It’s hard to make such a positive change in the world by yourself, especially when it comes to our planet. However, there are little things you can do like going green that will make a positive difference. It’s easier than you might think, too. Many of you may already do a lot of these green tips, but you may find one or two you didn’t know of.
How to go green and save money:
1. Wash your clothes in cold water
This is a cost-effective way of washing your clothes. Your clothes will be just as clean as if you were to wash them with hot water. This will save energy costs on water and keep a bit extra in your wallet every week.
2. Turn the tap off while you brush your teeth
It’s easy to forget that you’ve left the tap on while you’re brushing your teeth or washing your face. Particularly first thing in the morning! However, this can help save water usage. It may not seem worth it, but over time it will certainly add up! Many places have water charges too, so its a great idea especially for people who live in these locations.
Having insulation in your house can make a huge difference to the heat of your house and how much you spend on heating costs. Studies have shown that houses with poor insulation can lose up to 30% of heat through the walls and attic of a house. To put this in perspective, if your heating costs are $1000 a year, you will lose $300 every year because of poor insulation. Not only will it save you 1000s over time, but it will also help reduce your carbon footprint on the environment.
4. Only run your dishwasher when it is full
Waiting until your dishwasher is full is a sure way of being energy-efficient. If you live in a small household, it may take a bit more than a day. Over time, you will be helping the environment and saving yourself a bit extra cash than if you were to use it when it’s half full.
5. Change your power settings on electronics
Most modern electronic devices like gaming platforms, computers and televisions have power saving settings that you can use. If you go to the power mode on these devices, you should find an energy mode which will power the device off over time. This will prevent these devices from running when nobody is using them. If you are one to fall asleep to Netflix, this will be sure to save you some money down the line!
6. Replace your bulbs with LED ones
A small investment of an LED bulb can go a long way. LED bulbs use a lot less energy than a normal bulb and can save you lots of money. The lifespan of some of these bulbs can be up to 10 years! Using more efficient sources of energy can help reduce the use of fossil fuels in your area. Who knew going green was as easy as changing a light bulb?
7. Invest in a drying rack
A drying rack is a great alternative over a tumble dryer as it uses no power. If you are lucky enough to live in a warm climate, you can put the rack outside or use the washing line. This is a great way to dry your clothes for free and a great step towards going green.
8. Walk or Cycle to work
If you live within a couple of miles to your workplace, you should consider walking or cycling! It is a great way to reduce greenhouse gases from vehicles and an easy way to keep fit. Not only that, but you will also save money on gas or public transport. Alternatively, if you live far from work you can use public transport to cut down on emissions.
9. Make your own cleaning supplies!
Modern cleaning supplies are full of chemicals that are harmful to the environment. You can easily make your own cleaning supplies using just baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and soap. Many people argue that it works better too. You can buy these ingredients in virtually any store in bulk which would save you a fortune over time.
10. Keep your electronics out of the trash
Toxins in electronics are terrible for the environment and is a growing problem. Many people are unaware of the effects they can cause to plants and animals. Recycling your electronics means they will be reused efficiently and won’t cause animals any harm. If there is no recycling center near you, you can drop your electronic device to any electronic store.
11. Forget bottled water
Purchasing a water purifier for your tap water is the perfect item for your journey to going green. It prevents unnecessary waste from plastic bottles and it can save you a small fortune over time. Purchasing an aluminum water bottle is a great little investment for this route.
12. Bring your own grocery bags
When doing your shopping, it is a great idea to bring your own grocery bags. Plastic is a major issue to our planet, especially to sea life. In recent years, polar bears have been known to eat rubbish and plastic as they are running low on food due to global warming. You can read more about this here. Having reusable bags means you won’t be using plastic bags that will just be thrown out or recycled in the future. It is a waste of money and a guaranteed way of damaging the planet.
13. Buy second hand instead of new
A great way to be kind to the environment and your bank account is to buy second hand. You can find some great bargains and it can help cut back on production waste. Keep an eye out on craigslist, facebook or for garage sales.
