Home Save Money Eight Ways to Be Green & Save Green

Eight Ways to Be Green & Save Green

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In today’s world, saving money isn’t just nice to do, it can be vital. Yet at the same time, helping out our planet seems almost like a necessity. It used to be that these two goals were almost incompatible, as “green” products were often frivolous luxuries.

Fortunately, nowadays that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are a number of amazing products, as well as choices you can make, that will not only help lessen your environmental impact, but help keep your pocketbook flush with cash as well. So, let’s take a look at eight easy things anyone can do to both be green, and save some green.

Cut Down on Bottled Water

After a hot day or a tough activity, it can be almost a reflex to go to the store and grab a bottle of water or soda. But at a dollar or a dollar fifty a pop, those little expenses can add up. And they also really add up to a lot of unnecessary plastic in landfills.

So, before you head out for the day, bring an aluminum water container, filled with ice cold tap water from home. It’ll last you hours, you can refill it at any old water fountain or sink, it’ll help save lots of oil from being turned into wasteful plastic, and best of all it could save you up to $50 of drink expenses per month.

Borrowing, not Buying

Here’s one any tech junkie will really appreciate. Not only are social networks great for keeping up with friends, and occasionally killing time, they can help you save some real cash by avoiding unnecessary purchases. Think of all the random things you’ve had to buy for an odd project or event, only to barely use ever again: drills, lawnmowers, tents, sleeping bags, etc.

Instead of buying those, with all the energy that goes into manufacturing them, consider renting one instead. There are a number of great sites that let you rent or borrow items from your friends and neighbors in the community: Zilok, Cloud of Goods, and more. So instead of shelling out a few hundred bucks for any of those items, you can rent it for a fraction of the price.

Grow Your Own Garden

There’s nothing more delicious than biting into some fresh fruits or vegetables. But, stores like Whole Foods can charge an arm and a leg for seemingly anything that they’ve slapped a “local” or “organic” label on.

Instead of fretting about your grocery bill, head to a garden supply store, buy some seeds, and plant your own! Not only will you be cutting way down on packaging, and the fuel that goes into transporting produce to your town, but these’ll be way tastier and fresher than anything you can get at the store. Best of all, being a green thumb means spending only about $2 per pack of seeds, which wouldn’t even be enough to buy you one bag of carrots at the grocer.

Solar Powered Savings

It used to be that solar panels only made sense in the sunniest of locales. Due to increasingly efficient panels, as well as plummeting prices, that’s definitely no longer the case. In fact, thanks to a number of interesting programs, your upfront solar panel costs could be $0, while you still lock in savings (both monetarily and environmentally) on your monthly energy bill.

First, check with your local utility company to see if they have their own solar rebate program. Then, hit up established brands like Sungevity and SolarCity, which offer zero upfront cost solar programs of their own. As long as you’re not living in a cave, chances are this could save you big!

Check That Thermostat

Here’s another one for your house, which actually requires basically no work at all, as well as nothing to purchase or sign up for. All you’ve got to do is keep tabs on that thermostat, and make sure you’re not using too much energy just for the sake of unnecessary cooling or heating, and all the pollution that entails back at the power plant.

For starters, make sure to turn off your thermostat whenever you leave the home, as well as turn it off (or way down) at night. In the winter, try setting the dial to 68 degrees, as opposed to 72. That should still be warm enough for most people, but you can always throw on a sweater if need be. Then in the summer, set it to 78° at a minimum. But, every degree above that you can tolerate will save you an additional 6 to 8 percent on your energy bill. So throw on some shorts and watch the savings roll by.

Compact Fluorescents

It seems like nowadays most light bulbs you see are those little bendy tube lights, known as compact fluorescent lights, or CFLs. But what about the light bulbs at your house? Next time one burns out, don’t reflexively reach for an incandescent, old-school bulb.

Instead, make sure to grab a CFL. They’ve plummeted in price, so as to be about only $2 per bulb, and they will quickly pay for themselves. Over its lifespan, each CFL bulb will save you about $30, and will also mean way less carbon is emitted into the air over at the power plant. And here’s a bonus for those really looking to make an investment – consider LED bulbs. They cost a little more up front, but are even more power efficient.

Use Your Library

Think about it – when was the last time you were at your local library? Now consider the fact that you’re already paying taxes to keep it open and stocked with amazing books, magazines, periodicals, movies and more. Given that the average American spends $118 a year on books, this one seems like a real no-brainer.

So, stop by your local branch, pick up some books, and kiss your Amazon budget goodbye. Not only will you be saving some trees from being pulped, you’ll be putting some serious paper back in your pocket.

Consider an Electric Bike

Here’s one you might not have considered – electric bicycles. Given that the average trip people make is only a few miles, almost every journey you do could actually be done on a bicycle. And when you add in the convenience of an electric bike, which helps you power over hills and not worry about getting sweaty, the convenience becomes obvious.

Then, think of how much you’re spending monthly on your car payments, gasoline, insurance, parking, repairs, and more. It adds up! A high quality electric bicycle, with a battery range of 40 to 60 miles, is only about $2,000. But to make it even more pocketbook friendly, select brands offer 0% financing, meaning you could be riding a brand new ebike for only $175 per month. Since a full charge only adds about 8 cents to your electric bill, the savings will start rolling in really quickly.

