Sustainability, carbon footprint, going green, and caring for the environment are the rage in ‘catchwords’ these days. A few years ago, not a lot of people were really into reducing waste and saving money.
It’s hard to know what you can do to make a real difference as an individual. But if everybody did their bit, then the impact of one, multiplied by millions, adds up to a significant change and a huge global benefit.Some Statistics
Let’s look at ways that you can contribute to a greener world, even if it’s your own little personal one, and spend less while doing it.
Some of the most representative examples of contributing to environmental improvement are actions taken by Brazilians who do their best to fight against deforestation in order to protect tropical forests and confront climate change for the purpose of avoiding global warming.
Their initiative has gained recognition worldwide and becomes an example for a lot of people who try to take care of the environment.
On the other hand, in the USA alone, an average American produces a total of 1,704 pounds of trash each year. In total, we throw away 17.77 pounds of non-durable plastics per person annually.
The landfills where we dump all this rubbish are overflowing and filling quickly, and our wildlife species are losing their habitats and facing extinction. Going green is, therefore, everyone’s responsibility.
Green Living Myths
One of the things that prevent some people to go green and save money is the common green living myths and misconceptions. It helps to review some of the three main misconceptions about green living:
Going Green Breaks the Bank
Green living is not expensive and painful. On the contrary, it is minimizing your purchase or discarding fewer things. This concept is the first “R” in the 3Rs of going green, which is Reduce. Being green can save you money by reducing your expenses, consequently helping you to waste less money, resulting in less trash on the planet.
“Eco-Friendly” Labeled Products are Eco-Friendly
Unfortunately, no all products that have the “green” label are, in fact, good for the environment. This is just one of the scams that shady marketers will do to take advantage of the trend, making their products attractive to consumers. You can avoid getting scammed by reading the ingredients and understanding the label of the products you are buying.
The “Green” Way is Absolute
You are mistaken if you think that there is only one absolute and right way to go “green” and do things the green way. The truth is that there is no single right answer when looking for the best ways to go green. Green living is not a single-approach, all-or-nothing kind of lifestyle. A lot of ways may work together to achieve a sustainable and greener way of living.
The Ways to Go Green and Save Money
The good thing about being environmentally aware and changing some of your habits will also put extra money back into your wallet. Water and energy are the obvious culprits when people think about saving money and going green at home. But recycling by reusing items and extending your green activities to your garden will have positive benefits.
Reducing waste and saving money, in other words, is more than just turning off lights when they are not required and changing thermostat temperatures for heat and cooling.
Check the following impactful steps you can take toward sustainable living:
Going Green in Your Home
1. Recycle Items
This is a bit of a no-brainer, but would you believe only 30% of our trash is being recycled? And this is even when cities and waste companies charge zip for picking up recycled materials. They even supply the different bins to cater to the various types of recycling.
2. Save Water
This is a big area to save money by going green. We use water in almost everything we do.
- Brushing teeth – don’t have the tap running the whole time.
- Watering the garden – use a timing system or hand water. Even better, buy plants that require very little water. And don’t forget to compost.
- Shower/Bath – luxuriating in a bath filled with hot water sounds great but make it a treat, not a 4-times a week habit. Quick showers are going to save you money, and having an attachment that maintains pressure but reduces water use is another great method.
- Mopping – use a spray bottle filled with vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda rather than a bucket filled with water.
3. Save Energy
This is another area in which great savings can be made. The cost of power is rising all the time, and technology is now giving us wind, solar, and storage batteries. Not everybody can afford to install solar panels on the roof with a storage battery and then selling excess power back to the grid. But turning off lights when the room is not being used and turning off appliances at the power point are all great ways to save energy. Solar-powered garden lights have been around for ages.
Water heating and air conditioning are the two main consumers of energy. Open windows, use of curtains, proper sealing of draft areas around doors and windows, these are all simple ways to reduce power.
Having your hot water a few degrees less and your air-con and heating with small changes in degrees won’t affect your comfort levels too much.
4. Be More Energy Efficient
Energy efficiency is on top of the list of ways to save money by going green. Cut your energy consumption by changing your traditional incandescent bulbs and switching to LED bulbs. Turn your gadgets off when not in use or unplug your appliances to eliminate power consumption.
5. Install Sink Water Aerators
How can going green save you money? Saving water is green living, and installing sink water aerators helps you conserve water and money in the long haul. These features are cheap, easy to set up, and significantly reduce the water flow out of your sink.
