It seems it’s been a while since we’ve had a piece of hopeful news about the environment and our impact on it. Unless there’s a radical change, things are probably not going to pan out well for us, or the planet. Most of us can and should try to influence the issue at any level we can. Living in an eco-friendly manner is a personal choice anyone can make.
There are so many things people can do to reduce their impact on the environment. Quite a few of them would have a beneficial effect on their budgets, too. If you’d like to start saving money the eco-conscious way, here are five of the best tips you have to try.
There is a long list of reasons why the paper industry, even though it produces a very useful product, might cause more trouble than it’s worth. The industry is the 5th largest consumer of energy in the world. It contributes to water and soil pollution. It uses up a tremendous amount of resources. And it contributes to global deforestation.
The world would be better off if we used less paper. The obvious way you can contribute to the reduction of paper use in the world would be to transform your business into a paperless one. That would also save your business some money.
If you really want to go paperless, you’ll need to change a couple of your habits. Installing a bidet in your bathroom will rid you of the need to use toilet paper. And that will also save you money in the long run. And so would buying eBooks instead of paperbacks, and opting to read the digital editions of your favorite newspaper or magazine.
Improve Your Home’s Energy Efficiency
Home energy efficiency is a big deal when it comes to both eco-friendliness and saving money. The goal of living in an energy efficient home is to use as little energy as possible so that both your environmental impact and the utility bills are minimal.
You should approach the energy efficiency of your home as an investment — you will have to spend money to get money. Depending on your budget, you can do serious remodeling to improve the utilization of your HVAC system or change old doors and windows to reduce heat loss. Often enough, simple DIY methods that improve insulation and maintain power-using amenities in working order will be enough to see some results.
Once again, you might need to do away with some bad habits. You might need to remember to turn down the water heater a bit, and to adjust the thermometer in your home to a lower temperature. You could go back to the good old line drying of your clothes, instead of using the drier. You could turn off the lights in the rooms you’re not inhabiting at the moment. And you can get a power strip with an off switch to stop the vampire appliances from using electricity even when they are off.
Cook Your Own Food, and Do It the Smart Way
It’s a well-established fact that cooking at home is a great way to save money. Depending on the meals you’re preparing, it’s possible to save up to 80% or even 90% of the money you’d spend eating out. But you can also make sure that your eating habits at home contribute to an eco-friendly lifestyle.
Eating less meat is an important part of eating eco-friendlier. You don’t have to go completely vegetarian, but you should understand how raising cows and pigs contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and other forms of pollution. And it’s not all that pleasant to the animals either.
You can also grow some of your own food, or at least the spices and herbs you use the most. Using a pressure cooker is a great way to cook with less energy. And make sure that you waste no food — we throw away up to 40% of food, and that’s just wrong.
Waste Less Water
If you have access to drinkable tap water, there’s no reason not to drink it. It’s significantly cheaper than bottled water, and the process for producing water bottles is wasteful. Tap is cheaper and greener, as long as it’s a healthy alternative in your area.
You should also think carefully about the hardware you use for your water consumption. Having one BPA-free reusable water bottle is a great way to have tap water with you on the go. Installing low flow showerheads will reduce the amount of water you use when showering.
Keeping the faucets in your home leak-free will reduce waste. Taking shorter showers or washing less frequently might actually be good for you. And turning off the tap when you’re not using it, well, that should be a reflex.
Transportation is the second biggest expenditure of Americans, right behind housing. Americans tend to spend more money buying vehicles and fuel than they do on food. And it’s not costing us in money only — transportation is one of the major contributors of pollution.
The logical option would be to use public transportation whenever possible and practical. And believe it or not, you’ll also be safer — taking a bus is roughly sixty times safer than driving a car.
If there are no viable public transportation options available in your area, switching to an electric or at least a hybrid car could be a solution. In some cases, people ditch motorized transport altogether and start riding bikes. At the very least, you should look into carpooling options.
Going green and saving money often goes hand in hand. A large part of being eco-friendly is reducing wastefulness, which is also a sure way to save money. Many of the eco-friendly habits are also more cost-efficient. And as the world turns more towards green energy, even the eco-friendly options that would cost more than they save are bound to become less expensive.