Earth Day will be celebrated this Monday, April 22d. The day marks the anniversary of the environmental movement, which began in 1970. Around the world, large and small-scale events are planned to mark the day and to reinvigorate a global focus on environmental protection.
In America, policymakers are debating the merits of a proposed New Green Deal. While they do that, there are many things that you, the consumer can do to contribute to Earth Day all year along. These tips will not only help you live an eco-friendly lifestyle but also save you money.
Buying organic food from the supermarket is not affordable if you are on a tight budget. But this doesn’t mean you have to give up on your health goals. Farmers markets are a much better venue for buying the organic produce you love and you will make your contribution toward saving the planet.
Green Up Your Energy Consumption
In previous posts, we’ve written about greening up your home by using smart technologies. These technologies automate your utility consumption. But there are low-tech and cheap ways to save money on your utility bills.
- This Earth Day, recommit yourself to turning off the lights when you are not using them.
- Open your windows and let the sun heat and light the room.
- Unplug your appliances when you are not using them.
- Better yet, use power strips and turn off the entire strip.
- Wait until the dishwasher is full before running it.
- Install water-saving showerheads.
Use Recycled Toilet Paper
No household can live without it—toilet paper. However, there are eco-friendly and affordable options, that will not negatively impact your needs for sanitation and comfort. According to the National Resources Defense Council, if current toilet tissue brands would switch to recycled materials, greenhouse gases emitted during production could be reduced by as much as one-third.
Bamboo Paper Towels
This one will cost you a little bit more upfront, but bamboo paper towels are washable and reusable. You won’t need to continuously buy rolls of paper towels, making your initial investment more than worth it.
Solar Lights for Your Garden or Porch
If you have a garden, porch or balcony, install solar-powered lights. You will save money on utility bills and make a big contribution toward going green. There are many options in design and placement.
Solar Charging Units
And while we’re on the subject of solar, go green with your smartphone and tablet charging units. Solar power chargers like Kiizon Power Bank are very affordable, come with USB ports, and are easy to use. You may never need your wall outlet again. Make sure to get one that also charges itself while charging your device.
Clean Under Your Refrigerator
This one will cost you nothing, but it will save you money on your utility bills. Those coils under your refrigerator collect dust and lint and after time will cause your refrigerator to use more energy to stay cold. Get a long, thin brush and sweep out the dust.
Use Cold Water as Much as Possible
Unless you need hot water, wash with cold. Your clothes will come out just as clean. Fortunately, the market is filled with eco-friendly laundry products that work in cold water. This is a very small step toward saving the environment.
Dry Your Clothes Outside
This one may require a little extra effort on your part. It is much easier to grab from the washer and throw in the dryer. But your dryer is a huge energy drain. If you live in an area with lots of sunshine and wind, hang your clothes outside. You will be reducing greenhouse gases and saving money on your utility bill.
Use Earth Day to Look for Used Furniture
The process of producing furniture is not only expensive, but it is not eco-friendly. Before heading out to the furniture showrooms, consider whether a slightly used piece of furniture will work for you. Thrift stores are an excellent resource, as are yard sales and just roaming around the neighborhood. It’s amazing how many people put perfectly good furniture out on the sidewalk.
Bottom line: Be inspired this Earth Day and put together a strategy to live an eco-friendly, money-saving life.