It’s never a bad time to think of either cutting back on spending or taking an interest in being more eco-friendly.
We could always do more to care more for the environment around us and with rising costs, it never hurts to look for ways to save some cash. So what could be better than finding ways to do these things together?!
In today’s blog, we help you find ways in your life that can both save you money and allow you to be more eco-friendly. Keep reading to find out what they are!
13 eco-friendly ways to save money
Whether you’re looking to be more eco-friendly, save money, or both, any of the points below can help you!
1. Hang your clothes up to dry
If you’re doing your laundry at home, you probably have a dryer that you use frequently. If you have the time, opting to hang things to dry instead of putting them in the dryer – whether on a line outside or a hanging rack inside – can be quite beneficial!
For starters, dryers are said to be the most energy-consuming appliance in most households. Using it less can certainly reduce your energy bill and the amount of energy you’re using within your household. Also, dryers can actually slowly ruin your clothing. They lead to shrinkage, color-running, and destroy the fabric. So, by using your dryer less, you’re also saving your wardrobe!
2. Use power strips with on/off buttons
By leaving things plugged in all of the time, we’re actually wasting a lot of energy. Anything plugged in can slowly suck electrical power from the appliance even when not being used. The Department of Energy says that leaving things plugged in when not being used could add an extra 10% to your monthly energy bill!
To help with this, use a power bar with an on/off switch. This way, when you need to use the appliance, you can switch on the power, then stop it from receiving power afterwards. A power bar will cost you a few dollars, but save you plenty more in the long run!
3. Consider a hybrid car
Okay, okay – we said this was about saving money, not spending it. But if you’re in the market for a new car, you should consider a hybrid vehicle. They are often priced higher than conventional cars, but it pays off in the long run.
However, how much you save depends on how much you currently drive. If you hardly drive, then you probably won’t end up saving much money. But if you drive a good distance – maybe commuting to work every day – and find yourself at the gas pump frequently, then chances are you’ll end up saving all while emitting less greenhouse gasses!
4. Get a library card or e-reader
We all love a real paper book – the smell, the feeling of the pages flipping by your fingers, the beautiful cover art. And if you’re purchasing a used book, there’s really no harm. However, new paper books aren’t exactly environmentally-friendly.
If you want to save some trees while getting your reading in, consider either an e-reader or a library card. E-readers have plenty of storage so you can have all of your books in one place and most even allow you to hold down a word for the definition, along with other handy features. A library card can not only give you a chance to feel a bit more involved in your community – giving you a chance to visit your local library – but lets you borrow books old and new! Libraries sometimes have video games and DVDs as well!
5. Start using dryer balls
A small way to both reduce your carbon footprint and cut costs is to stop using dryer sheets. They’re bad for the environment, containing up to hundreds of different chemicals, some of which are toxic. These are then emitted from your dryer vent, into your neighborhood. And not only is this bad for the environment, it’s bad for your health. Then, you throw the dryer sheets out, and purchase another box.
The best alternative is a dryer ball – a little wool ball that can be used thousands of times, isn’t loaded with chemicals, and can actually reduce lint. Buying a six-pack of dryer balls can save you from buying dryer sheets for years and allow for a less-toxic laundry day.
6. Swap out your light bulbs
A quick and easy way to instantly make your home more eco-friendly is by switching out all of your light bulbs for energy efficient ones.
Two great options are compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or light-emitting diode (LED) lights. CFLs are much more efficient than the incandescent bulbs you probably grew up with, and they last about 10 times longer, and they don’t even cost much more. LED bulbs last twice as long or even more than CFLs and are more efficient in terms of wattage. They’re more expensive than a regular bulb, but you’ll have them for years longer.
This change will save you a lot in the long run as they require less energy and last longer. Plus, it’s estimated that if every single home in America replaced even just one light bulb with an Energy-Star rated light bulb, it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 9 billion pounds, or about the amount from 800,000 cars!
7. Buy a reusable water bottle
Instead of buying and using plastic water bottles, buy a reusable water bottle that you can fill up yourself!
Plastic water bottles not only take a tremendous amount of energy to make, they’re a contributing factor to plastic that’s polluting the ocean and killing marine life.
Instead of buying water bottles all of the time, buy just one reusable one and save all of that money!
8. Make your own coffee
We know, it can be fun going to a coffee shop, or sometimes it’s just way more convenient. But if you’re grabbing your daily cup of joe from a drive-thru every morning, you could save that time in the morning by making it at home, all while saving at least $30 per month!
Making coffee at home also helps the environment by reducing the amount of single-use coffee cups and lids ending up in the landfill. If you are planning on going to a coffee shop, consider bringing your reusable travel mug so that they can make your coffee in that and save a cup!
9. Switch to cloth napkins
Paper napkins or paper towels may seem like a necessity, but they generally aren’t. Energy and resources are used to make them and each year, billions of napkins alone are thrown away, having a significant impact on the environment.
Consider instead using cloth napkins. They may cost more up front and need to be washed after use, but it will decrease your waste and save you some cash in the long-run. Plus, they can add to your home decor!
10. Go paperless
Most bills you get in the mail will give you the option to go paperless – emailing your bill instead of physically mailing it. Select this option! This can save trees, cut down on pollution, reduce transport, and save water.
How can this save you money? Because of the simplicity of emailing instead of physically mailing your bill, many companies/services will give you a discount on your bill.
11. Insulate your home
Want to save about 15% on your monthly energy bill? Then ensure your house is properly insulated. Though this may seem like a pain in the butt, it’s worth it! Proper insulation means you’ll lose less heat in the winter and less cool air in the summer.
If you’re doing any renovating or even considering painting, it may be a good time to think about this option. There are sometimes even federal incentive programs, and your utility company may help out too – it also saves them in the long run!
12. Consider solar panels
Solar panels are quickly becoming popular for a reason. Installation will cost a few thousand dollars up front (though prices are dropping all of the time), but will then help you cut back on your carbon footprint with some estimating you’ll save up to $30,000 over 20 years – or more than $1,000 per year.
13. Get a low-flow shower head
Okay, here’s one that’s a little cheaper. A low flow shower head still produces more than enough water for you to properly shower, but can greatly reduce the amount of water used each shower. This can also save your water heater a lot of work. This can lower your water bill and water consumption all at once!
Do you know any others?
There are plenty of ways out there to be both eco-friendly and save money. Of course, we weren’t able to highlight all of them.
So, we were wondering…
Are there any that you know about (or even already do) that we didn’t mention here? Let us know! Just send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to hearing from you!