the most environmentally friendly lawn mower out there. Depending upon the size of your lawn you may want to think about switching to the old school push mower for these reasons: 1. Gas mowers emit harmful CO2 gasses into the air and are costly when you have to refill the tank on a regular basis. 2. Electric mowers are a bit better since they don’t emit harmful toxins; however they do drink the energy as they recharge for about 8-24 hours (depending on the model) which can become quite costly. 3. Push Reel mowers are the least expensive up front, they give the user a good workout (save money by canceling that gym membership), they are said to give the closest cut, and it costs nothing to maintain the mower. They are said to be the most environmentally friendly and it’s clear that switching can help you save a money!
These are just five simple ways that can transform your lifestyle and save you money. There are many more cost efficient environmentally friendly tips out there. Start thinking of your own and spread the word around. We’re all in this world together. Let’s make the best of it!