Top 10+ ways to save money and help the environment

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Its back! Due to overwhelming demand as well as a list “competition” over at Problogger.com , I wanted to repost this list and see if anyone had anything more to add to it. Here we go!

We all read about ways that an individual can help the environment such as buying carbon offsets, driving less, recycling cans and bottles, etc. But there are many more ways that little changes in your every day life can affect the big picture if more people started doing them. I am going to attempt to list as many as I can think of here, with links that might be helpful, and I hope you will leave comments with your tips, and I will add them to the list. Here are the ways I think that small changes can make a big difference:

1. Replace the lightbulbs in your house with COMPACT FLUORESCENT LIGHTBULBS . Yes, they cost more than regular bulbs, but they use less electricty (saving you money on your utility bill) and they last around 10 years. Good for the environment and good on the wallet in the long term.

2. Bring reusable bags to the grocery store when you go shopping. This should be a no-brainer, but I still see people walking out of the store with 3, 4, 5 or more plastic and paper bags full of groceries. Do you really need that many extra bags at home? I know growing up my mom seemed to think that some day there would be a run on paper bags, so we had about 11,000 of them in the closet. You dont need that many of them! We use 4 canvas bags every time we go to the grocery store, and very rarely do we need an extra paper one. But if we do, it gets filled with paper recycling when we get home and goes out the door. Do you know how many plastic bags the world goes through? A good place to learn more and pick up some bags (and other cool stuff) is Reuseit.com. Check them out!

3. Get the stuff you want used from other people that want to get rid of their stuff! CRAIGSLIST and FREECYCLE are great places to start looking for stuff you want..for FREE!

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Comments

  1. Flourescent bulbs are great. I haven’t changed a light bulb in years since I switched over, and I work at least one pretty heavily.

    On the shopping bags issue, the bags from the store can be reused as garbage bags instead of buying ones for that purpose. Paper is better since it is biodegradable, but it is not a bad use for the plastic ones either.

    My list is here.

  2. You know, until I read your post I never thought about turning off the powerstrip too, and since mine is full of every device you could think of, it makes sense. I do that now. Thanks for the bit of common sense.

    As for water… rain buckets are a great way to save water and use it later for watering flowers, though you do have to be careful about standing water and pesky mosquitos, so just make sure you use the water as soon as possible.

  3. Glad I could be of assistance, Melissa!

    As for rain buckets…oh how I wish we could use them here. But, it only rains a few times a year, and we live in an apartment, so they wouldnt let us put them out anyway!

  4. Think when you buy clothes – go for quality so that they last longer, not just cheap and cheerful. Yes, it costs more in the short term, but just think about that decent shirt you bought 5 years ago – worn it loads of times and it’s still got life in it, but the cheap one you bought 6 months ago – ready for the bin.

    Not only will you get more use, but you can pass them onto other people, including the local charity shop.

  5. Another great thing to do is to not buy products from endangered animals; ten years ago there were 1.5m elephants left. Now there are 750,000. 80% of ivory is taken from elephants, and Americans buy 30% of it. Over 6.5m dolphins have been killed by tuna fishermen etc etc etc. Just small things like buying dolphin-safe tuna, or faux fur, will help the environmen.

    And I was surprised to see that the most important thing was left out. Spreading the news to other people is the best way to save the environment. Find out some shocking statistics and flaunt them at every oppotunity, or tell people some simple ways to help save the environment. Persistence is the key; it worked on my dad. Every person you tell who finds themselves being more environmentally friendly is one more victory for the planet – and you were the one that brought it about.

  6. Wow, Americans buy 30% of ivory? Where is that figure from? Just curious as because its illegal, I would not think that we buy 30% of the worldwide total.

    And yes, talking to people should be #1 on the list!

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