For years, environmentalists have promoted the benefits of helping our environment by wasting less and decreasing the amount of stuff we put into your landfills. A side benefit of reducing the amount of waste you create is that is helps you save some cash, too.
Paper Towels: As convenient as anything disposable tends to be, you can get used to replacing most paper towel use with rags and washcloths. Keep a box of rags in the kitchen for messy spills, and use a clean washcloth to wash the children’s hands and face after eating.
Water – Keep your water bill down by catching rain water in buckets to use to wash your car and water plants and gardens. While you wait for the shower water to heat up to the proper temperature, you can also catch the cold water coming out of your shower faucet in a bucket.
Laundry Detergent – Most detergents are made with formulas that require far less soap than they did in previous versions. Keep a close eye on the measuring lines in the cap of your detergent as they can be very deceiving! Often you only need to fill the cap a quarter of the way for a normal load of laundry, yet habit has most of us filling half way or more. Often you can even use less detergent than the directions say, and still wind up with clean clothes.
Electricity – Stop giving the electric company money for phantom electricity use. Whenever you aren’t using your electronics, unplug them. Anything with a digital clock or lights when not in use is drawing electricity. If it’s easier, you can plug your electronics into power strips and hit the on/off switch to use or turn off. Don’t forget to turn the lights off when leaving a room, replace light bulbs with the energy-efficient version, and use task lighting rather than overhead lights to reduce energy consumption.
Heating – Many homes keep their heat on warmer than is really necessary to be comfortable. If you turn the heat down a few degrees, chances are you won’t notice the difference. Move the temperature down a degree or two a day until you start to feel chilly, then add a sweatshirt! You can wear warmer clothes and reduce the amount of heat you need to be comfortable. If you’re still cold after a day or two of wearing warmer clothing, you can raise the temperature a degree or two until you find the perfect temperature.
The money you save while reducing waste can be used to start or add to your existing savings account or investment plan.