Many of us feel guilty when we buy that unnecessary pair of shoes or best-selling fragrance, because we know that we don’t have money to be wasted. Binge spending is quite easy to identify, and a little harder to curb. However, many of us actually waste quite a lot of money unknowingly, performing everyday tasks and other routine activities. Even worse, many of these bad habits also hurt the environment. Contrary to popular belief, eco-friendly does not always mean pocket-enemy. Read the tips below to see how you can save money while saving the earth.
1. Change your light bulbs- by the year 2014, standard incandescent light bulbs will be phased out because they utilize too much energy. Try buying LEDs and CFLs, which use considerably less energy. CFLs actually use about 75% less energy than an incandescent light bulb, but do take a little longer to reach full brightness. To enhance the life of your CFL, screw them in by holding the white plastic and not the bulb itself. Also, CFLs use the most energy upon start-up, so it makes no sense turning this light on then off immediately.
2. Stop reflex-trashing- Recycle trash whenever you can. Recycling is free, trash is not.
3. Print on both sides- This is always easier when you have a duplex printer, but it can also be done manually. Not many people think of saving their paper to reuse the other side.
4. Don’t throw boxes away- Too often I find myself needing a box to send out a package, and then I’m like “that box I threw out yesterday would have been perfect”. Boxes come in very handy. Keep them.
5. Don’t buy garbage bags- Why buy garbage bags when most of you go to the store and come home with tons of plastic bags? Use those free bags for garbage instead. Of course it would be best if you carried your own bag.
6. Grow your own- Planting a garden is a great way to recreate, add beauty to your yard, provide fresh food, save money and help the environment! What’s there to lose?
7. Regulate your own temperature- If it’s a bit chilly on the outside, double up on your layers. Sleep with blankets and comforters instead of raising the heat. If it’s warm, then wear less clothes, open the window and put the fan on.
8. Clean the back of your fridge- No one remembers the back of their fridge exists, which is bad, because the more dust collects on it is the more energy it uses to work.
9. Forgo the dishwasher- Even better, sell it. You don’t really need a dishwasher, and it uses a lot of hot water and electricity. If however you absolutely need one, invest in an eco-friendly one.
10. Laundry- As much as possible, wash full loads of clothes, and try to use cold water. Unless you’re washing your son’s football uniform, the warm water isn’t really necessary.
11. Don’t trash electronics- This is terrible for the environment, but also, you’re missing out on lots of money. There are many places that will give you money for old cell phones and computers.
12. Flush the toilet less- Of course this does not apply to public washrooms, but when you’re at home there’s absolutely no need to flush after each use. Unless it’s you-know-what.
13. Unplug your appliances- Many people are unaware that appliances use energy while plugged in, even when powered off. Always power off then unplug unnecessary appliances like kettles.
14. Vehicles- Get a fuel-efficient vehicle next time you’re in the market- it can save you a ton of money on gas.
15. Go Solar- According to the Energy Department, about 45% of energy related expenses is due to heating. For those of you with a bit more disposable income, this is the best option. Solar panels can provide as much as 65% of your heating needs, and the sun is completely free. The price of the installation will pay off in the long run.