April marks Earth Day and whether you choose to do something good for the environment or not, going green can save you money. Here are some ways I’ve found to be green and save money at the same time-
Take Your Own Bags to the Store
One of the supermarkets where I frequently shop takes 5 cents off your bill for every bag you bring to the store. It might not sound like a lot but it doesn’t take much effort and as I usually have five bags each trip, that’s 25 cents each time I shop multiplied by 52 weeks and money that goes towards buying something else in the store.
Many years ago I used to collect soda cans and take them to the recycling center. Once again each trip didn’t net me a fortune but over time I saved enough to buy myself a sewing machine. Nowadays I earn points for recycling curbside as our garbage company is part of the Recyclebank program. Visit, www.recyclebank.com. so can find out if there’s a similar program where you live. I’ve traded in points for everything from gift cards to coupons for food and drink, to restaurant discounts.
Don’t Throw It Away
Most of us throw away things that can be put to good use somewhere else in the house or yard. I’m currently shopping for a compost bin to throw all the scraps of vegetable peelings I don’t or can’t use for stock, along with fallen leaves in the garden. I figure I might as well make compost and save myself some money rather than buy it at the DIY store.
The same goes for rain barrels. Nearly every year our local city has a water ban and the grass ends up looking scorched so I’m also looking for a rain barrel we can install so we can water for free, and without breaking the water ban.
Another Way To Save Water
Speaking of water, inside the house, you can install low flow showerheads and aerators to cut down on the amount of water you use and hence save money. Our local energy company has a program that offers both of these for free so it’s worth checking with your local company to see if they have a similar program too.
Think About Using It Twice
I always think about how I can give something a second use rather than throw it away. I’ve been using the empty Parmesan cheese containers for flour that I can sprinkle out when I’m rolling pastry. They also are great for storing baking soda and using it when you clean the bathroom or sinks…label them so you don’t get the two mixed up!
I also used one of my old cotton skirts and made three produce bags out of it.
One More Way to Save on the Water Bill
And one final way to cut down on water usage is to get rid of the lawn and plant a garden with plants that are heat and drought tolerant. And yes, even a veggie garden in a raised bed will take less water and you’ll cut down on your food bill too.
Walk or Bike
Where I live spring is finally putting in an appearance and it’s got me thinking about walking and riding my bike rather than taking the car when I shop or go to the library. An added plus is it’s free exercise too. And if you do have to use the car, combine errands so you save on gas.
Sell It or Donate It
Lots of our unwanted items end up in landfills but a better way to rid your basement or attic is to either sell them or donate them.
Borrow or Rent It
And many times when we have a project that needs doing, we rush out and buy say a tiller or a chainsaw and never use it again. We’re lucky enough to have a rental store near us and now it’s the first place we check out for something we know we’ll only use once, or once a year. Also check with neighbors and friends too. They might have what you’re looking for and vice versa.