Today we’re going to discuss one of my favorite subjects… Actually TWO! We’re first going to discuss how to save some money, but we’re going to save it by doing things that are good for the environment; also known as going green. Now, there may be some things that are a little outside of your comfort zone, and there may even be things that are flat out “NOs” for you eventually, but today we are simply going to talk about easy things that just make sense to do and you will see your savings almost immediately. Now sit back and relax as we save money going green!
- Clean your refrigerator coils – I don’t know about you, but this is something that I never really thought of, but it makes sense. If those coils are clean, the refrigerator doesn’t have to work so hard and it saves you money on your electric bill.
- Shut things off that aren’t in use – How many times have you walked out of a room and left the lights or tv on? I know I have been guilty of this in the past, and we still do this every now and then at the boyfriend’s house, but we’re getting better and better about it.
- Unplug appliances and chargers that aren’t in use – Did you know that your cell phone charger still uses electricity when you leave it plugged into the wall? So does your laptop charger, and many other things. Pretty much, if it has a light or a clock on it, it is sucking down your electricity and cash all day long.
- In the winter, keep your thermostat set at 68 degrees or lower – I take this a step further… We keep the thermostat set at 60 degrees when we’re not home, and between 62 and 65 degrees overnight.
- In the summer, keep your AC set at 78 degrees or higher – I’ll tell you the truth, I don’t like being too hot or too cold, and I generally keep it around 80 degrees in the summer time.
- Air dry your clothes – If you don’t have a clothes line outside (which is ideal) you can still get resourceful and air dry them inside.
- Stop irrigating your lawn – I know it’s tempting to want that perfectly green lawn, and if you can’t bring yourself to stop watering it completely, at least challenge yourself to stop doing it so often… Maybe half the time.
- Don’t hose off the driveway – Really, just don’t. I used to be one of those people who did this, but quickly realized that it was a waste of water and money. Just grab a broom and sweep your driveway off. It’s easy, cheaper, and a heck of a workout.
- Reuse your mug – If you make a regular trip to the coffee shop, consider buying a mug. Starbucks, as well as other coffee shops, offers discounts to customers that bring their own coffee mugs. And honestly, if you’re using Styrofoam cups at work or home, think of how much money would be saved for them (or yourself, if it’s at home) if you started using a mug of your own. That savings could go towards something awesome, like some really yummy coffee!
- Bike or walk – Yes, if you live way out in the country, this may not be feasible, but if you live in town or in a city, it could be ideal. Do you know how much gas it takes to crank up your car to go less than a mile? And by the time you’ve waited in traffic, you could have made it there walking. My personal challenge is to walk anywhere that’s within a mile and a half… I’m saving money, doing something better for my health, and it’s better for the environment. In the next few months, I plan to purchase a bike, and that distance will be 3 to 5 miles instead.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips, and I really hope you put them to use. I will be sharing more tips that are both eco and budget friendly in weeks to come, so stay tuned!
If you’d like to read more before then, check out Green Made Easy: The Everyday Guide for Transitioning to a Green Lifestyle. There are many other resources that you might find interesting, but that is one of my favorites.