Today, nearly everyone is at least marginally environmentally conscious. Some more than others. If you’re reading this, you are probably ready to green up your life. The good news for you is that going eco-friendly also means saving money. Did you know that a laptop uses only a quarter of the power of a desktop? That could potentially mean a fair amount of savings every month on your power bill. That’s just the beginning.
Tip #1 For Green Living: Recycle
This doesn’t save you money up front, usually, but it does mean you aren’t putting as much into the landfill. This means your taxes will stay lower because the landfill won’t need to be relocated as often. That’s savings. Recycling is also easy to do and requires only that you presort your garbage a little before throwing it out.
Tip #2 For Green Living: Garden
One of the biggest ways the average family can lower their environmental impact is to grown an organic garden to supplement their groceries. Not only does this lessen the amount of fuel and other energy used for food production and distribution (not to mention the use of chemical pesticides), but it also cuts your grocery bill – often substantially.
A family of four with a small (200 square foot) vegetable garden can potentially see $300 a year (or more) in savings just from that small patch.
Tip #3 For Green Living: Compost
Even people who do not garden can benefit from composting. Like recycling, composting lessens the amount of garbage that ends up in the landfill. Organic garbage, like kitchen scraps and trimmings, often does not break down in the landfill because it is covered with other things and unable to get enough oxygen to fuel the bacteria needed to do the job.
The average family in the U.S. could cut their garbage output by 33% (one third) by composting just kitchen scraps alone. For those who don’t garden, this compost can be thrown on the lawn, around trees, or in flower beds to improve the soil and make for better-looking plants around the house.
Tip #4 For Green Living: Eat Locally
Two big advantages come with sourcing food locally: lower cost to you and lower cost to the environment. Locally-sourced food is often much cheaper because it does not incur the transportation costs of produce in the grocery store that can come from as far away as Australia. It’s also healthier, since it is usually picked when ripe rather than while still green so it can transport for several days before being eaten.
With food sourced locally, you have the added advantage of knowing where it comes from and building bonds of trust with the grower. This means you’ll rest easier knowing your food was grown sustainably and organically.
Tip #5 For Green Living: Live Efficiently
Being more efficient in every way possible means less money spent on things like your utility bills, gasoline for the car, and more. Plan your trips to maximize efficiency and lower your drive time. Set thermostats to heat and cool your home only when people are present and buy new items only when absolutely necessary.
Tip #6 For Green Living: Alternative Ways for Heating
Finally, the way you heat the water and your home in general can be expensive. Water itself is a commodity that should be conserved whenever possible. Try zeroscaping or lessening the impact of your lawn and garden on the environment. At the same time, utilize other means of heating things – notably the sun – to lessen your impact on energy resources. Doing so saves you money as well.
All of these things can save money and make for better, more eco-friendly living. They’re just a start, but a good one.
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