Today is Earth Day, so in honor of that, I thought I would share a few easy ways to save money every day by consuming less energy and producing less waste. These are very easy and inexpensive changes to make, and once you incorporate them into your daily routine, you will probably ask yourself why you never did them before!
5 easy ways to save money and the environment
1. Reusable shopping bags. My wife and I recently switched to reusable shopping bags for our grocery shopping, and we both love them! They only cost about a buck per bag, but each bag holds more groceries than a plastic bag, they don’t fall over in the trunk, and they will last several years. The best part is that there are no more plastic bags cluttering our house or the landfills. I highly recommend these!
- Where to purchase reusable shopping bags: Check your local grocery store or discount outlet.
- Estimated cost: $1 and up
2. Rechargeable batteries. Chances are you have a few items around your house that require batteries. If you have children, you probably need more batteries than you thought you would! Unfortunately, batteries are expensive and toxic. They need to be disposed of properly instead of thrown into the regular trash, but that is a hassle that most people won’t be bothered with. Rechargeable batteries are less expensive over the long run and will last several years and hundreds of charges when used properly.
- Where to purchase rechargeable batteries: All-Battery.com probably has the widest selection of rechargeable batteries on the web, including batteries for home use, cell phones, laptops, radios, and more.
- Estimated cost: Varies by battery
3. Reusable water bottles. My wife and I purchased stainless steel Klean Kanteen water bottles several months back. Bottled water is a huge drain on our resources and are grossly overpriced. Reusable water bottles use fewer resources, save you money, are a healthier option than reusing plastic water bottles (most leak chemicals) and prevent pollution. Here are some tips on how to choose a safe reusable water bottle.
- Where to purchase a reusable water bottle: You can find them at many sporting goods stores, Amazon, and other stores
- Estimated cost: $5 and up
4. CFLs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs use 25% of the energy of standard incandescent bulbs and usually last 5 years or more. They are a little pricey up front, but generally pay for themselves in less than a year. The savings after that is a bonus!
- Where to buy CFLs: Grocery store, hardware store, Wal-Mart, etc.
- Estimated cost: $2 and up
5. Use a programmable thermostat. My wife and I set our thermostat to function only when we are home so we don’t needlessly heat or cool an empty house. My wife and I use a programmable thermostat and it has helped us save a lot of money by reducing our air conditioning costs and cutting our heating costs.
- Where to buy a programmable thermostat: Hardware store, Wal-Mart, Amazon, and more.
- Estimated cost: $25 and up
More GREEN ways to save money:
- Green Ways to Save Money.
- 12 Daily Activities to Save Mother Earth and Money.
- Get Your Green On–13 Energy (and Money) Saving Gadgets.
- The Good Human a blog about Sustainability, Environment, Progressive Politics, Peak Oil, Being Green.