14. Try organic food
Most organic food has no negative effects on the environment. This can allow you to try new recipes every day and perhaps pick up a new lifestyle. Eat your greens to go green!
15. Get rid of your mail
Most mail can be sent online like your bills, new offers, and newsletters. Sending mail is an unnecessary burden on the environment. So if you can avoid it, do so.
16. Donate unwanted items to charity
If you have unwanted items, donate them to a charity shop or a thrift store. As great as recycling is, it does create greenhouse gases too. Donating them will allow that item to be used without any further carbon footprint.
17. Keep your vehicle well maintained
If you do drive, having a well-maintained vehicle is a must if you are to have as little negative effect on the environment as possible. You can make sure it has enough water and oil so it can run smoothly, keep the tire pressure at its optimal level and make sure the engine is running efficiently. These things are what makes a car ‘green’. Taking care of your car can also stop it from needing repairs down the line.
18. Try to use renewable energy sources
Although they can be expensive up front, they save money over time and they are (for the most part) great for the environment. Many governments have schemes set up that can give you a massive discount on renewable energy sources. You can find more information on renewable energy sources like solar energy here.
19. See if there are ‘Green Communities’ in your area
Many towns and cities have green communities that clean up the local area and teach people about how they can go green. These are a great way of helping the environment as they can also teach people of ways they can help reduce their carbon footprint. If your local area doesn’t have a community like this, try setting one up yourself!
20. Buy yourself a set of rechargeable batteries
Batteries have terrible effects on the environment and can potentially kill plants and animals if they are dumped incorrectly. A great way to counter this is to use rechargeable batteries! They are cost efficient so they will save you money, but they are also great on the environment as they are reusable.
21. Turn off the lights when you leave a room
It may seem simple and pointless, but over a long period of time you will save yourself money and keep light pollution to a minimum. You can even get certain devices that will automatically turn off when you leave the room. Food for thought!
22. Grow your own food
Growing your own food takes time and patience, but it can be a very rewarding experience. Growing your own greens, veggies or herbs is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Although buying vegetables from a store doesn’t hurt the planet too much, it costs lots of gas to transport it around the world and to your house! You may even find yourself a new hobby, too!
23. Unplug devices when you’re done with them
A lot of people may not know this (I didn’t!), but leaving a charger, television or any sort of electric device will still use a small amount of electricity if it is plugged in. Even if it’s not being used or connected to anything. If you consider all of the devices that are left plugged in overnight, you could save yourself a lot of money annually by picking up this habit.
24. Change your thermostat just a few degrees
Whether it be to adjust your thermostat a few degrees up or down, depending on the weather, it can reduce costs over the year. You will come accustomed to the new setting and won’t notice a change. It will lower your electricity bill and help to further reduce your households carbon footprint.
25. Collect rainwater
Collecting rainwater is a passive task that does not take up much energy. Once you’re set up, you’re good to go. It’s a great way to cut back on wasting water. You can use your collected rainwater for watering the grass and garden or to wash your car.
26. Use old towels instead of kitchen paper
Kitchen paper is a handy item to have, but it creates a lot of unnecessary waste. Use old towels to wipe up messes instead. You can easily wash them which makes them reusable. Or you can make rags from old t-shirts which do the same job.
27. Recycle or reuse glass jars
Glass jars are an easy item to recycle. What I do at home is stack them up in our garage and bring them to a recycling center that accepts glass once it gets full. I also have a collection of glass jars that I use for sugar, honey, jam, oats and other types of food. It looks great in the kitchen and is eco-friendly too.
28. Educate your children
If we are to make a positive impact on our planet, we need the next generation to be aware and act fast on how they can help. What better way to do that than to teach your children at home? There are some great documentaries you can find on Netflix or YouTube. Teaching them good green habits will help them in the future, too.
