Frugal Green Tips
Living a “green” lifestyle will help the environment and put more “green” in your wallet. “Green” is a word that refers to so much more than the color of grass or money. It has become a recent buzzword in modern society that defines products, lifestyles, and tasks that are environmentally conscious. Becoming more “green” usually involves consuming fewer resources and can result in saving money on typical household expenses. The tips below list some simple ways that you can “green” your life while putting more “green” in your wallet while saving for a debt settlement negotiation
Many popular household cleaning products sold in stores contain harsh chemicals that pollute the earth and are hazardous to humans. Natural alternatives such as baking soda, white vinegar, and lemon juice are very inexpensive and clean just as well as many brand name cleansers. Visit this link on the Greenpeace web site for recipes using natural products.
According to the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), an organization that focuses on energy policy, a six-minute shower uses 20 gallons of water. Taking short showers can reduce water consumption and your water bill. For less than $10, RMI also recommends installing an on/off valve between the shower arm and showerhead. This temporarily shuts off the flow while maintaining the temperature. It can be useful when lathering up. For more water conservation tips, visit www.rmi.org and www.wateruseitwisely.com.
Many local municipalities require citizens to follow mandatory recycling ordinances. Some states have even given incentives to recycle through RecycleBank. This program gives participants a recycle bin equipped with a unique built-in RFID tag. At pick up, the bins are scanned and users can receive reward points based on how much they recycle. Visit www.recyclebank.com to find out if this program is available in your local area.
Simple tasks such as turning off lights when you leave the room and installing a programmable thermostat can reduce your utility bills and overall energy consumption. When it comes time to buy new appliances, you may consider Energy Star models, which use 10-50% less energy and water than standard models, according to the Energy Star web site. You can visit this site at www.energystar.gov for more tips on conserving energy.
Most green articles urge consumers to purchase a hybrid car. As you strive to settle your debts, buying a new vehicle may not be an option. However, there are other ways that you can “green” your car and save money on transportation costs. For example, you will burn less fuel if you roll down your windows in the summer instead of using air conditioning. Performing routine maintenance on your car may also reduce gas consumption and prevent costly car repairs. According to Treehugger.com, if every driver’s tires were properly inflated, approximately 2 billion gallons of gas would be saved each year. You may also consider relying on your vehicle less by walking short distances or carpooling. Sites such as www.erideshare.com allow you to search for fellow carpoolers that want to travel in the same direction as you.
Some people may associate living green with abandoning all personal possessions and modern technologies to live on a commune. In actuality, some technological advancements can actually help reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. Consider the options below. Keep in mind that the following tips are meant to help you get the most use out of items that you may already own; we are not encouraging you to purchase brand new equipment.
Go paperless! You can pay bills online, use electronic scheduling software, and send free electronic cards. Before you print, ask yourself if you really need to have a paper copy. Take advantage of organizing important documents using email programs or document folders in your computer system software. You will use less paper and will not have to purchase expensive ink cartridges as often.
MP3 players come in all price ranges and allow users to download single songs instead of buying expensive individual CDs. You may consider transferring your CD library to MP3 format and resell your CDs on sites such as www.ebay.com and www.craigslist.org. Resell stores such as CD Warehouse may also give you cash for your CDs. Visit www.cdwarehouse.com for a location near you.
Remember to properly dispose of your electronic equipment, also known as e-waste. If you can not use it, sell or donate the item. You can also visit www.earth911.org for a recycling or donation center in your area.