eco-friendly ways to save money
It's a common myth that becoming more eco-friendly is a costly process. In fact – most of the time, living green actually saves you money! In honor of Earth Day, check out a few ways you can protect the planet and your bank account:
grow a garden
"It's the little things that citizens do. That's what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees" – Wangari Maathai.
Growing your own produce or flowers is a great way to avoid the grocery store and save money - not to mention how beneficial it is to the environment! Having fresh products in your backyard reduces the plastic, rubber bands, and gas necessary for store distribution.
Whether you decide to grow fruits, veggies, flowers, or trees – all plants significantly help improve the air and soil quality! Gardening also contributes to the fight against global warming and provides a safe, natural habitat for small critters and bugs. These are just a few reasons you should dust off your gardening tools and get started!
pro tip – People spend a lot of money buying nutrients for their gardens. However, composting your leftovers is a fantastic way to save money and provide your garden with the best care. This will also help cut back on the large amount of food thrown into landfills each year.
invest in solar energy
You'll automatically cut back on your carbon footprint if you utilize solar energy! Solar energy is when energy from sunlight is used to generate electricity. The most common way people use solar power is by installing panels on their rooftops – but there are numerous ways you can do it! Solar ventilation and heating systems have gained popularity in recent years. Solar lighting can be used throughout your home or on your landscape. There are also portable solar chargers that will keep your electronic devices charged without an outlet.
This approach is more of a long-term savings plan. Start-up costs for making your home green can be a bit pricy, and it requires a significant amount of planning. Try thinking of it as an investment where you’ll see the returns down the line! People who install solar panels significantly reduce their electricity bills, raise their property value, and can take advantage of federal tax credits.
Examples of how solar energy can be utilized.
pro tip - Not ready for the investment? No problem! It only takes a couple small changes to your water, heat, and electricity usage to see significant improvements. For example - investing in rechargeable batteries for your smoke detectors, washing your clothes on the cold cycle, and keeping electronics off or unplugged when they are not being used.
If you reduce your use of the Earth’s natural resources, you're practicing sustainability! Swapping out paper towels for washcloths, taking shorter showers, or making your own cleaning products will all contribute to protecting the planet and saving you money!
Sustainability and cost-effectiveness go hand in hand, and there are many ways you can adapt them to your lifestyle! Check out these easy examples:
- Clothing – The next time you need a new outfit for an event, borrow it from a friend or try shopping at your local thrift store.
- Appliances – It’s no secret that home appliances are expensive to repair or replace when they break down. Dryers are no exception! Avoid this expense by drying your clothes using a clothing rack or clothing line. This will also cut back on the enormous amount of energy that dryers require to run.
- Diet – Did you know it takes anywhere from 1,800 to 5,000 gallons of water to produce just 1 pound of beef? The unfortunate truth is that mass-producing meat exhausts a massive amount of the Earth’s resources. Try eating vegan or vegetarian once or twice a week to help combat this problem. Also, meat tends to be more expensive than vegetables – so you can save a little while you do it!
- Grocery shopping – Purchase in-season when buying produce such as fruits and vegetables. These products will always be the least expensive option for the consumer and the farmer.
- Water – Ditch the plastic water bottles and get yourself a reusable one instead! Americans buy 29 billion water bottles a year, and less than 20% get recycled. That means there are BILLIONS of water bottles going into our landfills every year. Switching to a reusable bottle will save you the recurring cost of purchasing water bottles and help cut back on this unnecessary waste!
leave your car at home
What's better than saving money and saving the planet simultaneously? Exercising while you do it! Instead of driving your car every day for work – try riding your bike or walking. You might have too long a commute to make this possible, so how about that quick trip to the gas station or convenience store instead? Cutting back on driving saves you money on gas and gives the environment a little break from carbon emissions. You’ll be putting fewer miles on your car – requiring fewer oil changes and car repairs. Sounds like a win-win!
Save trees and money by switching to online banking! You can access your eStatements, deposit checks, and apply for loans without visiting your branch. This will help cut back on paper use and reduce carbon emissions from your car. You can also set up automatic payments for your bills through online banking, which will ensure that you won’t miss a payment and get charged a pesky late fee.
Not only is digital banking an eco-friendly way to save you money – but it also saves you a ton of time! Having 24/7 access to your accounts is incredibly convenient. Most financial institutions also offer mobile apps that allow you to perform most financial transactions from your mobile phone or tablet. You can complete quick transfers between your accounts, make purchases, and pay your bills – all from the comfort of your home!
BlueOx Credit Union offers a variety of convenient, free, and eco-friendly digital banking services! Click the following link to learn more:
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