Going green doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, there are small things you can do every day to promote environmental sustainability and save money at the same time. Check out these 5 tips for going green:
1. Cut Down on Food Waste
It’s estimated that the average American household of four throws away $1,500 in food waste each year. However, examining your habits and planning ahead can help you cut down on waste and save money.
Organize your refrigerator and pantry so it’s easy to see what you already have, put things expiring soon front and center so you remember to use them, plan your meals for the entire week, and make a shopping list. Not only will you save money and cut down on food waste, but you’ll also save on gas by reducing trips to the grocery store. Learn more ways to optimize your kitchen »
2. Embrace Digital Statements
Take your banking “tree free” and embrace digital statements and bills. Making the switch is environmentally friendly and protects you from mail theft identity fraud. Simply log into Online Banking to convert to eStatements, or enroll in Bill Pay. Bill Pay is a secure service that allows you to pay your bills online — saving you the cost of envelopes and stamps.
3. Optimize Your Ride
Whether your car runs on gas, electricity, or both, proper care and maintenance goes a long way in maximizing the energy you use to get from point A to point B. Wonky alignment, underinflated tires, unnecessary cargo, and aggressive driving habits seriously strain your fuel efficiency. Learn more money saving tips for car owners »
A little DIY can help you reduce, reuse, and stretch your budget. Have you considered composting your vegetable scraps, or saving them in the freezer to make your own delicious vegetable stock? An old egg carton is also perfect for sprouting fresh herbs to take that recipe to the next level. Some people even swear by making their own laundry detergent. So before you throw something out or put it on your shopping list, see if you can make do first.
5. Bring it Home
According to U.S. Department of Energy, simply switching to energy efficient lightbulbs in your home can save you an average of $75 per year. Not only do they use up to 80% less energy than traditional bulbs, they also last longer. So while they may be a little more costly up front, the long-term results speak for themselves.
There are a lot of other ways to make your home more energy efficient for long-term savings, and SESLOC offers Sustainability Loans to help with the initial costs for bigger projects. Switching to energy efficient appliances uses significantly less electricity. Upgrading your windows, doors, roof, or insulation can dramatically reduce your need to heat or cool your home. Landscaping with native plants reduces the amount of water and fertilizer you’ll need for them to thrive since they’re already happy in our climate. You might even consider installing solar panels.