Did you know that today is Earth Day? In honor of today, I’m going to outline some ways to go green and save some green, too! I believe that going green is biblical. Yes, you heard that right.
The Bible talks about being good stewards on this earth. That means making sure that we’re not wasteful and being good stewards of this planet that God has given to us to take care of.
1. Save Energy
I have CFL’s (compact fluorescent light bulbs) throughout my entire house. If you haven’t made the switch yet (shame on you), buy CFL’s and replace when your regular bulbs burn out. They may be a little more expensive but they last longer and use less electricity than regular light bulbs. So you’ll save money in the long run and help the environment!
Turn off lights when not in use and consider unplugging unused electronics when not in use. These will suck electricity even when they’re turned off. Or you could just plug things into a power strip and turn that off when not in use.
How about setting your thermostat a few degrees higher in the summer and a few degrees lower in the winter? That will save on your energy bill and you probably won’t even notice the difference! Almost in the same vein, adjust your water heater lower. It will save you money and you probably won’t notice as well.
2. Save Water
Install low-flow toilets, shower heads, and even faucets to save on that water bill. Consider getting energy-efficient appliances that use less water (like washing machines). It’ll save you money in the long-run and you could qualify for some state-specific tax breaks.
You could set your sprinkler system to water your lawn earlier in the morning so the water doesn’t evaporate quickly. Here’s an easy one. Take shorter showers! That’ll save you some money!
You could also skip out on bottled water and use a water filtration system in your refrigerator or something like a Brita pitcher. Bottled water costs $8 per gallon if you pay $1.25 for a 20 oz bottle! And we’re complaining about the “high” cost of gas! Bottled water is also not necessarily healthier than from the tap.
3. Save on Gas
Consider walking/biking/carpooling/public transporting (is that even a word?) to work or school. This will save you money on gas and possible parking costs as well. An added benefit could be getting some much needed exercise, too! You could ask (convince) your boss if you could telecommute a day or two a week if you can do your job at home, too.
Here’s a good one: learn how to drive! Quick acceleration and hard braking will reduce your gas mileage, not to mention add wear and tear to your brakes and tires. Slowing down will also increase your gas mileage.
4. Be a Smart Shopper
Stop and think before you buy! Do you really need this or can you live without it? Sleep on it. That’s what I do. Consider buying used instead of new. Browse craigslist or freecycle to see if you can find someone who’s giving away stuff that you want or need. Borrow if you can (go to the library to check out books and movies).
Share with your neighbors! If you rent a movie, why not let your neighbor borrow it before you return it? I know this one’s hard since nobody knows their neighbors anymore.
Comparison shop. Don’t just take their word for it. Just because they say it’s on sale, doesn’t mean it’s the best price or value. Just because they’re going out of business (think Circuit City) doesn’t mean the stuff’s a good deal! Do your homework!
I’ve always lived a lifestyle of recycling. My dad taught me to recycle aluminum cans, plastic, glass, paper, etc. at an early age. Not only are you going to help the planet, you’ll make a little cash, too!
Don’t create so much trash! There are some countries in the world where there’s not enough space for landfills and it’s a crime to throw too much stuff away. Don’t use plastic or paper goods (plates, cups, etc.) if you don’t have to. Use those real dishes. That’s what the dishwasher is for!
Well, hopefully you’ve got some great ideas on how to save the planet and some cash, too! God bless!