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Going green is the cool thing to do, but some green ideas can leave your wallet hurting. This doesn’t have to be! If you are just starting to go green, here are some simple ideas that will reduce your impact, won’t leave your wallet in pain, and can save you money.
Slowly switch your regular bulbs over to compact florescent bulbs. Instead of buying new bulbs all at once, wait until each of your current bulbs die and replace them with CFL versions. CFL bulbs use up to 70% less energy and last much longer -about 5 times- than conventional bulbs. Over time, this can save you money on your energy bills and bulb replacement costs.
Plug your electrical products into power strips and turn off the power strips when the items are not in use. Electronics such as televisions and microwaves can still pull energy even when off. By turning off the power strip you will save not only this latent energy use (sometimes called vampire energy), but money as well.
Reduce the number of miles that you drive. Do this by combining multiple trips into one, buying in bulk, walking, biking or taking public transportation. Empty out your trunk and inflate your tires to the correct levels to reduce drag. You will save on gas money and if you reduce the number of miles that you drive per year below certain thresholds, your car insurance company can reduce your premiums.
Save money on water by replacing your shower heads with low-flow versions. This will reduce the amount of water that you use each time you shower. Run your dishwasher on full loads. Run your washing machine using cold water and line dry your clothes.
Reduce the amount of trash you generate by switching to green grocery bags or reusing plastic bags from your previous trips. Receive your monthly statements online instead of the mail. Switch from buying bottled water to refillable bottles and you will save these bottles from going directly to the landfill.
There are lots of free or cheap things that you can do to both go green and save money. What’s your favorite?