What could be better than helping out the environment? Why, saving some money while you are helping out the environment, of course!
Of course, most everyone wants to lower their carbon footprint and help the environment be healthier but if you can save money doing it, then you have the best of both worlds. Luckily, there are many ways to go green and save some green at the same time. Here are 5 things you can do that will help boost your bank account and the environment:
- Buy Second Hand – most people don’t think of buying second hand stuff as being environmentally consciences but when you buy something second hand it helps to keep that item from ending up in a landfill. Not only that but buying second hand can save you a bundle! Plus buying something used doesn’t mean you have to settle for something that is broken or damaged – there are plenty of brand new items waiting for you to pick them up. Great places to shop for second hand goods include eBay, Craigslist, yard sales, flea markets and Consignment stores. Even designers buy second hand and may just have it reupholstered in a smart print. Also check a site called Free Cycle.org On this site you can get whatever you need for Free you just have to pick it up. i once saw a Gazabo on this site for free.
- Energy Efficient Lighting – Swapping your incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lighting might cost a bit at first, but it can save you a bundle in the long run in energy costs. In fact, fluorescent lights use 1/3 the energy that incandescent do and, since lighting is typically one of the largest energy uses in any home, this could save you 25% or more on your bill. Not only that but compact fluorescent lights last 10 times longer so you won’t have to buy them nearly as often. Want even more savings? Then seek out the new LED lighting – they are more efficient and the lighting itself is much better than the fluorescent bulbs..
- Save On Paper Towels – If you’re anything like me, you probably use a ton of paper towels in the kitchen. They’re great for wiping up spills, drying off your hands and putting food on but what do you think happens with them once you are don? Right – they end up in the landfill! You can reduce your costs for paper towels and lighten the load on the landfills by using cloth kitchen towels instead. Invest in a bunch of them and make sure they are handing for wiping up. You’ll be amazed at how few paper towels you really need! I use the microfiber cloths instead of paper towels they are washable and reusable. I have a stack in the kitchen and bathroom and with my cleaning supplies to be handy I then wash them without fabric softener and hang them out to dry.
- Eat More Veggies – Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that eating more fruits and vegetables and less meat is better for your health, but did you realize that it’s also better for the environment? Yes, it’s true, raising cattle takes a huge toll on the environment. Plus beef costs more than vegetables so why not help your health and the environment by replacing a few of your meaty meals with vegetarian choices?
- Conserve Water – There are many options in faucets today that will help you conserve water which, of course help the environment and saves you on your water bill. You can get low flow faucets and smart faucets that will automatically shut off after a certain amount of time or sense when something is under it – turn the water on and then sense when nothing is under it and turn the water off. I read an article on saving water and it said to always use the dishwasher as that takes 15 gals of water while washing dishes by hand takes 30 gals. Well I have a problem there we do not have a dishwasher and we really have no room for one. When I do dishes I use one of two methods. First is to put about 4 inches of soapy water in the sink and wash all the plates and put them in the other sink. Then stop and rinse those and put in the drainer. The same with glasses, cause dishes etc until done. The other method is to use a brush with a well for dish washing liquid in it and just a little water to clean the dishes and then rinse. Both work quite well. The other suggestion was to not use the disposal since it requires a lot of water but to compost vegetable peelings etc. Just keep in mind you need to put cut up news paper between layers of compost to avoid over production of methane gases.
- Emeril Lagasse once said to tell your Thanksgiving guest that you were starting a new tradition composting scraps and providing a large platter for them to use for that purpose. Hello Emeril our grandparents and great grandparents always composted as a habit to keep the environment clean. I remember my grandmother composting the watermelon peals and seeds after a family reunion. She dug a hole in the asparagus garden and composted them there. The next year she did not have to buy the watermelon it was growing in the asparagus bed. That was ideal since the asparagus is a spring crop. I also thought it was ironic that there are only two natural sources of Diuretics asparagus and watermelon. I personally make watermelon pickles also known as candied watermelon rind, so you only have the peels and seeds to compost.