In honor of Earth Day, we’re dedicating this post to ways you can be frugal and green! Many Americans have the misconception that it’s impossible to protect the planet and save money. Educating consumers on ways they can help preserve our environment without breaking the bank is extremely important. To help, we’ve compiled a list of a few quick and simple ways consumers can save money and help the environment at home.
The first step when going green and being frugal is to examine your energy consumption. Learn how to be energy efficient set your thermometer to a timer so that it’s not running during the day when no one is home, seal cracks and leaks in windows, purchase energy efficient appliances, and turn off anything and everything that can be turned off. Being energy efficient means saving money on utility bills, replacing lights, and other appliance replacement costs.
The second step is to learn how to eat efficiently. Consider starting your own organic garden at home. The average person saves $500 a year from growing their own vegetable garden. Also, eat more vegetables and less meat. They’re cheaper (especially if you grow your own), healthier, and decreases the demand for environmentally unsound industry. As a consumer, you create the demand. The more efficiently you eat, the better messages you send to businesses.
The last step is to learn how to use your natural resources. On a beautiful day, open your windows and let the sunshine in to heat/cool your home. The natural light is beautiful and an inexpensive way to adjust the temperature of your home. Also, hang your clothes out to dry instead of using the dryer. It may take a bit longer, but you can save you bundles on your energy bill. Lastly, set up a water reservoir to irrigate into your organic garden. They are simple to install and can help save hundreds a year in water costs.
Consumers aren’t the only ones concerned about being environmentally friendly; many companies are making the switch and helping shoppers save money. Large corporations such as Wal-Mart promote green business practices that are directly translated into savings for the consumer. For example, Wal-Mart now offers organic lettuce at the same price as regular lettuce when you buy in bulk. They offer this discount when buying in bulk because they’re able to fully load their trucks and cut down on transportation costs. Pretty smart, right?!
Another example of a company “going green” is waste management. Did you know that recycling creates six times as many jobs as landfilling! Many waste management companies are transforming themselves from a primarily landfill operation to a residential recycler. These companies are finding a new ways to profit from trash, but in a more environmentally friendly manner. This fact goes to show you that “going green” not only promotes a more sustainable environment, but also stimulates our economy through the creation of more jobs!
Promoting environmentally sustainable practices does not necessarily have to be heavy on your wallet. There are multiple ways you can “go green” and be frugal. Some energy efficient appliances and cars may cost you more upfront, but their overall energy and fuel savings practically pay those extra costs for you. Before beginning any new practices, it’s important to educate yourself on the topic and any possible outcomes. The moral of the story is always consider how your actions may negatively affect the environment before you take them. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and most importantly be frugal!