April 22nd is Earth Day and in honor of this very important day, I wanted to highlight just a few ways that you can "Go Green" and help to protect the environment while saving money at the same time.
1. Use compact florescent light bulbs. By converting at least one light bulb in your house to compact florescent light bulbs, you can prevent more than 110 pounds of coal from being burned, reduce greenhouse emissions by 450 pounds and save over $30.00 over the life of the bulb.
2. Use reusable bags instead plastic or paper. Reusable bags are available in many stores and are stronger than paper and plastic bags and are made primarily of recycled materials. Wal-Mart and Publix both offer reusable bags for $1.00 each.
3. Use extended roll life toilet paper, such as Charmin Mega Rolls. The Charmin (6) Mega roll contains as much toilet paper as the standard 24 pack.
4. Buy a fuel efficient or hybrid car or drive less. If a hybrid car is not in your budget, you can do a few other things to minimize your gas expenses. Get your car tuned up and have proper tire inflation, keep the speed below 60 miles an hour (for every 10 miles an hour above 60 it costs you an extra .55 cents per gallon), or simply drive less. For those of you who have the ability to walk or ride a bike for some of your errands this is a great option. Not only does it save gas and help the environment, but you might lose a few pounds in the process.
5. When washing clothes or dishes, be sure to was full loads each time. Over time, this will save you considerable amounts on water, energy and detergent.
6. Use chemical free or natural cleaners such as vinegar.
7. Keep your thermostats for your Heat/AC and refrigerator/freezer under control. Adding just 1-2 degrees to your thermostat can decrease your electric bill by 10%.
8. Use locally grown fruits and vegetables. Plant your own vegetable garden and save money on your grocery bills. When I lived in Indiana, I always planted watermelon, green beans, corn, and a few other things. This can save significant amounts on your grocery bill.
9. Last but not least, if you want to get rid of something you don't necessarily have to throw it away. Donate it to a charity, or get in touch with your local freecycle group to see if someone wants to take it off your hands.