5 ways to save money while saving the environment

2024-04-05  3 minute read

Tarah Fawdrey

Lifestyle Debt

Earth Day is a time to reflect on our everyday choices and how they can impact the environment. Many of these choices can help to preserve the world that we all share. Better yet, would you believe that being environmentally friendly can also save you money?

Here are five eco-friendly ways to save money while reducing your carbon footprint.

Green forest scene with a glass earth orb sitting on green moss

1. Sustainable transportation

Opting for sustainable transportation options like walking, biking, or using public transportation can not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also save you money on fuel, parking, and vehicle maintenance. If you do need a vehicle you can consider either investing in a fuel-efficient or electric vehicle, helping you save on gas.

Another option that can help both save the environment and put more money back into your budget is ride-sharing with co-workers. Take turns taking the wheel on the commute and get some good company while keeping some extra money in your pocket and giving the environment a break.

2. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

An oldie but a goodie. And still true today. You’ve heard this mantra before, but did you know it can also save you money?  Start by reducing your consumption of single-use items like plastic bags, water bottles, and disposable cutlery. Instead, choose reusable alternatives like cloth bags, stainless steel water bottles, and a thermos.

Making your own coffee and packing your own water at home can save you from spending money each day on beverages at coffee shops or convenience stores. It can be surprising how the price of a daily small black coffee or a bottle of water can add up over the month. Also, packing a lunch in reusable containers can reduce your garbage output as well as save you money.

3. Grow your own food

With the rising costs of produce, growing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs is not only an enjoyable hobby but it also allows you to enjoy fresh organic produce at a fraction of the cost you would pay for similar items at the grocery store. You don’t even need a large backyard to start a garden — even a small balcony or windowsill can be enough to grow herbs or small vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and lettuce.

Growing your own food lowers carbon emissions by reducing the transport of produce goods and none of your food will have the same packaging as the grocery store also reducing plastic and wrapping waste. And nothing tastes better than the food you grow yourself.

4. Energy-efficient upgrades

Investing in energy-efficient upgrades for your home not only reduces your carbon emissions but also lowers your utility bills. Consider installing LED light bulbs, which use up to 80% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and last much longer. Upgrading to energy-efficient appliances can also significantly reduce your energy consumption and save you money in the long run through lower electricity bills. 

There are also rebates available to upgrading energy-efficient environmentally friendly heating alternatives such as heat pumps in addition to the savings on your monthly utility costs. If you really want to go for it, investing in solar powers will reduce your energy consumption and even allow you to sell energy back to the grid long term.

5. Get outdoors!

With the long winter behind us and the weather warming up, now is the perfect time to get in the habit of choosing outdoor activities to unwind, get exercise, or stay social. Communities have numerous outdoor activity groups that you can join to meet up with other people. From walking, running, or hiking clubs to rock climbing groups — there is something that everyone can enjoy. 

For families with children, consider taking a walk in nature instead of spending money at the movie theatre or indoor play gym. Other options are outdoor playgrounds, pools, beaches, geo-caching, a lemonade stand, backyard movie night, or camping. And for couples, a picnic at the beach or another scenic spot can be more romantic and much cheaper than eating out at a restaurant. There are so many ways to get outdoors and appreciate nature as well as reduce our carbon footprint.

Protecting the environment shouldn’t hurt your wallet

Many people are under the impression that anything environmental is more expensive. Organic foods cost more. Local markets are more expensive. Electric vehicles are priced higher than traditional ones. But there are lots of ways you can make good choices for both the planet and your bank account. Start with these five tips and by next year, Earth Day won’t just be a chance to reflect on how your everyday choices impact the planet — it will be a time to reflect on all the money you saved.

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