If we don’t treat our environment with respect and attention, life on earth will suffer (both humans and the animal kingdom), simple as that. Luckily, there are so many easy things you can do to make your lifestyle greener without spending anything at all. In fact a lot of the things you can do to stay green actually save you money in the process. To me it’s a no brainer; be green and save money in the process… why wouldn’t you?!
Here’s some top ideas to save you money and ease your conscience:
Waste Less Food
It’s amazing how much food we waste in the Western world. Think about it, how often do you throw away ‘out of date’ products or toss scraps into the trash from your plate? It’s both wasteful and costly! Instead of pouring your money straight into the trash, try to make a conscious effort to only buy the food that you will actually use. When you are cooking a meal or serving up some food, try to put only the amount you will eat on your plate – you can refrigerate any left overs and use them for another meal! The website Love Food Hate Waste has some great ideas on how you can cut back on your food waste and save money in the process!
Use Less Energy
This is another big waste in Western culture. How often do you leave lights on in rooms with no one in them!?.. it’s a senseless waste. True, it saves you having to flick the light switch back on when you go back into a room, but how much effort does that take really? You can get energy monitoring devices now that simply clip onto your power box and wirelessly send your energy usage to a control unit in the house. For a small outlay of cash, the savings you’ll make by knowing your energy usage are amazing and soon add up.
Many energy companies also now offer a ‘green energy plan’. This means that if you switch to this service, most of your energy will be sourced from renewable sources. You may even find that it works out cheaper than your current energy supplier!
It’s easy to use your car to “just pop to the shops”, however by doing this, you’re creating unnecessary Co2 and wasting money on fuel. By taking a walk down the road instead of driving, you’ll be getting some fresh air, some exercise and at the same time save yourself the cost of fuel costs.
Eat Healthy and Use Raw Ingredients
Instead of buying ready meals and fast food, buy more fresh ingredients and cook fresh, healthy food. It often works out cheaper to buy raw ingredients and saves having to throw away all the excess packaging you get with ready-made or take-out meals. An even greener and cheaper thing to do is to grow your own vegetables – If you’ve got even just a small plot of land (even some pots on the windowsill), it’s incredibly easy and surprisingly fast to grow your own good. You may also be surprised at how much better it tastes that ingredients that have been shipped from around the world – you can’t beat instant freshness.
You may find that there are companies and services in your area who are happy to pay for things that you would normally throw away. This ranges from plastic bottles, to tin cans and even your old junk! Have a look round in the local advertising papers to see if there’s anyone willing to depart with their cash for your junk! You can get some great regular updates on reusing and recycling at this money saving blog.
Having solar panels installed on your property can often create a revenue stream for you and hugely reduce the amount of Co2 your household emits. Governments and energy companies will often pay for any excess energy you create and feed back into the national grid. It’s often worth spending a bit of money, or even taking out a small loan to finance the upgrade as you should soon get your initial outlay back. However, given that finance can be hard to obtain at the moment, I recommend getting a loan. The loans are small, can be repaid at any time and are designed to be accessible for all – you could even use your energy revenues to make the monthly repayments!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these tips and now feel inspired to be greener while saving more money.
So, have you tried to save money by being green? What kinds of things have you done?
Guest Post Author Bio: Alex Leigh is editor for The GLC Money Saving Blog and is passionate about financial and environmental issues. You can visit the blog for more tips and ideas on saving money as well as some tips on being greener.