These days, going green is everywhere and for good reason. Since saving our environment has risen to the forefront of life as we know it, the steps we’re taking to ensure we still have a planet to call home are beneficial in so many ways including one crucial area: our financial well-being.
For some, living a more eco-friendly life might sound costly, but you don’t need to buy a Tesla or retrofit your home with expensive solar panels. You can still do your part to protect the environment while making smaller, every day changes that allow you to keep more of your hard-earned money.
Here are seven things you can do to right now to leave your eco-friendly footprint on the environment and save money:
Stop Phantom Energy Usage
How often do you leave a room and leave the lights on? Switch them off if they aren’t needed. And when your appliances aren’t in use, they still consume power when you keep them plugged in all the time. So unplug them until their next use. You’ll start to notice you owe a little less on your electricity bill, which can be especially helpful during the costlier summer months. Plus, less energy consumption is better for the environment because it reduces power plant emissions, otherwise known as “greenhouse gases,” which are released during the generation of electricity.
Drive Less, Use Alternative Transportation
Even if you own a car, you can save money using public transportation. Take the bus on longer errands that eat up more gas. For closer trips, just walk or ride a bike. If you can, get rid of your car completely and stick with public transportation or your bike. There’s much less damage done to the environment, and you save on car payments, gas and car insurance. And if you do end up selling your car, consider putting that infusion of cash away for a rainy day.
Get a Reusable Water Bottle
People spend hundreds of dollars on bottled water every year, and it’s terrible for the environment. Don’t like the taste of tap water? A reusable water bottle with a built-in filter might be just the thing. You can also try a filter for your water faucet to accompany your reusable water bottle. Or use a water purifier pitcher to keep in your refrigerator (e.g., Brita, Pur).
Make Laundry Day Green
You can save money when doing laundry in a number of ways. Some of the best ways include washing in cold water, cleaning out the lint trap, replacing old washing machines, line-drying clothes (dryers can really drive up energy costs, even when marked with an Energy Star rating) and by washing full loads.
Take Shorter Showers Water is a precious resource, and too much usage can lead to a drought. One way to reduce our water consumption is by taking short showers, no longer than ten minutes. You’ll also save on your electricity bill because you won’t be using the water heater as much or leaving the lights on any longer than needed.
Use Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
You might think using green light bulbs will be more expensive. However, they’re reasonably priced at around $1.50 per bulb. Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) draw less electricity and can last about seven years. You’ll see the savings in your utility bills, and they’re better for the environment. By substituting one CFL bulb in every U.S. household, the reduction in pollution could be the equivalent of taking more than a million cars off the road.
The little things really do add up. If you’ve been thinking about making the transition to sustainable living, now could be just the right time to make that leap. When we consume less, our amazing planet and our wallets thank us.