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Ten Inexpensive Ways To Be Green on Earth Day

By Erik Folgate

So, I decided to do the obligatory environmentally conscious article for earth day. I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t jumped on the “going green” bandwagon. It’s not that I don’t like the environment, I am just skeptical about the hysteria that everyone thinks our planet is going melt soon. Having said that, whether your a tree hugger or not, there are many financial advantages to being more environmentally friendly. Most of it has to do with conserving energy. The less energy that you consume, the more money you’ll save over a lifetime.

  1. Insulate Your Water Heater. It will take less time for your water heater to heat the water.
  2. Buy a programmable thermostat.Program the temperature to be hotter when you’re gone, and cooler when you’re home.
  3. Replace the weather strips on your exterior doors. help keep the cold air inside in the summer and the hot air inside in the winter.
  4. Re-caulk/Re-seal the windows. Same concept as above.
  5. Buy a Brita water filter. I bet there are tons of people who think they are so environmentally conscious, yet they buy Fiji water every week and don’t reuse the plastic bottles. Even better than reusing the plastic bottles is filtering your tap water with a Brita pitcher.
  6. Use a dry-erase board for note taking. If you’ve got a big family that is going in and out of the house all the time, put up a dry-erase or chalk board in the kitchen to make notes and remember phone numbers.
  7. Grow your own fruit and vegetables. Maintaining a garden can be very fun, and it sometimes tastes better than the stuff you buy on the side of the road.
  8. Make your own cleaning products. click here for tips on how to make your own cleaning products. All you need is some baking soda, ammonia, and detergent.
  9. Buy used furniture, electronics, and other house decor. You’ll save thousands over your lifetime if you find bargains on lightly used furniture, electronics, and other household accents.
  10. Re-use plastic grocery bags. My wife and I don’t even use these anymore, because we spent $5 and bought cloth bags at Publix, a large grocery chain in the southeast. We like the fact that we’re helping out the environment, but we did it more because we can usually fit a whole grocery cart full of food into five large cloth bags. But, if you still use the plastic bags, do what we did with them. We kept them and used them to pack lunches and use for doggy do-do bags.
  11. ::Steps up on my soap box::

    I have no problem with people trying to do what they can to help out the environment. My wife and I aren’t obsessed with it, but we do little things here and there. However, I have a BIG problem with people who make us feel guilty about being free and using energy. I believe in freedom, and if you want to take really hot showers, have the a/c down to 72, and use a paper towel every time you wash your hands, then go right ahead. It’s your life, and the government and the media shouldn’t be the ones telling you how to live it. If you want to go green, do it because you genuinely want to help the environment and be a good steward of the environment that God gave us. Don’t do it just because you felt guilty about it.

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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Comments

  • http://wealthboy.com WealthBoy

    Those cloth bags from Publix are great! They can’t even make enough of them to keep up with demand. My wife bought the last three, and had to wait until they had more available to buy the rest.

    I watched an episode of Modern Marvels last night, and saw a very interesting eco-friendly consumer product: the NatureMill automatic indoor composter. At $300, it’s not exactly an inexpensive way to be green but considering what it does, it’s priced very reasonably. It will convert food waste into compost over a period of about 2 weeks. It has an air filter to eliminate the funk too. I’m actually considering getting one. The only problem is, what am I going to do with half a ton of compost a year?!? I suppose I could just sell what I don’t use or even give it away.

  • http://www.allaboutappearances.info Meg from All About Appearances and FruWiki

    Yeah, Publix! My husband and I also got the bags. They’re just the perfect size and shape. I saw that they have some new ones, not cloth though and quite a bit smaller.

    We have a programmable thermostat and it paid for itself in a couple months, despite the fact that we got one with all the bells and whistles.

    I don’t recommend reusing plastic water bottles because of potential problems with stuff leaching out of them, but I have no problem drinking from the tap here since our water here is probably even better than bottled.

    We also have a compost pile. Fortunately, we have a backyard so we don’t have to store it indoors, though we save the scraps in a box kitty litter came in — usually for about a week before we think to empty it. I haven’t noticed any problems with smell so long as we don’t leave it open or anything, but it’s definitely not a permanent solution in and of itself.

    Also, my husband and I have saved a lot of paper by sharing things communicating online via email, chat, Remember the Milk to-do lists, etc.

  • http://afrugallife-justthetwoofus.blogspot.com/ Rhiana

    Hey, Thanks, I like your ideas and the whiteboard is a new “green” idea to me. My husband I used to keep a small whiteboard by the door to write each other messages. I never thought about the fact that we were saving on wasting paper. I’m going to go out and get an other white board this weekend.

  • http://madsaver.com Mac

    We’ve tried to use the reusable bags at grocery stores, but have failed countless times. We have to remember to bring them in each time, clean them after use, and bring enough to fit all the groceries. Plus, it seems we have an assortment from multiple stores, so we’re lacking polish on that front.
    At least we always reuse the paper & plastic bags. All recycling goes into the paper bags and we use the plastic for trash & diapers (used too!).
    Not great, but the system works. We also NEVER buy water bottles. What a waste.

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