With so many great ways to save money and the earth at the same time, there’s only one question left: which one are you going to do first?

Brought to you by EVELO Electric Bicycles, the maker of amazing bikes for people of all ages and abilities.

15 COMMENTS

  1. We’ve bought an electric bike just last year, it really was one of the few wise investments we made. I actually thought about it for my wife, she gets tired easily when we ride our regular bikes together, so I thought why not get an electrical one, so we’d both enjoy the outdoors whenever we feel like going for a bike ride together. Then I started using it to go to work as well, when the weather is nice and warm enough and I have to say, we did save up a lot of money on gas!

  2. Ditching the purchase of water bottles can indeed allow you to save. In the past few months, I’ve been bringing my own water receptacle. With my own drink at hand, I don’t have to buy every time I get thirsty or even when eating out. So yeah, as simple as bringing one’s own water bottle helps not only you, but also the environment.
    Having one’s own electric bike is something I dream of having myself. I believe it can save me tons on my transportation cost. I usually just take public transportation, but with a ride like that not only one can save a few bucks, but it can also save a bit of one’s time as you eliminate waiting time.
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  3. We live in the middle of town, but in the past we’ve driven everywhere. Just because everyone else does, too. Plus there’s the perception that if you’re walking, you must not be able to afford transportation. But even those on a bike are perceived that way, too.

    It’s been really hard to start walking everywhere. But a really good lesson to learn. About the only time we drive now is when we know we’ll be getting back very late, or when we go out of town, or when we do the big grocery shop each month.

    • I kind of deal with the same thing here, and just the way that our city is laid out makes it difficult to bike and walk to the places you want to go. I used to live in an area of town that was more friendly to things like this, and everything was pretty close to everything else, which was nice. Now though, being a little more on the suburbs side, everything is so spread out that you have to do a long ways to do anything. I am trying though, and that is all that matters to me. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I also have my own water bottle I reuse, I rarely buy bottled water!
    I also ride the bike whenever I can. I don’t have an electric one, to be honest I find them expensive and just as useless as the regular ones when it rains. I do agree with the concept though, riding the bike to work is a real money saver!

  5. I think you have brought a good summary together here. Thanks for sharing it. I often go to the library. It is like my favorite resort. I can read, relax and spend sometime just by myself. We also don’t have a car so I guess we already live green in a way. The only thing that I need to work on is recycling my trash more better and help the environment that way.

  6. I once borrowed a barbecue grill, from my friends, and ended up losing the cooking grid. Needless to say I had to buy a replacement 😀 So, yeah, borrowing is a great way to save money, IF you’re careful not to destroy/lose another one’s property 😀 LOL!

    • Well you are not alone there my friend. Thankfully my experience is not with anything as big as a grill, but I seem to have the worst luck when ti comes to borrowing, or even renting, certain items. The most recent would have to be a coffee maker, and that set me back a good forty bucks. Oh well, glad to hear I am not alone. Thanks for sharing.

  7. These are awesome and very sensible tips! I’ve been growing my own vegetables since last year (well some of them anyway) and they do in fact taste a whole lot better than store bought ones. The hobby has also given purpose to our backyard which used to just be barren!

  8. Companies should have been investing in solar power for decades now. The reason why they haven’t been doing it is because it’s not as profitable for them as traditional energy sources. Companies are actually lobbying in Washington, to keep the energy consumption model the way it is.

  9. Love the tip about the library because it’s something I used to do but stopped for some reason. I think the internet has pushed people away from the library because everyone would rather read off their Kindle, iPad or even a phone.

    But even though I’ve gone digital with most things, books are something I still prefer to have a physical copy of. I think I’ll try to check out my library more often to see what good books they have there before I buy something off Amazon.

  10. Well most of these I have to say are pretty modest and easy to do, and for that thank you for sharing. I have never understood some people’s obsession with bottled water, and I bet that if it never existed in the first place all these people who “only drink bottled water” would still be alive and okay. I certainly have gotten some good worth from borrowing things, too, and those are always good to keep an eye out for. Thanks again.

  11. Yes! Yes! A million times, YES! We need to cut back on alot of the things we are putting into the environment. If everyone actually watched these videos floating around on this topic, we would SEE the damage we are causing. It truely is sad.

  12. Cutting down on bottled water: YES. I had a friend on welfare, struggling to make ends meet, and she asked me for advice. Turns out her husband drank three cans of pop every day, and they had bottled water DELIVERED to them because they didn’t like the taste of tap water. When I suggested she buy a filtering pitcher, she told me she couldn’t afford it – and was shocked when I told her it was about $20!

    Growing your own garden: I don’t know about that. I mean, it’s a wonderful idea, but it’s so time-consuming, and does it benefit the environment and your wallet enough to make it worth it? With smart shopping – in fact, by purchasing lots of fresh fruits and veggies in lieu of more expensive groceries, you can help local farmers (helping environment and economy), help your wallet (produce is a good “filler” when you can only afford a little bit of something else – e.g. a small piece of steak with a nice big salad full of veggies), and, of course, help your health. Of course, if gardening is something you love to do, you definitely should!

  13. Saving money while saving the earth? Well, sign me up. My favorite is growing your own garden. I’ve never been able to do so since I started living on my own, but in the very near future, I intend to find a place where I can grow my own garden. It will be so satisfying to know that I’m doing my bit for the planet, and making some great savings in the meantime.

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