Saving the environment and saving some cash don’t have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, there are plenty of ways you can protect the planet while also protecting your wallet. By modifying some of your everyday habits, you’ll start to see the savings add up and also do your part to keep the environment healthy for future generations.
Fill Your Own Water Bottle
Spending $1.50 every time you’re thirsty is rather impractical. Therefore, why not try carrying around your own reusable water bottle? This will save plenty of natural resources, as it actually takes four gallons of water just to fill up one gallon of consumable water. Not only that, but drinking bottled water ends up being 10,000 times more expensive than drinking from the tap.
Bring Your Own Bags
If you rely on getting plastic bags from the grocery store each time you make a trip, you’re missing out big. These bags can take up to 1,000 years to completely decompose, clogging up landfills and polluting the earth. However, if you reuse these bags, you can prevent this vicious cycle as well as save money. Many stores give a discount of $0.04 to $0.10 per bag that you bring. This might not sound like much, but it definitely adds up over time.
Use Less Gas
There are plenty of ways to use less gas, the main one being to drive less. If you’re able to walk or bike to work, try doing that at least three times a week. You can also make a few changes when you’re driving around town, such as removing your roof rack, as this can create drag that uses up two to five percent of the fuel in your tank. Turning off the air conditioning and going the speed limit are additional ways to conserve your fuel.
Buy Used Items
It’s no secret that buying used items is cheaper. You’ll save big by hitting up thrift stores, eBay, and other second-hand shops for clothing, books, electronics, and more. In addition to getting a drastic discount, you’ll help to reduce the pollution associated with the production of these new items. For example, producing just one new cotton T-shirt requires 1/3 pound of pesticides, while building a new mid-sized car puts 30,000 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Turn Off the Power
Business Insider estimates that Americans waste $146 billion each year in electricity. Even worse, abundant electricity use accounts for 32 percent of the greenhouse gases produced in the United States. You can stop your bill from soaring by turning off lights when you aren’t using them as well as switching to energy-efficient bulbs. To take it a step further, make sure you have an efficient HVAC system, as this can save tons on your power bill.
While none of these changes are difficult to enact, they may take some time to get used to. However, by keeping your monetary goals in mind, you’ll find it’s easy to slip into a new, eco-friendly routine.