Eye on Sustainability: Going Green, Saving Green

Published Thursday, April 14, 2011 5:42 PM

Who doesn't want a little extra green in their wallet at the end of the month? This April, celebrate Earth Day, by going green to save some green. Follow these simple tips for doing well by doing good.

Think Reusable: Stop spending money on items you throw away. Plastic water bottles cost money and fill up our landfills. Instead make a one-time investment in a BPA-free water bottle and refill from the tap. Stop buying disposable coffee filters and baggies for the kids' sandwiches and again, make an investment in reusable filters and packaging.  Swap out paper napkins and plates for the real deal. You'll save money and create less trash.

Out with the Old: Swap out incandescent bulbs for Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) which last up to 10 times longer than traditional bulbs but use 66 percent less energy!

Practice Moderation: Use less energy by moderating the temperature of your home. Consider replacing your furnace with a more efficient model and turn the thermostat down a few degrees. Conserve water with aerators and by making baths an occasional treat. You'll see savings in your monthly bills.

Plant a Garden: Save at the produce section by growing your own herbs and vegetables. Tending a garden teaches kids to respect nature while encouraging healthy eating and the practice of self-sufficiency.

Walk, Bike or Carpool:  Cut commuting costs by greening your commute. Consider walking or biking if feasible or carpooling for longer commutes. On the weekends, save at the pump by putting your car in park. Walking or biking with your family is a wallet-friendly way to both enjoy quality time as a family and get needed exercise.

Swap, not Spend: Rather than spending money purchasing goods to fill already overstuffed homes, arrange swaps with families and neighbors. Items such as party clothes, snow gear, skis, sleds and recreational items such as wagons and bikes are often outgrown before they are outlived. Arrange trades for items you no longer need rather than consigning them to the trash.

Over the long haul: Taking steps to make your house energy efficient reaps long-term dividends. Insulate your house so it requires less heat in the colder months, replace old windows with double-paned glass, upgrade out-of-date appliances to newer "Energy Star" models, install a programmable thermostat, low-flush toilets and aerators on every faucet. Replace grass with succulents or plants requiring little or no water and maintenance. Consider going solar to cut energy costs and gain tax breaks.

For more resources on greening your home to save some green, visit www.earthday.org


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# Eagle said on Tuesday, January 10, 2012 4:30 AM

There's a terrific amount of knowdlege in this article!

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