Ten Environmentally Friendly Money Saving Ideas for You and Your Home


Greg Eckler

1. Bicycle or Walk

I realize that in North American culture, the car reigns supreme. Unfortunately, so do the gas prices. If you can do something without driving, do it! Cycling and walking are much lower-cost and healthy ways of traveling short distances. If you outfit your bike with baskets or panniers and reusable shopping bags, you will be able to do small shopping trips. The same goes if you get a decent backpack (or bribe your kids to come along to carry grocery bags). The money you save can be put back into your home by purchasing energy-efficient appliances and equipment.2. Buy ENERGY STAR approved appliances and equipment. ENERGY STAR is a program sponsored by both the U.S. Environmental Protection Act and the U.S. Department of Energy, which identifies energy-efficient products and encourages energy-efficient practices and buildings. You not only help reduce the demand for resources, you will also save money. Go to www.energystar.gov for more information.3. Choose the simplest solution first for cleaning. For cleaning up stains and spills, often plain water will do the trick. Saturate the area with water and place a towel or newspaper over it with a heavy object on top to draw stains out of carpets. For tougher stains, try a combination of baking soda and water. Baking soda is also an excellent scouring product. For drains, a combination of 4 tablespoons of baking soda and hot water every week will keep them from getting clogged.4. Put a coat on your hot water heaterInsulating your hot water heater can make it heat water easier and faster. Not only will you be able to have a hot shower sooner, your money won’t be going to fund the extra energy your heater will otherwise need to get water to the right temperature. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations before you go shopping for a cover.5. Put on a sweater, already!Many heating bills can be saved by lowering the temperature on the thermostat and shrugging on an extra layer or two. Also, turning off the heat and opening windows can bring in fresh air, which is better for you. An interesting fact: A cooler room is easier for you to fall asleep in, because it allows your temperature to drop, which is a natural part of sleep.6. You see all that free sunlight out there? Use it!Solar energy is getting more attention than ever these days and a lot of people are reaping the benefits of installing solar panels on their roofs. The initial cost is returned relatively quickly, as solar energy can take a significant chunk out of the electric and/or heating bills. An added bonus is that you can look into the U.S. Energy Policy Act, which allows homeowners a 30% tax credit for installing solar water heating systems.7. Try repairing first.In this day and age, many people automatically throw things out instead of trying to fix them. Try repairing tools and toys and equipment before you buy something new. It is often cheaper and doesn’t consign a usable item to the landfill. If you do have to throw something out, check to see if you can give it to an organization that can get some use out of it instead of automatically tossing it in the trash.8. Garden!Gardening can give you fresh, non-pesticide in-season fruits and vegetables for pennies and you don’t even need a patch of ground to do it in. Many plants are happy living in pots out on your windowsill or balcony. If you like cooking, keep in mind that many herbs are best used fresh and are attractive window decorations. 9. Eat healthy.No, this doesn’t mean that you can never have another milkshake; it just means that you should refrain from having milkshakes for breakfast 5 out of every 7 days. There are a lot of resources on healthy eating and portion sizes; a study of this will help keep you healthy and avoid medical bills. Feed your kids more home-cooked, healthy meals than not and stay away from the Lunchables.10. Encourage active habits in your family.When families and children are accustomed to looking outdoors for their entertainment, such as bicycling, walking, swimming, fishing, canoing, kayaking and outdoor sports, they are less likely to need expensive medical treatments for health-related problems. Right now, obesity and health problems related to lack of exercise are growing problems in North America. Many outdoor sports require a relatively small outlay of money for equipment or facility use, but will pay dividends in health that keeps you and your family out of the hospital.

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Ten Environmentally Friendly Money Saving Ideas for You and Your Home}

Ten Environmentally Friendly Money Saving Ideas For You And Your Home}