Go Green! Save Money!

Over the last several years, everything in the store seems to be “going green”. I see it on packaging and see it on advertising – it’s on just about everything and down every aisle.

However, one of the biggest drawbacks about going green also meant shelling out more cash. It didn’t save you money – it actually cost you more to go green. However, in many areas, that is changing. Here are some places that you can go green, AND still save money.

Going green image

Go Green on Small Things

Some of the best things you can do to save money are also the smallest things you can do. For example, you can install energy saving light bulbs, or CFLs. Don’t think you need to go and replace all of the lights in your house at once. Just buy CFLs as replacements when your current light bulbs go out. Over time, they will save you money on your electric bill, and help the environment.

Another one that is becoming popular is the “ghost power” surge protector. These surge protectors are designed to stop appliances that are turned off from using power. Most appliances still use power, even when they are off, but that can be just wasteful. Save some money, and go green!

Consider Bigger Things With Bigger Projects

Over time, you will inevitably start doing bigger projects around the home. This could be a small bathroom update, or a full-scale kitchen remodel. No matter what size project you’re doing, consider replacing the old appliances with new green, or environmentally friendly, ones.

For example, if you’re upgrading your bathroom, consider installing a low-flow toilet and low-flow showerhead to save water. These fixtures are about the same price as non-low flow models, but you’ll see savings in your water bill.

If you’re doing your kitchen, you can look for appliances like a refrigerator or oven that save on utility costs.

Don’t Forget When You’re Out

Some of the best ways you can go green and save money is actually when you’re away from the house. The first thing I think of is your car. There are a lot of cars that are much more fuel efficient than past models, and every extra MPG that you get is another dollar in your pocket (and less greenhouse gas in the environment).

Also, try to plan ahead when you go out. Too many people spend money on wasteful items like bottled water, when you could bring a bottle from home that you fill up. Not only will this save you from having to spend when you’re out, but you prevent another plastic bottle from being wasted.

A little planning, whether at home or when you’re going out, can save you money over time, and be good for the environment.

Picture by FreeDigitalPhotos.

About the Author

By , on Nov 9, 2012
Andy Tenton
Andy is a 30-something New Yorker who turned his financial life around. He took charge of his finances, got out of debt, and is now working his way toward financial success. He is the publisher of WorkSaveLive.com.

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{14 Comments}

  1. CF says:

    Starting small is a great way to go. We are slowly replacing our lightbulbs with more energy efficient bulbs.

  2. We follow that CFL replacement policy, lol. We replace classic bulbs with the CFL’s as they blow out. And I’ve learned one huge thing from owning two homes with double-paned windows…if I ever own a house that doesn’t have them, I’d pay the thousands and have them put in. Here in Houston, those windows will literally save their own cost in electricity in less than 18 months in most cases.

  3. We do what we can.. Turn off lights, run energy star appliances, recycle, and even turn off/down the heat when nobody is home.. But i wish we could do more.

    • I do all the same things too. I also wish I could do more and save more money on energy. I have a car that gets 30mpg and is paid off, but would love be driving a prius (or able to bike to work).

      Anyhow, the little things do add up and can save a lot of money over time.

  4. We have replaced most of our light bulbs and turn off power strips at night. I don’t know that it helps much with the electric bill, but maybe we are helping the environment a little.

  5. Great post Andy.
    I’ve done many of the suggestions you have above and it’s worth it. I am currently renovating the bathroom and have the low flow toilets and water valves for the shower. In the end it does make a difference. I went around with a Kilawatt meter and checked appliances etc and I was shocked to see the difference. Mr.CBB

  6. I’m in the process of switching all of the light bulbs over. All of my appliances are energy star. Sometimes that doesn’t feel like its enough.

  7. After watching the documentary about how they’re draining the great lakes for bottled water we no longer buy it. That, and we couldn’t figure out where the water came from (no place on the internet would tell you) so… it was a no go!

    • I probably saw the same documantary as you. That scares the absolute shit out of me. We all think that our water is coming out of some natural spring somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Really, it is entire community’s drinking water and since corporations are “people” they are allowed to drain, drain, drain and bottle it all up for sale. It’s amazing what they get away with.

      I dont think I have had a bottle of water since I saw that documentary!

  8. It absolutely drives me insane that people pay for bottled water. It’s the exact same stuff that comes straight out of the ground for free! Can’t get any greener than water straight from the ground.

  9. Mackenzie says:

    Good tips Andy. Re-purposing items you already have is a good tip as well. And fixing an item instead of throwing it out. If you have a lamp that is not working for example, get it rewired instead of just tossing it out and buying a new one.

  10. Michelle says:

    We definitely are not green enough, well we aren’t at all. I constantly think about this and need to change things!

  11. Thad P says:

    Good ideas about replacing bulbs one at a time. The cost difference up front for CFLs is a little bit of a shock for some people. And low flow shower heads are great. We have one now, but have had one in the past that you could actually turn off at the shower head (for even greater savings as you lather up!).

  12. Good post Andy. I agree that “green” products seem to be everywhere today. I personally wonder how much of it is really green and not just a marketing gimmick…sort of like the no-fat products that can still have a certain lower level of fat. I agree that you can accomplish a lot by starting out with smaller things. I don’t know if you ever saw the Seinfeld episode when thy installed low flow showerheads, I think I’ll have to pass on that one. ;)

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