The truth of the matter is that many people are rather discouraged about “going green.” They wonder if they can really make a difference. Others wonder whether it is “worth it.”
In both cases, though, the answer is “Yes!” You can help make a differences, and you can make it worth your while. Going green isn’t just about buying a Prius and making sure your food is certified organic. You can do every day things to be friendlier to the environment.
My Two Dollars posted on ways that you can reduce your impact on the environment and save money by making a few simple changes. Here are 4 of my personal favorites, with my thoughts:
- CFLs. By now you’ve heard about CFL lightbulbs. Yes, they cost more up front. But in the long run, they last longer and use less electricity. So it’s a case of long-term savings. We figure that, without having to buy new lightbulbs as often, and with the electricity savings, we managed to come out around $450 ahead over the last 5 1/2 years since we started using CFLs.
- Keep your car properly maintained. It pollutes less when it is properly maintained, and it improves your fuel efficiency, saving you money.
- Use power strips. You can plug electronics into power strips, and turn them off when you are not around. Even a computer or TV that is “off” is still drawing electricity. You will use less energy — and save money on your electric bill — if you use power strips. Turn them off at night and while you are out of the house.
- Get used items. Use Craig’s List or Freecycle to find used items. You can also buy books, CDs and DVDs used at a variety of entertainment stores online and offline. These items are usually in good condition, and when you buy them used, it means that fewer products have to be made to keep up with demand.
I also had a couple of other thoughts on saving the earth while saving money:
Grow a garden. During the summer, we have a garden. It’s good for the environment because we’re getting food (very) locally — which saves on transporting it to the store, and we don’t use pesticides. It saves money because we do not have to drive to the store as often (so that’s also good for the earth), and because we’re obviously not buying produce. If we have extra, we freeze for use out of season.
Try line drying your clothes. The dryer uses energy and costs money. Save both by line drying you clothing. During the winter, you can get a drying rack for use inside. Bonus: The indoor drying rack puts moisture into the air. During winter, when the heater can dry things out, the drying rack can reduce your need for a humidifier.
Miranda Marquit writes the Personal Finance Corner.