Everywhere you turn, you hear about “going green”. Many people assume that making green lifestyle changes will take a lot of effort and money. Let’s face it, no one has the extra cash in this tough economy. Even Kermit the Frog adds some confusion with his song “It’s Not Easy Being Green”. In honor of Earth Day (April 22nd), I wanted to make a few FREE and easy recommendations that will help the environment and save YOU money.
- Carpool: This one small initiative will save gas and toll money, prolong tire life and minimize wear and tear on vehicles. Ride sharing also reduces emissions and makes a huge difference to the environment.
- Tire Pressure: Make sure your tires have the correct amount of pressure. This will optimize tire performance and fuel economy.
- Energy Audit: Contact your local energy company about conducting a free home energy audit. They will provide small conservation tips that will save you money each month on your electric and water bills!
- Recycle Water: Instead of pouring water down the drain, use it to water plants.
- Wash Full Loads: Only wash full loads in your dishwasher and clothes washer.
- Repair Leaks: Make sure to check and repair leaky faucets, toilets, pipes and hoses.
- Clean Filters: A dirty filter can put unnecessary strain on your clothes dryer so make sure to clean it after each use. Also, change your air handler filter regularly to reduce unit strain and operating costs.
- Clean Coils: Set a reminder to clean your refrigerator coils every 6 months.
- Adjust Hot Water Temperatures: Set your hot water heater to 125 degrees and only use cold or warm settings when washing laundry.
- Ceiling Fans: Ceiling fans help keep your home cool, but make sure to turn them off when you are not in the room.
- Unplug Electronics: When you are not using an electronic device, simply unplug it and conserve energy.
- Recycle Bags: Most grocery stores will give you credit for bringing your own grocery sacks. If you do not bring along your own bags, at least ask for paper instead of plastic!
- Reuse & Recycle Items: Sell your used clothing, electronics, furniture and household items at a consignment store, on Craigslist.org, at a yard sale or on eBay. Stop throwing away these items! If you do not have time to sell your items, donate them to Goodwill or the Salvation Army for a tax write-off.
- Reduce Junk Mail: Save trees by opting-out of unsolicited credit card and insurance offers that end up in your garbage or recycling bin. Besides, these pieces of mail can lead to identity theft. Catalog Choice will also help reduce unsolicited catalogue junk mail.
- Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs): Replace your incandescent lights with CFLs. This effort will have an upfront cost; however, it will save you money in the long term. For the best CFL prices, check your local warehouse stores such as Costco, Sam’s Club or BJ’s.
When making eco-friendly changes, always follow the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! Also, I highly recommend involving your children in these efforts so they recognize the importance of taking care of the environment.
Leave a comment with some of your green tips that save money! Also, be sure to bookmark The Unemployed Mom and check back often!
Happy Earth Day!