Many people think of going green as expensive – buying organic, local food at a greater cost or spending extra money on chemical-free cleaners for example, but happily this doesn’t have to be the case. Lots of green behavior is about reducing waste and using less energy: two things that will inevitably save you money. Here are five ways you could save money and help the planet at the same time.
Make a weekly meal plan – including snacks and drinks – before you head off to the supermarket. That way, you’ll have a list of exactly what you need for the week and won’t be tempted by special offers that could end up uneaten and in the trash, wasting you money and contributing to the landfill. Don’t forget to factor leftovers into your plan, either; eating them for lunch the next day is by far preferable to throwing them away. If throwing food away is completely unavoidable and you have a garden or yard, why not use it for composting? Or if you don’t have a “green thumb” yourself but know someone who does, offer it to them!
Consider Renewable Energy
While installing a renewable energy generator can be a big initial cost, in the long run it’s something that can save loads on your electricity bills. If you’re making your own electricity, you won’t have to pay an energy company to generate it for you, and depending on who your provider is, you could sell unused energy back to them. Cut your energy bills down even further by switching to an electric cooker and electric radiators; the only thing you’ll need gas for is hot water.
Making sure your house is well insulated is a must if you want to cut down on your heating bills. Ensuring that you’ve got adequate attic insulation and cavity wall insulation can go a long way to prevent heat from escaping and keep your house toasty in the winter. Double glazing helps as well, but if you don’t have it (and if you have drafts around your doors), investing in draft excluders to put around any cracks where heat escapes is a cheap and effective solution. Less wasted energy means that less is used – saving you money and helping out the planet.
Turn Down The Heat
We all know that throwing on a sweater or two and turning down our thermostats by a few degrees can go a long way to saving both money and energy, but did you know that doing the same with the hot water temperature on your water heater can do the same? Having the water temperature at anything over 60C is a waste of money, and lowering the temperature means no more accidentally-too-hot baths or showers! Additionally, you can save a bit of energy by fitting an insulated jacket around your water heater to stop heat escaping there, too.
Using Your Washing Machine
85% of the energy used in doing a load of laundry goes to heating the water. Washing as much as possible on 30 degrees will cut this right down, and you’ll see a decrease in your energy bills. There shouldn’t be any difference in the quality of cleaning on a cold wash, but if you’re worried, you can buy detergents that are designed to be extra effective in cold water. Try and do large loads instead of lots of little ones (this should cut down a bit on the time and effort you spend doing laundry, too!).
These 5 easy tips were contributed by Liberty-Belle. Liberty is a recent English graduate with a keen interest in green issues. She has done work for climate change charities in the past and now spends most of her time blogging. Thanks Liberty!