29. Reusable Coffee Containers
Many of us coffee and tea lovers purchase a couple of coffees a day. How much plastic and cardboard does that amount to every single day? It’s a lot. A lot of people are guilty of this, too. Stores like Starbucks and other coffee retailers sell reusable coffee mugs to prevent wasting so much every day. They even give slight reductions on your coffee too. So its nice on the bank account. In the UK alone, they use 7 million coffee cups every day. That’s 2.5 billion coffee cups every year. Many of these end up in the ocean and cause lots of issues for sea life.
30. Plant trees
Planting trees are one of the best ways to be kind to our planet. If we are to make a positive change on climate change, planting trees is the way to go. They have countless benefits and do so much for our environment. All it takes from us is to plant a seed, the trees will do the rest. They take carbon dioxide out of the air, create oxygen, prevent soil erosion, conserve energy and that’s only touching the surface of their benefits. You can also involve your kids in this activity, it will be a great memory for them to have in years to come. Unfortunately, deforestation is a major problem in the world. You can find out more about deforestation here.
31. Join a credit union
Major banks invest their money in coal, oil and other commodities that are harmful to our planet. Credit unions invest their money directly into the local community. If you get on to your local politicians, you may be able to convince them to invest that money into green living like renewable energy, conserving plantlife and wildlife and green communities. Some credit unions even have saving rates that are better than banks. It’s a win-win!
32. Keep lawn maintenance on the low
Do you own a small lawn? Why not invest in a push lawnmower. That way you can get a little workout in while cutting the lawn. It also doesn’t release anything that’s bad for the planet like a gas lawn mower would. Alternatively, you could transform that patch of grass into a vegetable garden.
33. Go green at work
If you find your workplace can be wasteful, make a suggestion to your boss. They probably won’t be keen on changing anything if you suggest it’s good for the planet. If you say it will save them money they will be more encouraged! Ways you could go green at work are print both sides on paper, turn lights off if nobody is using that space, educate staff on recycling correctly and use reusable bottles for coffee and water.
34. Buy some plants
Purchasing some plants for home or the workplace is a great way to literally go green. Plants get clean the air and create oxygen. So they are great for air quality and will absorb any carbon in the air that would be produced from the fireplace or anything else that produces it. They also bring a bit of life into a room.
35. Have a compost bin
A compost bin a great way to get rid of unused food. It also is beneficial to your soil and plants as it helps it provides nutrients. Another plus if you have a vegetable garden.
36. Electric cars
Electric cars are becoming increasingly popular now due to Elon Musk at Tesla along with other major car companies. These cars are a great alternative over the traditional gas car as they release lots of emissions that are terrible for the atmosphere and air quality. Although they can be expensive up front, they are a lot better for the environment and you save money on gas. If you have a car that has cruise control, use it! Many of these cars can save up to 15% on mileage.
37. Take cold showers
Taking cold showers is an excellent way to save money on hot water. Not only that, they have tonnes of health benefits for your skin and wellbeing. It can give you quite a fright when you first start, but once you get used to them you will notice the benefits.
38. Reduce your fan and heater usage
Although they are useful appliances, they use a lot of electricity. If it is too cold, wear some extra clothing like a warm jumper and thick socks. If it is too hot, wear less or open a few windows to get some fresh air.
39. Pick up trash, even if it’s not yours
It’s a great habit to just pick trash up on your daily commute or if you are on a walk. It takes little to no time and it helps the environment. You might even encourage a couple of people to do it too! Many people like to bring their kids out to help pick up rubbish. It keeps the community clean and teaches your kids not to litter.
If you and your family like to have a meal out every now and again, try to replace it with home cooking. Maybe have a nachos night or pizza night where everyone gets involved and helps cook. It’s a great family occasion and will cut back on food waste from restaurants and gas.
I hope you found one or two extra ways that you can bring in to your daily life. I encourage you to share this to your friends and family, that way we can help our planet with as many people as possible!
Leave your thoughts below!