Recycling cans can give you cash, refurbishing old furniture will save you money, and shopping for economy sized products will save you both time and money. The push for green living has been focused on saving the Earth’s natural resources and staving off global warming; however, you don’t have to go green for those reasons. Recession living requires the same core habits as being Earth-friendly, so even if you have doubts about the science and ideology behind green living, you will garner some great advantages by taking a few tips from some green people.
Gardening: Compost vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, and egg shells to save you money on fertilizer for a very healthy garden. You’ll save significantly on your produce bill. You don’t have to have a large garden. In fact, you might just start off with a few pepper plants, herb plants, or other plants to be kept on your porch. You might even be able to grow some household food inside your house.
Recycling: If your family consumes a lot of canned beverages, you might be surprised at how much you can save on these beverages by turning in the aluminum cans to a junk yard or scrap place. Some states have recycling centers where you can turn in plastic bottles and cans and get some money back for them.
Refurbishing: It’s simple to fix some old chairs and tables, yet when a leg breaks, or when a couch cushion rips, many of us consider buying a new one. If something is broken, we are likely to put it on the curb for the trash rather than donating it. Of course, if you were to be green for the sake of being green, you might fix them and donate them, but we’re interested in saving money. You can easily sew a rip, replace a leg, and paint furniture instead of sending it to the landfill. These projects can be fun and rewarding; furthermore, these projects can save you a good chunk of money.
You can refurbish old clothing, too. Whether you’ve bought clothes at a thrift store, or have decided to clean out your closet, you’ll have some clothes that look a bit too tattered to donate or sell. You can use dye, fabric dye pens, thread and needles, patches, and even glue to put clothing and shoes back together. For shoes, some cleaning, new shoe laces, new inserts, and a few touch-ups can get those shoes back to being worthy of casual wear. Saving clothing in this manner is very green, but you can save a great deal of money by doing it, even if you only do it for a few items.
Eating organic or non-processed foods: People often complain that it’s less expensive to eat processed food then it is to buy healthy produces; however, that can simply be a perception that leads to increased American obesity. Calorie for calorie, processed food tends to pack a lot of value for the dollar; however, nutritionally speaking, we don’t need to consume that much food to be healthy. Produce can be much more cost-effective than buying that processed, nutritionally sparse food that is wrapped in all that packaging which is not so very green.
Buying in bulk: Bulk products are greener than individually wrapped products because they save you trips to the store and because they have less packaging which fills the landfills and depletes natural resources. They are generally more cost-effective because they cost less per ounce than smaller, individually wrapped products.
Using CFL’s: CFL’s are those compact fluorescent light bulbs that are shaped like pig tails. As of 2010, they cost about three times more than a regular incandescent light bulb, but they are green because they use much less energy then incandescent light bulbs. They save money for a number of reasons. Firstly, they last nearly six times longer then incandescent light bulbs, meaning you can have one for sometimes years before having to buy a replacement light bulb. Secondly, they use much less energy then an incandescent, meaning that if you can slowly replace all the light bulbs in your house with them, you can save the equivalent of one average electric bill per year in costs. Lastly, the technology behind them is very different than incandescent light bulbs in that the old fashioned light bulbs use heat as a source for light. That heat can heat your home during warm months, causing you to adjust your air conditioner thermostat down a degree, and each degree can cost you nearly six percent more on your bill.
Solar: You don’t have to go all the way with solar panels, but you can do some do-it-yourself solar projects that can save you a bit of money on some of your monthly costs. If you decide to use either active or passive solar to operate your water heater, you might save as much as 11 to 13 percent on your monthly electric bill.