Earth Day Edition: 7 Ways to Save Money and the Planet

Blog | April 19th, 2020

Saving money and going green often go hand in hand. Some of the most effective ways to save money also have a significant impact on the environment. In honor of April 22 being Earth Day, here are seven ways to support the environment.

1. Reduce Your Use of Paper and Plastic Products

Make a conscious effort here. Consider bringing reusable grocery bags to the store, subscribing to online magazines, and printing less paper in the office. Use reusable towels and dishes instead of paper towels and paper plates. Make carrying around a refillable water bottle, or asking not to have a plastic straw in your drink a new habit!

When you consider the money you will save, and the fact that you are not wasting paper or plastic products, you will realize it’s worth the effort. Plastic pollutes our oceans, while paper waste demands an insane amount of energy used to power landfills processes.

2. Reduce Fuel Consumption 

The average American spends $2,000 a year on gasoline and uses several hundred gallons of gas. That is a considerable drain on your budget, and it has a lasting impact on the planet. Reducing your fuel consumption is easy to do because there are many alternatives to driving. You can use rideshare, take public transportation, walk, or ride a bike. 

Riding a bike or walking are the most effective ways to save money and help the environment. Both of these options produce no emissions, and once you invest in a bike, there is no recurring cost. If you have children, consider figuring out a carpool system to school, practices, and other outings!

3. Do More at Home 

If you have been working from home, it’s easy to see how easy it is to save without entertainment expenses. You are also not using your car as much if you choose to stay at home, which helps improve air quality and reduce pollution. 

Other tasks you can do at home include ordering groceries online and depositing checks through mobile banking apps. All of these add up in the long run and can be utilized during social distancing.

Related: How Shopping Smart Following Easter Could Make Working From Home Easier!

4. Replace Your Lightbulbs 

Replacing traditional lightbulbs with long-lasting LED bulbs that use far less electricity is a fantastic way to add more money to your bank account. These bulbs are not much more expensive than traditional options, and they last for years. So, you will use less electricity, conserve energy, and you won’t be changing the bulbs as often.

5. Buy Used and Repurpose Things

Americans purchase so many new products each year. However, buying lightly used items can get you everything you need for half the price! Browse sites like:

  • OfferUp
  • Craigslist
  • Facebook
  • Mercari
  • eBay

All of these sites have plenty of items you need for your home, including appliances, clothing, household items, and more. So, you can find nearly anything you need at a fraction of the price in barely used condition! 

You can also repurpose items you already have in your home. Shoe boxes are great for organizing documents, disinfectant wipe containers are suitable for storing pens and pencils, and you can clean used food containers to store leftovers.

6. Reduce Use of Baby Products

Wipes and diapers fill landfills, and they have a significant negative impact on the environment and your budget. Parents spend around $2,200 on diapers and wipes during the first two years of a child’s life. The average baby goes through more than 5,000 diapers and 16,000 wipes before they are potty trained.

Cloth diapers and reusable wipes are an excellent alternative. By using cloth diapers and reusable wipes, you can reduce the impact of these products on the environment. You can also start potty training your child earlier. Even a few diapers a day is a big help, as the average diaper costs around 30 cents.

7. Don’t Waste Food

On average, families throw away between 30 and 50 percent of the groceries they buy, or around 250 pounds a year. Even if you are frugal, you may find yourself passing up on leftovers after a day or two.

So, instead of putting leftovers in the fridge where you have a limited window to consume them, store any items you have leftover in the freezer. Then, you can reheat them in the future. Consider making frequent trips to the grocery store, buying only what you need in smaller quantities. You’ll find yourself eating fresher ingredients too!

Related: Life Hack: 9 Ways to Avoid Expensive Food Waste

Start Saving Money and the Planet Today!

You can start these simple practices immediately. Each of the above examples is simple to put in practice. You will start seeing benefits in your bank account quickly, and you will feel wonderful about the positive impact you are having on the planet. Your actions towards saving the world could be contagious to those around you too!