40 Ways You Can Save Money and Our Planet

Well today is Blog Action Day and a lot of bloggers are blogging about our environment today. Being a personal finance blogger, I am going to make this one related to money…again. A lot of people think that being Green is expensive — e.g., you have to buy Energy Star compliance products, fancy hybrid car, expensive solar panels, etc. The truth is, you can be frugal and green.

Here are 40 green money saving tips:

  1. Buy only what you need
  2. Buy products with less packaging (larger size usually mean more product and less packaging)
  3. Buy products with packaging that can be reused or recycled
  4. Buy used products
  5. Use each product until it is completely worn out
  6. Avoid disposable products
  7. Register for DMA’s Mail Preference Service to stop junk mails
  8. Use electronic statements and go paperless
  9. Turn off lights and appliances when not in use
  10. Set refrigerators to 40 degrees (F), and freezers to 0 degrees (F)
  11. Take advantage of natural light
  12. Unplug chargers, and certain appliances
  13. Adjust your thermostat higher on your AC, and lower on your heater
  14. Let sun light in during the winter months, and keep it out with drapes in the summer
  15. Keep doors and windows shut when the heater or AC is running
  16. Lower your water heater to 120 degrees (F)
  17. Wash with cold water whenever possible
  18. Wash and dry full loads to maximize efficiency (both clothes and dishes)
  19. Clean lint filter before each use
  20. Use less detergent
  21. Avoid clothes that require dry cleaning
  22. Take showers instead of baths
  23. Take short showers
  24. Use less toilet paper
  25. If you have to buy a car, buy a gas efficient one
  26. Drive less — walk or use public transportation
  27. Do not accelerate to red light, stop sign, or traffic jam ahead
  28. Drive at the speed limit and accelerate slowly to save gas
  29. Perform regular maintenance on your car
  30. Plan your route
  31. Use lowest octane required for your car
  32. Cook or order just enough food
  33. Eat out less
  34. Cancel unread magazine and newspaper subscriptions
  35. Borrow books instead of buy
  36. Recycle wastes
  37. Donate old clothes and items to charity instead of trashing them (tax deductible)
  38. Avoid foods that take a lot of time to prepare (save on your gas and/or electricity bills)
  39. Use ceiling fan instead of air conditioner
  40. Use rechargeable batteries

Lastly, I want to leave you with a quote from Your Money or Your Life by Dominguez and Robin:

“Everything we eat, wear, drive, buy and throw away comes from the earth. Many of these products are fabricated from non-renewable resources. Once we throw them away, those pieces of the earth will not be available to support meaningful life for perhaps thousand of millennia. It’s a one-way trip from the earth to the factory to the store to our house to the dump.”

From around the web:

If you have other green money saving tips, please leave a comment.

About the Author

By , on Oct 15, 2007
Pinyo is the owner of Moolanomy Personal Finance. He is a licensed Realtor specializing in residential homes in the Northern Virginia area. Over the past 20 years, Pinyo has enjoyed a diverse career as an investor, entrepreneur, business executive, educator, and financial literacy author.

Leave Your Comment (9 Comments)

  1. Peter Johnston says:

    Man what a great article. I’m not so sure about using less toilet paper though. I have a good one. Never get married and even more importantly, never get divorced…The latter can wipe out a lifetime of using low energy bulbs!

  2. Jonathan says:

    I actually make the point now of removing any excessive packaging when I’m buying the products and placing it in a bag which I then deposit at the checkout. I figure that the more people do this the move the supermarkets will get the idea that they use excessive packaging. I don’t rant and rave at store staff, I just make a silent protest.

  3. tpom says:

    Good post! It’s the little things, done repeatedly over time, that make the difference. We need to stay green and growing. Me, I’m working on helping people save money on healthcare in the US… while working on #24 πŸ™‚

  4. Pinyo says:

    @Robert – thank you for pointing out the “cloths” mistake. At least I was consistent.

    Sorry, I don’t get your second comment.

  5. Robert V says:

    Save on letters by saying “cloths” instead of “clothes”.

    Save money, save the environment AND help spread germs and disease. This is great stuff.

  6. Pinyo says:

    @SAHMmy – welcome to Moolanomy. #24 is very personal. I know someone who only use 1 sheet regardless of the situation…yuck.

    @Mrs Micah – Enjoy the book! I still have a few chapters to go, but I have to wait for it to become available again (library book).

    @hank – Wow, big family. I am sure you go through them quick.

  7. hank says:

    I agree with SHAMmy πŸ˜‰ 24 sounds like a good idea, but the paper I don’t use, between my cat, my 2 year old, and my 3 year old, they find other uses for it. Maybe it needs to be locked up! πŸ™‚ good post.

  8. Mrs. Micah says:

    Like, many, I’m reading Your Money or Your Life right now. That’s a good quote and a good section of the book.

    We do a lot of these. I normally use a drying rack, but if I have not quite full loads of whites and colors and have to machine-dry them for some reason (did this a lot at college before the rack) I combine them in the dryer. That way, you don’t risk the colors bleeding, but you still save some money and energy.

  9. SAHMmy Says says:

    Great tips! We do follow most of these suggestions…not sure if I can get on board with #24 though πŸ™‚

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