Earth Day 2014: 15 Money Saving Ways to Preserve the Environment

Believe it or not, it doesn’t cost a lot of money to be “green”.  In fact you could save money.  Here’s 15 money saving ways to preserve the environment, in no particular order*.

Choose reusable shopping bags instead of plastic.  I’ve gotten so many of these complimentarily – plenty to bring all my groceries home and avoid plastic bags.  The hardest part is remembering to put them back in my truck for next time after I unload the groceries.

Stop buying bottled water and instead use re-usable ones filled with filtered tap water.  There are many home filters to choose from whether you buy an attachment for your faucet or you fill up a Brita pitcher.  A Brita pitcher will replace 300 standard 16.9 ounce bottles with one filter.  Lots of $$ saved and you free up landfill space.

Replace your shower head and conserve water with a high efficiency showerhead.  It’s less work for your water heater, you’ll conserve water and you’ll lower your water bill.

Install dimmers to control room lights.  You’ll save on electricity and control the “mood”.

Bike to work.  We know bike paths are lacking in many areas of Indianapolis and surrounding areas and many of us live a bit of a distance from work.  But, what about biking to the corner grocery store or pharmacy?  Walking, biking, or riding the bus just one day a week lowers your carbon footprint and it’s great exercise!

Pay bills online – eliminate paper waste.  You can take it a step further and ask that your post office not deliver the circulars to you each day.

Plant a tree.  This will add beauty and curb appeal to your home and a shade tree can keep your home 20 degrees cooler in the summer and help lower your air conditioning bill.

Compost your waste.  Use the compost to nourish your gardens v. purchasing chemicals.  Less garbage ends up in the landfill and you save money while improving the quality of your soil.

Use a rain barrel to collect rain to water your lawn and garden, reducing your water usage.

Choose native plants for your garden and containers.  They use less water, require less maintenance, and attract wildlife.

Invest in Energy Star® appliances.  You’ll use 10-50% less energy than standard models according to the United States EPA. 

Use LED bulbs.  They last longer and contain no mercury.  They use only 2-10 watts of electricity and are cool to the touch according to

Program your thermostat.  Half of your energy bills, especially this winter, are heating and cooling.  Program your thermostat to adjust the heating and cooling and save up to $180 per year.

Use “green” cleaning products (products made with plant and mineral based ingredients) or make your own cleaners with ingredients such as lemons and baking soda.

Buy local food.  Transporting food to it’s final location uses a lot of energy.  Locally grown produce, eggs and meat have a dramatically lower impact on the environment.  You can still buy local in the winter at Indy’s Winters Farmers Market.

There are probably many more ways to go green and the environment and your money.  Can you think of any more?  Please add in the comments.

And, here’s last year’s blog, “5 Easy Ways to be Green and Save Money” for a couple more tips.

– S.O