6. Switch to Low-Flow Showerheads
Another way of conserving water and saving money is to use a low-flow showerhead, which controls the amount of water that comes out of the showerhead. Not to worry because it will not affect the water pressure to disrupt your shower, just let you reduce your water consumption.
7. Use a Brick in the Toilet Tank
Improvise a way to turn your toilet into a low-flow one by placing a brick on your toilet tank. Wrap the brick with a waterproof plastic bag, or you can use an alternative such as a recycle bottle and fill it with sand. It minimizes the water that is wasted every time you flush.
8. Replacing Your Door and Window Weatherstripping
Weatherstripping your doors and windows prevent the entry of cold air inside the house or stopping the heat from escaping. Replace old weatherstripping with new ones to regulate the temperature inside your home for efficient energy consumption.
9. Set Up a Programmable Thermostat
Energy consumption is essential if you want to go green and save money. Programmable thermostats help you set up your AC or heat to automatically turn down when you sleep or leave home and up before you arrive.
10. Clean the Fridge Coil Regularly
Keeping the fridge coil clean is one of the going green tips that can help you save money because it keeps your appliance running and consume energy efficiently. Make sure you clean the back and underside of the fridge as well.
11. Wash a Full Load of Laundry
Aside from saving you money from your water consumption and utility bills, washing a full laundry load also saves you energy compared to washing small loads now and then.
12. Replace Paper Towels with Washable Rags
Part of green living that helps you save money is to reduce purchasing stuff such as paper towels. You can do this by replacing paper towels with washable rags for cleaning purposes. Using cloth towels saves you dollars as well as the trees that are used for paper production.
13. Use Cold Water to Wash Clothes
Heating water is one of the things that can skyrocket your energy consumption. Avoid this by using cold water in washing your clothes. You can still get them as clean without the energy consumption that comes with heating water.
14. Air-Dry Your Clothes
How to go green at home and save money? Line drying your clothes and skipping the electric dryer helps you with cost-effective energy use while preventing water and air pollution.
15. Do Water Pipe Insulation
Your heating system gives you high energy and utility bills, but insulating your water pipes and water heater will do the trick, making it work less and consume less energy.
16. Switch Back to All-Natural Cleaning Products
Going back to the good old-fashioned ways is an effective step to go green and save money and the planet. Use all-natural products, which are also cheaper options. Cleaning products can be found in your kitchen, such as baking soda or a homemade dishwashing liquid that has orange or lemon oil, castile soap, and vinegar for its main ingredients.
Going Green When Shopping
17. Don’t Buy Disposables or Useless Things
Change your water and liquid containers to stainless steel or reusable mugs and water bottles. Paper plates for picnics and parties? No. Use dishwasher, safe plastic plates, and cups. Try to exclude useless things or things you can live without. Cut up old towels or dishcloths to use as napkins.
18. Use Digital Version of Magazine and Newspaper
There are still millions of paper copies of these available. Think of the forests and the wood that was used to manufacture the paper. Find out whether your favorite magazine or newspaper has a digital version. Read them online. You can even do that in bed with an iPad, or on your smartphone.
19. Buy Clothes in Second-Hand Stores
Do you need fashion-designer clothing for bumming around in the house? Buying your clothing for the non-special event wearing from thrift shops has two benefits – they will cost less, thus you’ll save money on clothes and you will probably help a charity.
20. No More Dinners Out
One of the ways to save money by going green is to cut down on your dinners out simply. Dining out is oftentimes expensive, increases your carbon footprint by producing additional garbage, not to mention unhealthy. Start the practice of eating at home to eliminate unnecessary food wastes and supporting sustainable ingredients.
21. Don’t Buy Bottled Water
Bottled water uses plastic products that do the most terrible harm to the environment. If you want to go green and save money, skip bottled water and consider using faucet water filters or reusable water bottles.
22. Spend on the Basics Only
Try restricting your expenses by spending only on your necessities such as basic food, medicines, rent, utilities, and gas or bus fares. Being green can save you money, so being mindful of how you spend your money makes a difference.
23. Join or Initiate a Buying Club
Having significant changes in your lifestyle just might help you save money, especially if you follow some going green tips. Buying clubs usually buy in bulk to enjoy wholesale rates or discounts; thus, less money and resources wasted in the long run.
24. Choose Recycled Paper Products
When purchasing household items and other products, make sure you buy those made of recycled paper. This may include computer papers, toilet paper, and other paper products, which use fewer or no chemicals for the bleaching process.
