ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Economical Ways to Help Save the Planet

Updated on March 13, 2008

There are a lot of easy, environmentally friendly things you can do everyday that will end up having a positive effect on the planet. When people think of environmentalism and sustainability, they often look at the big picture.

This can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. If each of us does small things on a daily basis that are good for the environment, we will all have a part in a big positive change. There are a lot of things that you can do, but here are a few easy tips to get you started.

Drive Less – People often blame big factories and corporations for polluting the environment. They do contribute a lot of pollution, but we are also polluting by frequent driving. With gas stations charging around $3.75 for a gallon of gas (Seattle Area) you will save a lot of money by driving less. For some people, driving is the only way they can commute to work, which is understandable. However, you can drive a smaller vehicle. Leave the big rigs at home and drive a commuter car, not only will it help the environment, but it will save you money on gas.

Paper/Plastic - When you go to the grocery store they always ask if you would like paper or plastic bags. Instead of either of those options, buy some of the reusable bags. Many grocery stores offer incentives for people who bring their own bags. Usually, the incentive is something like $0.15 off your purchase. Some stores offer bigger incentives to its customers. At Trader Joe’s, you can enter a weekly drawing for $100 worth of groceries if you bring your own bags. The cost of a good, reusable bag is couple of bucks; however, it will pay off in the long run. You might find the hub Paper or Plastic? interesting.

Recycle – This may sound weird, but some people actually don’t recycle. Recycling not only saves a lot of resources, but it can also bring you some money back. In some states, you pay a deposit on cans or bottles. You can sell those back, and get some extra cash for your next purchase. If you live in an area without a recycling program, start sending letters to the local government to do something about it. You can learn about how to write a letter to your representative by reading Writing Letters to Elected Politicians.

Compost – Composting is great if you have a house and a yard. It can help reduce your carbon footprint and save you money. First, if you have a garden, you can distribute the compost in your garden instead of buying fertilizer at the store. Secondly, more compost = less waste that you have to pay to be hauled away. This way, you can reduce the size of your trash can and pay less for hauling away the garbage. Some cities and organizations will even buy compost from you (I had an Environmental Science teacher once offer to buy our chicken poop to use as fertilizer). Other cities, like Seattle, have city-wide composting programs.

Energy Saver Light Bulbs – Believe or not but light bulbs use a lot of energy. This increases your energy bill, while also increasing your carbon footprint. You can switch your light bulbs to the fluorescent, energy saving kinds. They provide the same quality of light while using less energy. Energy saving light bulbs may be a bit more expensive than regular ones. However, they last much longer and use much less energy, which means savings for you.

Sometimes people expect big changes in their daily routines in order to start reducing pollution. That’s why it seems impossible. But small steps not only help with reducing your carbon footprint, but they can save you money as well.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • HikeGuy profile image


      7 years ago from Northern California Coast

      Good pointers. Everything we do to save energy and reduce waste counts.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for reminding me. Our town has a recycling program but I have NOT been taking full advantage of it. Will work on this.

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 

      9 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      nice, well written hub. good and easy tips to be economical while at the same time help in the conservation on our planet.

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile imageAUTHOR

      Stacie Naczelnik 

      10 years ago from Seattle

      Indexer- Seattle is actually very progressive when it comes to recycling, but that does not reflect the rest of the country. I always have a hard time when I go to another part of the country because recycling is just so natural for me. We also just have it as part of our pick-up routine.

      I also love that we are forced to think about driving less. I stopped complaining about the cost of gas when I lived in Switzerland - makes America's rising prices bearable. I don't think alternatives will really be pursued here until the price of gas is beyond our comfort leves.

    • The Indexer profile image

      John Welford 

      10 years ago from UK

      I am horrified by just how slowly the US is getting the recycling bug. In the UK, most local authorities now only collect general waste once a fortnight, in the alternate weeks it is recylcables that are collected. Where I live, we have a box for cans and glass bottles, and a bag for newspapers. All this is paid for out of local taxation. For a small fee you can have your garden waste collected, but my family does its own composting, partly through use of a wormery (which is great fun!)

      I'm not disappointed to learn that Americans are driving less because of fuel price rises, but their horror at the price always amuses me. If you doubled the price you would still not be paying what we pay over here in the UK!

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile imageAUTHOR

      Stacie Naczelnik 

      10 years ago from Seattle

      We bought a package of the energy saving bulbs two years ago, and we are still using them. We only use lights when we are home and in the rooms that need them. I think we use more lights living in Seattle because the natural light isn't always enough (like today).

      Overhead flurorescents can give me a headache too. The one in our kitchen has a great shade, and it doesn't bother me. It actually alters the way the light looks.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Good Hub (thumbs up). I found by composting and reclying, I no longer use city trash pickup. And, the university is working on recycling more types of plastic.Meanwhile, I purachse less pastic as well.

      I've reduced driving to < 4 miles/day average; use ony 3 light bulbs for 2-3 hours a day each, total; there is plenty of natural light when I need it. Laundry once a week, planned, and heat is turned down on the hot water tank (also water saving shower head). All lights/appliances off when I am not there and not in the room - solar lights help. Computer takes up the most energy, but TV is only 90 minutes 3 times a week,

      Because of a special writing project, all of my groceries are free and I use paper, crocheted, and my new reusable bags.

      What's your experience with energy save bulbs - how long do they actually last? Overhead flourescents cause me headaches, so how about these? - not likley because they would be under a shade?



    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)