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When Going Green Can Save You Money

by Mike

In today’s economy, it can seem like being good to the environment is a luxury. Not many people can afford to outfit their houses with solar panels or geothermal heating, drive a hybrid car, or even shop in the organic produce department. But being good to the earth can also help you to keep more money in your checking account. There are many low-cost or money saving options out there that will make you feel good about your carbon footprint and your bank balance.

Home energy use is one of the easiest places to start your saving. We all know that it’s important to lower our consumption, but what may be surprising is how easy it can be. The Department of Energy’s website www.energysavers.gov outlines ways to minimize your energy use. Homeowners will often get more energy savings bang for their buck with the simpler, cheaper solutions. According to the Department of Energy, a caulk gun, some weather stripping, and an afternoon plugging drafts in the house can lead to as much as a 30% savings. If you have the time and money to add insulation to your attic, that will make another huge difference. But even if all you can do is lower the thermostat a couple of degrees and throw on the sweater Great-Aunt Gertrude knitted for you last Christmas, you will see a difference in your energy bill.

It may seem like the only way to drive environmentally is to buy a new, more fuel-efficient car. But keeping your current car on the road as long as possible is also a green-friendly choice. Carpooling, driving the speed limit, keeping your car in good working condition and making sure your tires are properly inflated are all obvious ways to help your fuel economy. In addition, planning out your trips before you make them and saving all of your errands for one day of the week will not only help your savings goals, it can also help save a great deal of frustration. Finally, keep your car in the garage every once in a while. Running errands on foot or bicycle can be a fun way to stay in touch with your neighbors while taking care of yourself, your planet, and your bottom line.

The list of produce that is most important to buy organic can be frustrating to those on a budget. The so-called “Dirty Dozen” features the produce that I personally buy most often. However, there are ways to improve the footprint your food consumption makes, without having to spend big bucks. For example, meal planning can take a huge bite out of the money-drain that is wasted food. Going to the grocery store with a plan and list in hand will cut down on impulse buys and make sure that every food item coming home will be eaten. Also, going “grocery shopping” in your own kitchen can turn up unexpected goodies. Every kitchen has frozen and canned items that have sat unused for untold months. Planning one meal a week around these freebies will save you money and possibly lead to a new favorite recipe.

Going green is ultimately a lifestyle choice, just like being frugal. No matter why you are interested in saving-for financial or environmental reasons-making little changes can lead to a big payoff.

This is a guest post by Philip Taylor of PT Money: Personal Finance. Visit his blog to learn to make more, save more, and spend more wisely. See Philip’s latest review of the best small business credit cards.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Sustainable PF

Good start! There are a ton of ways to save money by going green. Feel free to check out our new site where we’ve already discussed retrofitting your home, switching to CFL light bulbs and composting – all with the financial data to back up why going green can get you in the green!
Sustainable PF´s last [type] ..Weekend Reading – The Renewable Energy Edition

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DoNotWait

We are going greener for both environmental and financial reasons. The most savings we did were energy ones, mainly electricity.

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retirebyforty

The ultimate green move is to move to a smaller place and lower your foot print. This saves money and helps the environment. :)
retirebyforty´s last [type] ..November 2010 Credit Card Bill

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Doable Finance

If you have oil furnace or boiler, you can tune up every year so it runs efficiently giving you more comfort. It might save you money as well. Gas boiler or furnace are clean burning energy so you need tune up probably 10 years or so or may be longer.
Doable Finance´s last [type] ..Four Kinds Of Investing You Can Look Into

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Philip Taylor

Great tips, everyone. Mike, thanks for letting me share this article here.
Philip Taylor´s last [type] ..OptionsHouse Review – Online Discount Broker

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