Are you one of those people who say, “I’d love to go green, but it costs too much money!”?
On Earth Day, all of us here are sharing our stories so you know that just the opposite is true! My own experience is that going green actually saves me several thousand dollars a year while increasing my quality of life. That’s because I’ve figured out how to reduce what I buy, reuse what I have, and save energy and water, two items (especially energy) that could otherwise cost me hundreds of dollars a year.
Happily, I’m not alone. Here’s how a lot of people I know and respect are also saving money by being green:
Betsy at Eco-Novice offers very concrete ways to save money on products that otherwise increase your exposure to toxic chemicals. Her helpful post includes 6 switches she’s made that you can, too, including a switch from disposable plastic baggies to reusable food bags in food-safe fabrics in a variety of sizes, from snack to gallon.
Kristina of The Greening of Westford recommends using local libraries to borrow books and movies for kids and adults alike rather than go out and buy them brand new. Also, she says, if you do want to buy, drop in to your library’s book sales, where they generally sell used books at greatly reduced prices. Kristina notes that she brings the process full circle by donating the books she buys back to the library at some point so they can be re-sold again.
Brittney Gordon-Williams, Communications Manager for EPA’s ENERGY STAR products, ticks off some specific ways consumers can save money by saving energy. For example, did you know that ENERGY STAR certified LED light bulbs use 70-90% less energy and last 25x longer than your old incandescent bulbs? Or that enabling your computer and monitor’s power management fatures can save you up to $90 a year? Brittney invites you to check out My ENERGY STAR for more tips and energy-saving suggestions.
Beth from My Plastic Free Life has found many ways to save money by going plastic free. Of course, she saves a lot of money by using a refillable water bottle rather than buying bottled water, and she’s reused all kinds of glass jars for food storage, rather than by new plastic ones. She skips new plastic shampoo bottles and deodorant applicators by mixing up those products herself from baking soda and other ingredients, and then storing them in the same containers over and over. And she’s learned how to fix many things when they break rather than replace them – the ultimate money-saving strategy.
Anna at Green-Talk offers lots of useful ways to go green in the kitchen and save money, too. For example, “don’t forget to install an inexpensive aerator for your faucet to reduce your water usage as well as your bill,” she suggstions. Plus, “Don’t stop there. Plants need water? Water them with leftover cooking water or half drunken glasses of water.” Good idea!
At Groovy Green Livin’, Lori has a great list of “15 Ways to Be Green Without Spending a Dime.” One that has saved me a bundle over the years is her #14: “use Freecycle, Craigs List or other sites that have free stuff.” It’s all about reusing and keeping good stuff out of landfills,” she says. Amen to that!
Paige of Spit That Out the Book recommends using coupons from green companies to offset their costs. She provides a long list of green couponers, green coupon aggregators and flash sale sites, which was totally new to me.
Leigh Ann at Green4U offers this unique suggestion to save money and go green, too: Invite friends over for dinner, rather than go to a bar or the movies. Make it potluck so everyone participates, and rotate houses so the same person isn’t hosting all the time. Great idea!
Sommer at Green & Clean Mom reminds people that “Less Meat Means Less Money.” Generally, she reminds us, “veggies, rice and beans cost much less than meat products. In this economy, as fuel prices and food prices rise, we can expect meat to become an expensive habit. Reduce your meat consumption and save a little.”
Karen at EcoKaren offers a terrific list of "11 Things You Should Never Buy to Be Safe and Save Money." For example, skip the pre-cut drumsticks and chicken breasts - a whole chicken is half the price. Chicken stock in a box? Not when you can make it yourself much more cheaply from the bones of that chicken you just cut up. As for canned tomatoes, many cans are lined with BPA, a toxic chemical linked to birth defects. Maybe it's time to learn how to can or freeze tomatoes yourself?
Jen of Jen and Joey Go Green doesn't shy away from the fact that sometimes, "eating healthy is going to cost you more than pre-packaged food. That is just the way the kale crumbles!" However, "pre-planning will help you spend less on healthy food than you would buying processed foods that are full of chemicals." That sounds like a good trade to me!
Trina at O’Boy! Organic also focused on food, offering real food money saving tips that help her on a weekly basis. She says she’s able to keep her food bill down to $150 a week by planning her menus, using foods she already has, having at least one leftover night in the week, buying meat in bulk, and buying staple items online. Her links to the various shopping sites she uses are very helpful, too.
For a few more ways to save money buying food, here’s my list of Top Ten Organic Food Price Busters.
As Stacy of Move The Market says, "If money is energy, I want to invest mine in creating the world I want to live in...As I've happily discovered, what's best for my body and the planet is often best for my budget, too." That is so true!
How do you save money going green? Please share you suggestions!
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