When you hear “going green” you might think about saving the planet and reducing emissions, but remember “going green” also means “saving green.” The more little things you do around your home to help the planet, the more money you can save over time, too.
Here are just a few things you can do this Earth Day to make your home greener, help the environment, and save some money.
- Stop eating meat - for one day a week. Meatless Monday or Veggie Friday, call it what you want, but eating less meat reduces the amount of carbon emissions from the meat industry and lowers your grocery bill.
- Reduce your junk mail. Use a program like catalogchoice.org to stop receiving paper mail you didn’t ask for. You’ll be less annoyed and fewer trees will be cut down.
- Change your light bulbs from the standard kind to LED. They last longer and use less energy. Even your electric bill will thank you.
- Add potted plants to your home. The air in your home will be cleaner, and you’ll literally add extra green to your house.
- Plant local, indigenous flowers and trees around your home. They’re better adapted to the climate, don’t have to be shipped in from around the world, and good for the local environment. They’re also usually less expensive than other plants.
- Drink less bottled water. Most of it’s just filtered tap water anyway. Buy a filter for your sink and save money and the environment.
- Buy reusable bags for the grocery store. Plastic bags are bad for landfills, and paper bags almost never get recycled. The reusable kind hold more stuff - less trips to and from the car - and they’re good for the planet.
- Group your errands together in one trip. Instead of running out every day for one thing or another, plan your errands for one big trip. You’ll use less gas and reduce your carbon emissions.
- Bike, walk, or use public transport if that’s an option for you. You’ll get a little more activity in your life. Your car is less likely to be in an accident. And even better, you’re making more than just your home planet a bit greener.
- Stop buying in bulk if you can. We throw out almost half of our food every year. Buy less and you’ll save money, waste less food, and help reduce the amount of food that needs to be grown and shipped each year.
- Go for Energy Star. As your appliances, air conditioner, and even TV needs to be replaced, choose high rated Energy Star products. Most electronics have an Energy Star rating but they’re not all the same. Look for products that use less energy to install around your home.
- Get a smart thermostat and use it. You can change your HVAC and even lighting settings, depending on the type you get. Most of them let you access them from your phone too. You’ll have more control over your home and use less energy.
- Compost. You’ll create less trash waste and have something to help your plants grow. No more buying soil from the home improvement store.
It’s easy to think there’s nothing we can do to help the environment. A lot of us think, “I’m just one person. What can I do?” But you can make a bigger impact than you realize.
If everyone made just one small change around their home, it would add up to a big difference for the planet. You don’t have to do all of these things. Pick one or two and you’ll be doing your part this Earth Day and all year long.