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How to Save Money While Being Green

Posted on Monday, April 21st, 2014 at 7:00 am
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Celebrate Earth Day by doing things that are good for the planet and good for your budget, too!Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 every year. The week surrounding it tends to focus on things you can do that are good for the environment. One way to get motivated to help protect the earth is to find ways that will enable you to save money at the same time. Here are a few to get started with.

Eco-Friendly Frugal Living

Bring Reusable Bags
Do you live in a place that has initiated a plastic bag ban? Don’t forget to bring your reusable bags with you when you go shopping. Grocery stores have started charging money for the paper bags that customers use. The same stores often give customers five or ten cents for every reusable bag that they end up using.

Recycle Cans and Bottles
California has something called CRV. In short, it means that you can take those cans and bottles to a recycling place and get back some money for them. Some other states have similar programs. One simple way to do it is to gather all the cans and bottles into a large trash bag. When the bag is full, take it to a recycling facility like RePlanet.

Use Cloth Instead of Paper
Do you use a lot of paper towels when you clean? You can save money by switching to cloths instead of paper. Cut up some of your old t-shirts that have holes in them. Use those pieces as cleaning cloths. Toss them into the wash when they get dirty and reuse them. You can save money this way because you won’t have to purchase as many paper towels as you did before.

Sun Dry Your Laundry
Is your backyard big enough for a clothesline? The weather is getting nice and warm (in many parts of the United States). Get some clothespins and let the sun and warm air dry your laundry for you. Many people enjoy the freshness of sun dried laundry. Running your dryer costs money because it uses electricity. Using a clothesline to dry your clothes doesn’t cost anything (no matter how often you use it).

Take the Bus
This idea works best for people who live in a place that has good public transportation. Instead of driving your car to work (or to dinner) take the bus instead. Taking one trip on a bus only costs a few dollars. You can avoid the expense of having to refill the tank on your vehicle (or, put it off for a while longer). Those that ride the bus often can purchase a weekly or monthly pass that helps lower the cost of each, individual, trip.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.