Go Green On A Budget

Save Money As Well As The Environment

Want to join the green movement and do your bit? Think reducing your carbon footprint is a great idea – but way too expensive? We will show you how you can start living a more environmentally friendly life starting today.

Believe it or not, it’s possible to be greener on a budget. Not only will making these small changes turn you a little more eco-friendly, you will also save money so everyone wins.

Your Thermostat

Heating and cooling are essential, and anyone who has experienced a Michigan winter will tell you it’s a basic necessity not a “want”. Before you write off your ability to save money by adjusting your thermostat think again. The Department of Energy advise that many households spend at least 50% on heating and cooling costs. Many spend up to 70% – now that’s a window of opportunity.

Try this and see if it helps the monthly budgets (as well as the environment) turn your thermostat down just five degrees in winter. This is only a small adjustment, and you can counteract it by simply putting on a sweater to add a few degrees warmth to yourself. You may be surprised at how much you save.

In the summertime, set your thermostat no lower than 78 degrees and you will discover that you can save up to 20% on your average cooling bill. If you are careful with your heating and cooling you’ll definitely save money.

Dishes The Old Fashioned Way

go green on a budget - wash your dishes in the sink by handHand washing your dishes will save you money on your water and even your heating bill. If you are smart in the way you hand wash your dishes – you can’t leave the rinse water running – you will save money on your power bill, your water bill and you won’t have to buy expensive dishwashing detergent either.  

Water Conservation

While we aren’t advocating everyone take a shower with a friend to save money – it’s a novel idea but I can’t see it taking off – watching your water use will save money.

Taking a shorter shower can save you money on your water bill, your electric bill and reduce your heating costs. Have you considered installing a low flow showerhead? You get a longer shower but use less water. Turn off the running water when you are brushing your teeth – a little toothpaste never offended anyone. When you’re doing your laundry make sure it’s a full load. Washing a half load every day will waste electricity, water and detergent. Combining your wash to a full load will save you money and the environment.

Re-Purpose Where You Can

Don't throw out your coffee grounds – compost them. They make a great fertilizer for your potted plants. Consider reusing empty jars to organize your bits and pieces in the bathroom or the shed. Before you throw something away look at it and be creative – can you re-use it? An old skateboard could be a shelf. An old jug could make a pretty vase. Paint old photo frames and brighten up a room.  

Shop for second hand or re-useable products

Ever heard of gently used? Products which have slight damage – a scratch on a brand new fridge for example – can often be bought for a cheaper price. Look out for groups on Facebook where you can shop locally by trading or buying second hand items. Look on Craigslist and Freecycle, as well as local garage sales and thrift stores. Love to read? Borrow books from your local library instead of buying new. There are so many options out there to re-use products instead of buying brand new.

Bottled Water

get rid of bottled water and go green on a budgetIt’s an expensive trend that we seem to have adopted globally. Bottled water is very expensive and the waste and landfill it generates through all those plastic bottles is enormous. If you are not crazy about drinking tap water you can always buy a water filter. If you simply must take water with you everywhere, buy a reusable bottle – they come in both plastic and aluminium. .

Cut down on meat

This is one that would surprise most people. Meat is expensive, and if you switch to a vegetarian meal twice a week you can save a surprising amount of money over time. Consider buying your groceries from a local supplier or farmers market. You are keeping the money locally in your community and economy as well as getting fresher produce.

Turn off your computer when you’re done

We all know people who never turn off their computers – but the energy you are wasting is enormous. Not only your computer but all your other appliances on standby are draining your power bill. If you aren't going to be using the computer for a few hours turn it off and save your power.  

Cleaning supplies – from scratch

It’s easier than you think. You can make basic cleaning supplies from what you have in the pantry. Baking soda, vinegar and lemon will all clean and polish your home as well as leaving it smelling fresh. Not only are they good for the environment – you’ll reduce plastic packaging as well as chemicals – but you will also save money.

With a little bit of creativity and know how you can go green on a budget as well as save money. Reduce your carbon footprint and find extra dollars in your purse.

 

About the Author

No Comments

Leave a Reply