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Living "Green" - Saving the Earth and Your Wallet

Updated on March 4, 2012
Green wallet for green living; Image source:
Green wallet for green living; Image source:

Economizing and Environmentalizing

Although the current economic state of the US is not exactly comforting, environmentalists are finding a bright, shiny, silver lining. The gas prices, the depleting oil reserves, the economic recession... they are driving Americans to take desperate measures to conserve the most important resource to us--our wallets. Luckily for the environment, the conservation of those dollar bills leads to conservation of water, energy, and consumable materials. Because gas, heating, and water bills are so expensive, it pays to start living green to save the Earth and our wallets.

Saving money and the earth
Saving money and the earth | Source

Ecofriendliness, Environment, and Green Living on Amazon

15 Ways to Save Your Cash

1. Turn your heat and/or air conditioning just a couple degrees lower/higher. Not enough to make you freezing or sweating, but enough to save you some good money when the electricity bill comes.

$$ SAVINGS: Energy bill $$

2. Use a little less toilet paper per wipe. Not enough to feel unclean, but you don't always need quite as much as you use.

$$ SAVINGS: Consumables $$

3. Turn the temperature down by a little bit on the heater or air conditioner in the car. The color dial, not the fan setting.

$$ SAVINGS: Gas money $$

4. Turn off appliances that you're not using. Even better, unplug them. It is said that appliances use as much as 40% of the energy when off as they use when on. If you won't be using something for awhile in between uses, unplug it. Examples: desk lamps, coffee-makers, toasters, televisions, electric shavers, laptops (when they're already charged)

$$ SAVINGS: Energy bill $$

5. Pull down the window shades to help insulate your house. The heater/air conditioner won't have to work as hard.

$$ SAVINGS: Energy bill $$

6. Did you know that empty printer ink cartridges can be recycled? Take them to somewhere like Staples or mail them to someplace like Free Recycling. Free Recycling reimburses you. Do some research to find out where you can go and what you can get for it.

$$ SAVINGS: Consumables $$

7. Try to use the gas pedal less when it's not necessary; for example, it's not always necessary to use gas when driving downhill. If you see a red light coming up, let your foot off the gas pedal awhile before the light rather than zooming up to the light and then hitting the brake. Saves gas money because you get more miles to the gallon.

$$ SAVINGS: Gas money $$

8. Spend less time staring into the refrigerator. The longer the door is open, the more energy is required. Decide what you want first, then open the door. If you don't know what you want, look inside the fridge, then close it while you think.

$$ SAVINGS: Energy bill $$

9. Print double-sided whenever possible.

$$ SAVINGS: Consumables $$

10. Reuse old, half-full notebooks. Put them by the phone as a note-taking device.

$$ SAVINGS: Consumables $$

11. Print using the Draft setting when you don't need a document to look extremely polished. You can find it in your Printing Preferences. It uses less ink than the normal setting.

$$ SAVINGS: Consumables $$

12. Buy the reusable bags at places like Giant Foods and Wal-mart. They save unnecessary use of plastic bags. They also hold more than the plastic bags, and at Giant, you get a 5-cent credit per bag every time you use them grocery shopping.

$$ SAVINGS: Consumables $$

13. Use travel mugs instead of wasting paper cups every time you buy water or coffee or other drinks. Some places give you discounts if you buy their mug and bring it back the next time.

$$ SAVINGS: Consumables $$

14. Donate (or, if you can, sell) old clothes and products you no longer want, rather than throwing them away. Donations can be tax-deductible.

$$ SAVINGS: Taxes $$

15. Find new uses for old things. I won't list every exchange I can think of, because this site has already done it.

$$ SAVINGS: Consumables $$

Our green earth and environment
Our green earth and environment

4 Ways to Save the Environment, But Not Necessarily Any Money

1. Something simple but worth saying: Recycle! Paper, cans, bottles--it's just a matter of throwing your garbage in a different container. Check online to see what the rules in your area are. It's as simple as typing "recycling [insert your state]". The first link that came up when I typed "recycling maryland" was the Maryland Department of the Environment website.

2. Use 1 paper towel when you wash your hands in a public restroom. Try shaking excess water from your hands for a few seconds, and you'll find that you don't really need that second (or third!) paper towel.

3. Try composting biodegradable material instead of just tossing it. There are instructions on how to compost on many websites like this one. Composting is putting together food scraps, coffee grinds, etc. to decompose and form nutrient-rich soil. It's less wasteful than simply tossing them in the trash.

4. Pay bills and do other banking online if possible. It saves time and paper.


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