Make the Green – Be the Green: Save Money By Being Eco-Friendly

Categories: Green Tips

Tree With Green Leafs and Dollar Bill Symbols

Want to live a little more eco-friendly? Want to save some money in 2016? Check out these 4 easy tricks that will help you do both!

Cleaning Up on Cleaning Supplies
Walk down the cleaning aisle in the grocery store and you’ll be surrounded by brightly colored bottles and fresh smelling powders that call out “Buy me – buy me!” Don’t do it!  A lot or these products are not eco-friendly and they’re expensive.

But you can get great results by making your own cleaning products at home! By using things like baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice, you can create a suite of safe, effective, and inexpensive cleaning products. Learn how to make them here!

Don’t Bother with Bottles
Buy a lot of bottled water? I don’t blame you. The stuff is everywhere and advertised as fresher and safer, but that’s usually just marketing. In fact, one study estimated 25% of bottled water is “tap water in a bottle – sometimes further treated, sometimes not.”

Add to that the fact that about 88% of bottles don’t get recycled, it takes 4 gallons of water to make a 1-gallon plastic bottle, it’s about 10,000 times more expensive than tap water, and you’ll see that bottled water is clearly the loser both in terms of money and being green.

Try switching to BPA-free water bottles and filling them with tap water, which is by and large completely safe. If you’re worried about your local water quality, use a filtered pitcher or install a water filter. You could end up saving $2,900 a year if your family is drinking a lot of bottle water.

Bright (and Cheap) Ideas
When you look up in your home, what do you see? A ceiling (hopefully) and light bulbs. Now, if you’re still using old-fashioned light bulbs, you’re actually wasting money and energy.

You see, for an average household using an average amount of electricity, old incandescent lights can cost around $50 a month and the bulbs need to be replaced every 1,000 hours (which happens a lot faster than you’d think.)

With new CFL or LED bulbs, you can save $38 – $42/monthly and the bulbs last 6-15 times longer. They’re a little more expensive upfront, but boy are they worth it!

Cool off the Water Heater
You turn on the shower and – YOWCH! TOO HOT! Has that happened to you? Do you end up having to fiddle with the temperature for a while until it’s finally right?

That’s not just annoying – it’s costing you money. A lot of water heater’s are set too high and can safely be lowered to 120ºF. For every 10ºF you lower your water heater, you can save $12-30 annually. That may not sound like a lot, but for taking a few minutes to make a minor adjustment, it’s a pretty good deal.

Click here to see how to adjust your water heater.

Thanks to the following sources for the great information! Heloise of Goodhousekeeping.comABCNews.go.com, Energy.gov, Nick English of Greatist.com, Goodhousekeeping.com, Natural Resources Defense Council, Colleen Cancio of Howstuffworks.com, Reader’s Digest, Hearts.com, and Xcel Energy.