Today, April 22, is Earth Day. To help promote Earth Day, we thought we would offer some tips on how to go green and save money at the same time. These tips show that going green isn’t just good for the environment, but can also slow the impact to your wallet. Here’s how you can help save the planet and your budget:
1. Turn Down the Heat
Turn down your thermostat, put on a hoodie and slippers, and keep a blanket handy on the couch. You can save as much as 10% if you drop the temperature by four degrees Celsius and reduce your gas or electricity consumption. Use a programmable thermostat or set reminders on your phone to keep your heat setting lowered when you’re sleeping or not home, but make sure that it doesn’t regularly change by more than 2 degrees. Otherwise, your heating will have to work hard to bring the temperature back up and you’ll see its pain on your bill.
2. Make Less Shopping Trips
To cut down on vehicle costs as well as save time when getting groceries, shop only once a week. Create a meal plan, make a list of exactly what you need for the week, and make just one trip to get everything. During COVID-19, if you already have your shopping down to once a week, try challenging yourself by making one grocery run every two weeks or even once a month.
Driving less helps the environment by reducing pollution and using less energy. Planning out what you want to buy from the supermarket and any errands you need to run beforehand will also help you avoid wasting money on things you don’t really need.
3. Launder Money the Legal Way
You’ll save money on electricity and clothing and help the environment by using cold water to wash your clothes rather than warm or hot water—just make sure you check the labels on your clothes first. Running the dryer with only full loads also helps to save money and energy, and if you do multiple loads in a row, the heat that’s already in the dryer will further cut down on energy consumption.
If you do your laundry in a shared facility, try to use an already warm dryer for these same reasons. If your laundry loads are typically small, toss a dry towel into your dryer with the wet clothes to shorten the drying time.
4. Use Your Dishwasher
This is a fantastic way to save yourself a chore and help the environment. Washing dishes by hand can use more water and energy than using a dishwasher, and if you turn the drying cycle off, you’ll save even more money and energy. Dishes washed by hand also contain more bacteria and aren’t as clean as those washed by a dishwasher. Just remember to only run your dishwasher once it’s full.
5. Download Music or Listen Online Rather Than With CDs
There are ways to get the music you want, not shortchange the artists, be environmentally friendly, and save money. If you listen to a lot of music, your best bet might be to subscribe to a streaming service and listen online. If you do like to buy CDs, keep in mind that cases are usually made of polyvinyl chloride, which isn’t easy to recycle.
Buying and downloading music reduces the amount of packaging and CDs that will end up in our landfills. When downloading, you can also choose the specific songs you like instead of having to buy entire albums. This means spending only $1-3 rather than $15-22 for a CD full of songs you may not want. If you download $100 worth of music and only chose one song from each CD you look at, you’ll save anywhere from $1,300-2,000!
More Money Saving Tips
Join one of our free webinars for more money saving tips. We offer them on a variety of topics so there’s something for everyone. They’re friendly, interactive, and loaded with information to help you manage your money and debt better. If you’re struggling with your finances and need more than budgeting tips, contact an accredited, non-profit credit counselling organization for help. A Credit Counsellor will be happy to review your situation with you and provide you with information and guidance. Everyone wins when we save the earth and our bank accounts.