Ways to Go Green and Save Green

Save energy to save money.

  • Set your thermostat a few degrees lower in the winter and a few degrees higher in the summer to save on heating and cooling costs.
  • Install compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) when your older incandescent bulbs burn out.
  • Unplug appliances when you’re not using them. Or, use a “smart” power strip that senses when appliances are off and cuts “phantom” or “vampire” energy use.
  • Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible. As much as 85 percent of the energy used to machine-wash clothes goes to heating the water.
  • Use a drying rack or clothesline to save the energy otherwise used during machine drying.

Save water to save money.

  • Take shorter showers to reduce water use. This will lower your water and heating bills too.
  • Install a low-flow showerhead. They don’t cost much, and the water and energy savings can quickly pay back your investment.
  • Make sure you have a faucet aerator on each faucet. These inexpensive appliances conserve heat and water, while keeping water pressure high.
  • Plant drought-tolerant native plants in your garden. Many plants need minimal watering. Find out which occur naturally in your area.

Less gas = more money (and better health!).

  • Walk or bike to work. This saves on gas and parking costs while improving your cardiovascular health and reducing your risk of obesity.
  • Consider telecommuting if you live far from your work. Or move closer. Even if this means paying more rent, it could save you money in the long term.
  • Lobby your local government to increase spending on sidewalks and bike lanes. With little cost, these improvements can pay huge dividends in bettering your health and reducing traffic.

Eat smart.

  • If you eat meat, add one meatless meal a week. Meat costs a lot at the store-and it’s even more expensive when you consider the related environmental and health costs.
  • Buy locally raised, humane, and organic meat, eggs, and dairy whenever you can.

Skip the bottled water.

  • Bring a reusable water bottle, preferably aluminum rather than plastic, with you when traveling or at work.
  • Check out this short article for the latest on bottled water trends.

Borrow instead of buying.

  • Borrow from libraries instead of buying personal books and movies. This saves money, not to mention the ink and paper that goes into printing new books.
  • Share power tools and other appliances. Get to know your neighbors while cutting down on the number of things cluttering your closet or garage.

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