Being green is a pretty trendy thing now a days. But what if it could also save you money? Well guess what! It can! Being ecofriendly or green may seem daunting at first but there are a lot of quick, easy little steps you can take to green your lifestyle and save money to boot!
- Reduce – Reduce your clutter, donate your unused toys, clothes, appliances, gear, anything you don’t need. This isn’t to say get rid of anything, but if it’s been sitting in your closet for a year untouched you probably could do without it. Donating not only gives life to once forgotten things, but helps others, and can lower your taxes.
- Reuse – You know your zip top plastic bags? You can wash and reuse them, same for those plastic spoons. You don’t have to go crazy and reuse everything but even using that plastic bag from the shop as a liner for a trash can helps use one less new plastic trash bag.
- Recycle – Recycling programs are different depending on the community. However, many are free, or free with one bag of trash. While living near Camp Lejeune the apartments we lived at didn’t offer recycling. Now I recycled for as long as I could remember, so I found the nearest dump, they had recycling – it was free. Just cost me a trip to the dump 10 min away. Now, at our current duty station we have recycling pickup, but we only have one medium kitchen trash bag of trash per week. The rest, one normal trashcan is full of recycling. Many places are now single stream recycling, which means you don’t even have to sort anything! Find a place to recycle near you!
- Recycle Your Tech – Many stores like Best Buy, Office Depot, or Staples accept things like old technology, printers, printer cartridges, batteries and more to recycle. Some tech recycling programs even give you rewards for recycling.
- Bring your own bag – You go grocery shopping, ever notice how certain store’s plastic bags are well…flimsy at best? You put 2 items in it and it still breaks before you get it inside! Canvas shopping bags don’t have that problem! You can fit SO MUCH STUFF into those bags. You know what that means? Less trips from the car! No dropping things on the way to the door cuz the bag gave out! Plus, retailers like Target, among others, give you a discount off your bill just for bringing your own bag! Besides, you can get them in so many stylish options, even ones that support worthy causes.
- Compost – Composting is great, especially if you are a gardener! You can use that rich compost in your garden and save on the cost of fertilizer. There are many compost options for apartment living too.
- Energy Efficient Bulbs – Modern energy efficient lightbulbs not only last longer than conventional ones, but they save you money every month on your energy bill. Don’t forget the outdoor lights! (ProTip for renters: Take out the inefficient bulbs when you move in and set them aside until you move out, install your own energy efficient bulbs and bring them to your next duty station!).
- Energy efficient surge protectors – Did you know there are vampires living in your home?! Yes! Vampire appliances! All those appliances that you leave plugged in all the time are using energy even when they are turned off. Anyone else have a TV that has a light on to show that it’s off? Mine does -_-;; That little light it using energy and costing us money! Fortunately there are great surge protectors that turn off the appliances plugged into it when they are not in use, saving you money (and protecting your valuable stuff from nasty power surges).
- Carpool! Meeting a friend? Meeting a group of friends? Try taking as few vehicles as possible to lower gas usage. Plus that much more time hanging out with your friends! Trade driving duties to be fair (c’mon clean that car once in a while).
- Public Transportation – Some areas have great public transportation. Public Transportation usually also gives a military discount. Save wear and tear on your vehicle, use less gas, and save money. Besides, trains are fun.
Will you be taking any steps to green your lifestyle? What steps have you taken already? Tell me about it in the comments. Stay tuned for even more tips to green your life.