As people become more aware of environmental health and want to do something to improve it, coming up with ideas for green initiatives has never been easier. Saving the planet and saving money go hand-in-hand, so whether your motivations are to leave a better world behind or to leave some money in your pocket, it’s time to make some changes.
Use energy-efficient light bulbs
Trade in your incandescent bulbs for CFL or LED bulbs. They may cost more initially, but they last longer and use less energy.
Use a compost bin
Recycle your food scraps and use them to fertilize your garden instead of sending them to the landfill.
Use energy-efficient appliances
When that old toaster finally dies, replace it with one that boasts an ENERGY STAR Partner sticker.
Use reusable bags
When grocery shopping, bring a sturdy bag with you instead of creating more waste with bags from the store.
Turn off the lights
Save money and energy by turning off the lights when you leave the room. Better yet, don’t turn on the lights at all. During the day, natural sunlight should be sufficient for you to avoid running into the coffee table.
Pay bills online
When you pay your bills online, you won’t just save paper. Since a mailman won’t have to deliver your bills, you’ll help conserve fossil fuels, too.
Fix leaky faucets
Dripping water isn’t just annoying—it’s also wasteful. Tighten your faucet and save some dough.
Make your own household cleaners
There are dozens of recipes for eco-friendly household cleaners on the Internet. You can make window cleaner, for example, from nothing more than one part water and one part vinegar.
If your lawn mower dies, someone else may be selling one they don’t want or need anymore. Check Craigslist or the neighborhood yard sale Facebook page.
Hang your laundry
Give your dryer a break and save energy by hanging your clothes out to dry. Plus, nothing smells better than fresh, air-dried laundry.
Unplug chargers and appliances
Electricity still flows to them even when they aren’t being used.
Borrow instead of buy
If you need to complete a one-time task but don’t have the appropriate tools, try borrowing them from someone instead of buying them. For example, if you need to power wash your home’s siding but don’t have a power washer, borrow one from your neighbor instead of buying something you’ll only use a couple times a year.
Plant a garden
This is a no-brainer. Break away from the food industry and enjoy the freshest vegetables possible.
Lower the thermostat
If your furnace is running constantly, you’re burning gas. Turn down the temperature when the weather is nice—your home will still be warmer than it is outside.