How to Save Money Going Green

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The following money-saving tips were excerpted from the book Go Green, $ave Green: A Simple Guide to Saving Time, Money and GOD's Green Earth by Nancy Sleeth. © 2009 by Nancy Sleeth.  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Carol Stream, Illinois. Reprinted with permission of the author and the publisher. Click here to buy the book.

Estimated savings listed below are beyond any initial investment; actual savings will vary from family to family and region to region.

HOME

  • Wash laundry in cold water  --  $60
  • Adjust thermostat by three degrees  --  $200
  • Turn lights and electronics off when leaving room  --  $40
  • Purchase smart power strips for computers, TV, and audio  -  $100
  • Install energy monitor  --  $100
  • Stop refrigerator gazing; turn to warmest setting  --  $50
  • Unplug second refrigerator  --  $100
  • Install two low-fl ow showerheads  --  $130
  • Don't run water while brushing teeth or shaving  --  $70
  • Stop buying disposable plates, cups, utensils  --  $50
  • Purchase recycled toilet paper in bulk  --  $30
  • Purchase used clothes instead of new  --  $250
  • Purchase yard sale toys instead of new  --  $150
  • Don't buy carryout coffee  --  $250
  • Drink tap water instead of bottled water  --  $260
  • Share newspaper with neighbor --$260
  • Close fi replace damper when not in use  --  $100
  • Recycle electronics, printer cartridges, etc.  --  $25
  • Insulate water heater  --  $120
  • Seal ducts  --  $50
  • Caulk windows and doors  --  $100
  • Wash by hand instead of dry cleaning  --  $150
  • Make some of your own nontoxic cleaning products  --  $100
  • Go on a spending fast one week/month  --  $600
  • TOTAL SAVINGS  --  $3,345*

*Suggested ways to steward your savings: Put one-third of it toward debt reduction, one-third toward charity, and one-third toward investments in additional energy savings.


LAWN & GARDEN 

  • Grow summer vegetables --  $300
  • Preserve fruits and vegetables for winter use  --  $400
  • Harvest rainwater, use bath and dishwater for irrigation  --  $120
  • Share a piece of power equipment instead of buying new  --  $150
  • Nourish your plants with compost instead of fertilizer  --  $70
  • Use a manual reel mower instead of a gas-powered one  --  $80
  • Gather leaves using a rake instead of purchasing a leaf blower  --  $100
  • Shade your air conditioner and the south side of your home  --  $65
  • Plant perennials and divide them among neighbors  --  $60
  • TOTAL SAVINGS  --  $1,345

 
WORK 

  • Bring lunch from home instead of eating out  --  $400
  • Purchase half of your work wardrobe from thrift stores  --  $250
  • Cut back on dry cleaning  --  $100
  • Share a ride to work  --  $1,400
  • Work alternative schedule to reduce childcare costs  --  $3,600
  • TOTAL SAVINGS  --  $5,750


TRANSPORTATION

  • Telecommute (twice a week) -- $624
  • Share a ride to work -- $780
  • Keep your car tuned -- $150
  • Practice good driving techniques -- $634
  • Substitute camping trip in park for Disney trip -- $1,596
  • Purchase scooter instead of second car -- $6,000
  • TOTAL SAVINGS -- $9,784


FOOD

  • Buy food items in bulk or purchase the largest size available -- $260
  • Don't purchase convenience foods; make meals from scratch -- $520
  • Replace one meat meal per week with a vegetarian option -- $312
  • Bake your own whole wheat bread -- $112
  • Eat fresh and canned produce from your garden -- $500
  • Trade in one restaurant meal each week for home-cooked -- $1,040
  • Shop with a grocery list and say no to impulse purchases -- $260
  • Use the correct size pot on your stove burners -- $36
  • Don't throw away edible food -- $600
  • Earn bag credits at the grocery store by bringing your own -- $20
  • TOTAL SAVINGS -- $3,660


SABBATH

  • Not shopping or driving anywhere on the Sabbath (1 day a week) -- $3,429


HOLIDAYS AND SPECIAL EVENTS

  • Cut spending in half on Christmas -- $850
  • Cut spending in half for Easter -- $66
  • Cut spending in half on Halloween -- $70
  • Cut spending in half for Thanksgiving/Christmas travel -- $625
  • Cut spending in half for birthday/anniversary/shower/wedding gifts -- $550
  • TOTAL SAVINGS -- $2,161


ENTERTAINMENT

  • - Cancel cable service -- $720
  • - Cancel two magazine subscriptions -- $40
  • - Cut movie theater attendance in half -- $80
  • - Eliminate one sport per child, per year -- $400
  • - Cut restaurant eating in half -- $1,500
  • - Borrow movies and books from the library -- $160
  • - Don't buy one season of tickets to sporting events -- $1,500
  • - Replace one trip to a theme park with a picnic -- $150
  • - Don't buy the latest Blu-ray, HDTV, console or fancy cell phone -- $500
  • TOTAL SAVINGS -- $5,050

COMMUNITY

Purchase infrequently used items with a friend or fellow community members. Potential savings if you paid half the cost:

  • Chain saw -- $150
  • Hedge clippers -- $15
  • Solar lawn mower -- $250
  • Rototiller -- $250
  • 4-person tent -- $125
  • Canoe -- $400
  • Hiking backpacks (2) -- $165
  • Cross country skis and boots (2 sets) -- $230
  • Croquet set -- $85
  • Queen-size air mattress -- $50
  • Pressure cooker -- $115
  • Ice cream maker -- $100
  • Food dehydrator -- $35
  • Solar oven -- $125
  • Pasta maker -- $35
  • Table saw -- $250
  • Miter box -- $250
  • Orbital sander -- $40
  • Generator -- $250
  • Clamps (4) -- $60
  • TOTAL SAVINGS -- $2,980

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