Happy Earth Day! Today we celebrate the planet by focusing on better ways to take good care of it. But did you know there are things we can all do to conserve our natural resources and save money, too?
Here are some ways (besides recycling) that you can save money and save the earth at the same time.
1. Get new light bulbs.
According to Consumer Reports, LED light bulbs use between 80% and 85% less energy than incandescent bulbs. Replacing your light bulbs will not only save you money on your electric bill, it will conserve energy also.
(If you want a great deal on LED bulbs, Home Depot has a 4-pack for $10.97!)
2. Do the electric drive.
It’s no secret that Clark loves electric cars. If it makes financial sense for you, why not consider electric as an option?
If you want to find out if this would work for your budget, you’ll want to consider the cost of your current car with gas, and see if a move toward electric without gas would save you money. But, keep in mind with older electric cars, the batteries may need to be changed, which can result in a big expense.
3. Reduce your food waste at home.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reports Americans now throw away 40% of their food each year, either at home or in a restaurant. That equates to $165 billion in wasted food each year. The typical family of four ends up throwing out nearly $2,300 in food annually!
And wasting food not only means wasting money, but it also means filling up landfills with stuff that doesn’t need to be there.
We’re all guilty of it, but the good news is that there are some easy ways to reduce your food waste at home — allowing you to save both money and the environment!
4. Use countertop cookers.
Though for some foods the oven is the only way to get the best taste, for others countertop cookers work just as well.
The below options use much less energy than a traditional oven.
- Crock pots
- Toaster ovens
- Electric skillets
5. Make your own cleaning supplies.
Not only are homemade cleaners cheaper and better for you, they’re better for the environment too!
6. Use cloth instead of paper.
Though paper items are ever so convenient, using cloth napkins and cloth cleaning rags are a great way to save money and cut down on paper waste.
7. Grow your own food.
Growing your own food has a triple bonus: It’s healthier for you, will save you money and it’s also better for the environment, since there is no packaging that has to be discarded. (In fact, part of the reason this couple’s grocery budget is less than $60 a month is because they garden!)
Though it does take time and effort, gardening is a great way to save money and save the planet at the same time.
8. Make some ‘green’ home improvements.
Installing solar isn’t for everyone, but you can make small ‘green’ home improvements that can help your home’s resale value, and can also save money when tax time rolls around.
If you’ve installed any renewable energy systems or equipment in your home, you could qualify for the Renewable Energy Efficiency Property Credit, which gives you up to 30% back of the cost and installation of renewable energy equipment, such as solar panels, wind energy, fuel cells, and geothermal heating systems.
9. Wash your clothes in cold water instead of hot water.
Experts agree, washing your clothes in cold water is just fine — in fact, it activates the enzymes that allow detergents to do their job! Plus, it will save you the cost of energy to heat up the water!