25. Use Online Banking
Doing your banking transactions online saves you gas, time, stamps, and reduces your carbon footprint by skipping the amount of mail, which is addressed to your house. Moreover, banks offer incentives to those who do online or mobile banking.
Go Green When at Work/School
26. Bring Your Water to Work
Instead of buying bottled water every day, why not bring a ceramic mug or stainless-steel water bottle? It is cheaper, and you will not be contributing to the ever-growing volume of plastic wastes every day.
27. Go to the Library
Skip buying new books and stop your magazine or newspaper subscription, which are major expenses and energy wastage due to paper production. Get a library card, go to the library, and get free access to the materials you want to use.
28. Walk, Bike, or Carpool to Work/School
Save on fuel or gas when you share car rides with colleagues or neighbors instead of driving your car. Walking or biking can be cheaper and healthier alternatives if you live just within the vicinity.
Actually, by applying this tip you can obtain a double benefit: some savings in your account and a healthy body, that doesn’t require expensive medical intervention. However, not all diseases can ve prevented, and if something has happened, you can always rely on an emergency loan.
29. Prepare Your Own Lunch/Snacks
Saving money is one way of reducing your carbon footprint, specifically by using less money. A cost-effective green lifestyle is to prepare and cook your meals and bring them to work or school. This way, you can skip going to the cafeteria or dining out.
30. Go Paperless
The school or workplace are top places that consume large volumes of paper products. Do away with this habit that requires cutting of trees and using chemicals for paper production by going paperless. Going digital can also help you save time and money.
For the same reasons it’s also a good idea to apply for a paperless payday loan online. Don’t be concerned only about your problems today, but be also alarmed by the future problems of the whole planet.
Going Green When Outside
31. Plant Your Veggie Garden
Starting your veggie garden is one of the ways on how to save money and go green. It is even a great solution to the unending battle between natural and organic produce. Follow the green ways of growing a vegetable garden that is free of pesticides and other harmful chemicals to the environment.
32. Make Your Own Compost
A green living will never be complete without the concept and practice of composting. This habit helps you save tons of waste that harm the planet.
33. Plant Native Trees
Whether it is in your backyard or other appropriate areas, planting native trees deserves a double thumbs-up in ways to go green and save money.
34. Consider a Green Landscape Project
Green landscaping gives you the outdoors you always dreamed of. It also helps you enjoy your outdoor space while helping conserve the environment.
35. Collect Rainwater with Rain Barrels
Save water that you can use for your outdoor plants by using rain barrels and putting them up under the downspouts to collect rainwater.
36. Install Outdoor Solar-Powered Lights
Solar power is an essential part of green living. One of the best going green tips teaches you to install and use solar lighting fixtures for your outdoors, such as motion-detecting solar bulbs.
37. Go for Low Maintenance Lawns
Keeping a low maintenance lawn is a money-saving way of going green. Use a manual lawn mower for your small yard instead of a gas-powered one to save on fuel and prevent pollution.
38. Develop an Exercise Routine
Outdoor exercises are essential components of green and healthy living. You can be creative in your workout and dietary regimen, choosing ones that reduce your carbon footprint.
39. Don’t Idle Your Car
Idling your vehicle, unless you are in traffic, has a major impact on the environment. It pollutes the air, which may cause respiratory diseases or exacerbate hazy and hot summers.
There is another way to minimize the negative impact on the environment of a vehicle. Opt for a hybrid car, which is at a distance of one click from you – buy it using an installment loan. A hybrid car is using less fuel, combining a fuel engine with an electric motor. Thus, emissions of harmful gases are considerably lower.
40. Build a Treehouse
A treehouse is a great alternative to enjoying your outdoors while skipping higher electric bills, especially during the summer. You can build a sustainable and sufficient treehouse where you can have a relaxing stay.
How can going green save you money? An eco-friendly lifestyle follows the concept of reuse, reclaim, recycle, which can help you become a conscientious and wise spender. Most importantly, green living prioritizes the welfare of the planet as a whole while saving money.
We don’t have endless energy in the way of fossil fuels. It’s up to every individual to make sure we don’t leave a dead planet for future generations.References and Sources
1. 40 Reasons to Think Differently about your Trash. Retrieved from https://www.rubiconglobal.com/blog-trash-reason-statistics-facts/
2. 50 Statistics that will Make you Think Twice about your Trash. Retrieved from https://www.rubiconglobal.com/blog-statistics-trash-recycling/
3. Average Price of Electricity to Ultimate Customers. Retrieved from https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.php?t=epmt_5_3