Going Green Saves you Money
1. Reduce transportation costs. The average cost of car ownership now exceeds $9,000 per year when all expenses are added together. From getting better mileage or adjusting insurance coverage, getting a bike or using public transportation to simply walking are all ways to reduce this expense. If you are in a two or more car household eliminate one and see how you get around. Share a ride with another and split the ownership costs. You can even rent your vehicle to make some income. Begin a delivery service, so others don’t have to drive and have them pay for your expenses.
2. Cooking at home ranks high on the list because eating out is expensive, a mystery at times and mostly unhealthy when fast food is considered. Having the ability to control what you eat influences your entire day. Natural foods, organics, and sustainable food products abound and many may be purchased in bulk and ordered over the internet, therefore saving you time while expanding your selections. By baking a bit extra you may be able to earn some cash by selling the extra to a local coffee shop or deli.
3. Veggies. Go for a heaping of greens and load up on the vitamins. Meat and fish portion sizes are shrinking and having less of them helps the environment in so many ways. By eating healthier you reduce your risk of disease, lowers cholesterol and improves your immune system. Reducing doctors visits is directly related to good nutrition.
4. Garden. For the Green Thumb there is always a garden. Having tomatoes and potatoes as well as fresh herbs and salad ingredients is one of the better ways to be sustainable. Grow extra and share with neighbors and friends. Your compost pile may reduce your garbage bill while providing awesome nutrients for your plants and even your lawn, because you will not need fertilizers. Join a community garden and grow a lot and then take the harvest to the local Farmers Market. You can specialize in one product and supply local restaurants fresh vegetables when in season.
5. Conserve Water in every way possible. Installing faucet aerators, low flow shower heads, low flow hose adapters and low flush toilets all save money by reducing your water bill. Catch water in a rain barrel and water your garden for free. Have your gutters and downspouts direct water to a catchment and reuse this water. Use your Gray Water to water the lawn, garden or even wash your auto.
6. Rent, Borrow or Freecycle items. How many tools are there in your neighborhood that you may be able to borrow. I am thinking of the comic strip “Blondie” and seeing Herb and Dagwood harassing each other about their borrowed collection of tools like shovels, rakes, drills and even a hammer. Most of these items are rarely used by most homeowners. The hardware store and a few Big Box stores have equipment to rent. Zip Car and others provide city dwellers with auto transport when they need it at a very reasonable cost. To Freecycle, is to give things away that you no longer need. You can use this system to obtain free items as well. Craigslist provides a Free Items area. If you are done with a microwave, refrigerator or some piece of furniture don’t throw it out but give it away. This will keep much of it out of the landfill.
7. Conserve Energy by switching out the old light bulbs and installing the newer CFL or LED bulbs. The LED will last much longer while using even less energy. Your older hot water heater may use 25% of your energy. Installing a solar water heater is easy and cheap. A tankless water heater can save you hundreds of dollars and pay for itself quickly. Conduct a home energy audit or have a contractor come in to assist you by identifying where and how to save energy. Go big and Go Solar or incorporate wind power to reduce your energy costs. Any little addition will save you lots of money.
8. Leave the Rat Race and Work from Home… your Green Home. Millions of people are doing it and more join this group every day. The unemployment numbers do not reflect this trend, but most people will acknowledge that more people are working from home and eliminating the need to commute to work altogether. My commute takes less than 2 minutes.
9. Don’t buy Bottled Water. Instead purchase a good water filtration system and reuse your sustainable water container. This can save you hundreds of dollars every year.
10. Best for last. Buy in BULK. Why not? Get together with friends, Meetup groups, church organizations, poker clubs, Mom’s clubs… I know of a few groups that now buy pallets of dry goods together and then split them up among themselves. Savings are in the thousands for these expert groups. You can start small making purchases for your own family and then expand with friends and perhaps groups that you are in.
You will not get rich but, you will be way ahead by incorporating these 10 Ways to Save Going Green. Overall, one can expect to save a couple of thousand dollars if they utilize these techniques and continue to analyze where to eliminate waste.
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