Image credit: fc01.deviantart.net
Earth Day is coming up! Around this time of year, we tend to think a little more about how “green” we’re being in our everyday lives. But the truth is, we shouldn’t just be thinking about Mother Earth once a year. Here are a few ways you can be kind to the earth all year round, and also save yourself a chunk of change while you’re at it:
1. Reduce Your Water & Electricity Use
This is the most obvious way to reduce your environmental impact and also save yourself money every day. Just switching off the lights when you don’t need them, unplugging your electronics, and taking a shorter shower can make a difference not only in the amount of resources you use, but you’ll also see the difference reflected in your monthly bills.
This cat is reducing her environmental pawprint by taking all her baths in the sink.
If you have a garden to water or a car to wash, consider using this trick some friends of mine use to save water: while you’re showering, keep a large bucket in the shower to collect water. Then you can use the water to wash your car, water the plants, or even give the dog a bath. So far the soap in the shower-water doesn’t seem to have a negative effect on the plants, and they’re saving tons of water!
2. Recycle Electronics
When you think of recycling, you probably think of glass bottles, cans, and cardboard. But there are actually many other things you can recycle, including your old electronics. Staples offers a great technology trade-in offer, where you can trade in your old devices either online or in-store, and receive Staples eCash in return. So you’ll be reducing waste by recycling your old electronics, and saving on your next Staples purchase at the same time.
If you have an old cell phone, AT&T offers a similar deal that lets you trade in your old phone, charger, or battery (regardless of the brand of the phone or the carrier) to your nearest AT&T store in return for an AT&T Promotion Card. You can use the Promotion Card to save on a new phone, phone accessories, or AT&T services.
3. Get The Good Stuff
This one takes a little more explaining. Basically, when you decide to buy something, whether it’s a new pair of shoes, a backpack, some jeans, or furniture for your home, it can be worth it in the long run to shell out a little extra cash to get good quality items. You’ll be reducing waste in the long run, because you won’t need to throw away a broken or worn out item, and you’ll be saving money, because you won’t need to buy a new one soon.
On this note, you can also reduce waste and save money by using these tips and tricks from Buzzfeed to make the things you already own last even longer.
4. Be a Green Pet Owner
Calling all cat owners! Here’s an easy way to save some cash and make your householder more environmentally friendly: start using wood pellet cat litter. Traditional cat litter is actually produced by strip-mining, which is harmful for the environment. Besides, it’s not cheap.
As an alternative, you can actually get wood pellet litter, which is a by-product of the timber industry and is biodegradable. According to Lifehacker.com, you can find 40-lb. sacks of them for $4 - $6. You can find this type of litter at most farm supply stores, or online at Amazon.com.
No matter what kind of pet you have, buying in bulk is a good idea. If you get your dog and cat food in bulk, you’ll cut down on wasteful packaging and car trips to the store. Plus, you’ll usually get a bulk discount.
For more reading on how to be a greener pet owner, check out this article from GreenAmerica.org.
High five for being green
5. Bike or Walk
Another obvious one – there’s no energy that’s cleaner than your own energy! Especially now that the weather is nicer, biking or walking to work are both great options that not only is earth-friendly, it will save you a bundle on gas money. Plus, getting the daily exercise will improve your fitness, so it’s a win-win-win situation.
Happy Earth Day, every day!