With the current state of the economy, those of us who aren’t eco-friendly yet need to look into it – being environmentally savvy can save more than you think. The upsets of the financial markets in the United States are having effects across the globe; consumers everywhere are thinking again before making purchases, going a little longer before replacing things, and weighing the values of each purchase before heading to the checkout line. Depressing stuff, right? Luckily for people who think green, saving the planet can also mean saving dollars.
Here are some top tips I found that can help you conserve your dollars and the earth, chosen for their low-cost aspect and ease of adoption:
1. Put on a sweater
Add degrees of warmth, and save money while you’re at it! Keep your heating bills down and enjoy sporting winter fashions at the same time. Layering is a really good idea for maintaining the temperature you want, wherever you go. Even if you’re just hanging around the house, putting on more clothes definitely beats turning up the thermostat when it comes the checkbook.
2. Stop drinking bottled water
Did you know that you can get bottled water for free, at home? All you have to do is take a bottle (preferably reusable) and fill it with water – from the tap. If you have a thirst emergency and you aren’t at home, or don’t own any bottles, hands work equally well as efficient (and free) cups. If you insisit on drinking bottled water, RECYCLE!
3. Cut back on meat
Yes, you can still get enough protein if you stop eating meat, or even reduce your consumption even one day a week. Eating less meat means saving lots of money – meat is pretty expensive compared to tofu, beans, vegetables, fruit, or grain staples. Additionally, cutting the fat for many people will mean saving on future medical bills as well – consider it a non-taxable investment in your personal health.
4. Keep your computer as long as possible, and recycle once you decide to buy a new one
Sure, we would all love to have the latest technology as soon as it comes out. This may be an option for some people, but a computer is a hefty investment to others. While your old machine may not be in the prime of its technological ‘life’, waiting to replace it saves the resources it would take to make it, the gas needed to transport it, and the moolah in your pocket from being spent. Upgrade your existing machine, and if it really is time to buy new, make sure to recycle your old computer appropriately.
5. Have a winter party!
Be resourceful: invite your friends over for a gathering, and harvest their body heat! Each guest is the equivalent of a 175-watt heater, so the more peeps you invite, the warmer your house (and your heart). Seriously though, at one point all of us have been in an unbearably hot bar or club and know that body heat gets places hot. There are no rules on feeding or watering your guests, so let them provide the hot air while you bask in the glow of free heat.
If you really want to be extra-green, consider trying to live a life in the day of this family. For those of you just trying to save a buck, I would recommend The Daily Green, The Budget Ecoist, or the Frugalist. I hope that this entry helps you save money, but more importantly, look at your spending habits and evaluate your consumption and its effects on the environment. If you do end up saving so much money that you want to share the wealth, contact me and we can arrange an (eco-friendly) e-Transfer.