Tips for Saving Money and Showing the Environment a 'Lil Love

We've all heard the phrase "going green" at some point in the last few years; whether it's on a billboard, radio station, in a magazine, reading a blog, or even on television, but do we know what that means to us as an individual or family?

How can we each make a difference for our environment? It's fun to note that you can not only reduce your impact on the environment, but you can save money while you do so too!

Helpful Tips for You and Your Family

· Use your local library! It's such a simple and easy way to recycle, but many people overlook it. Make the library your first stop when you're looking for a book, music CD, movie, or audio book to see if they have it to lend first. You'll save money on books and the storage you need to buy to store those books.

· Borrow and trade with neighbors, family, and friends – instead of buying that new gadget or what-not, ask your neighbor to borrow it for a time in exchange for something they may need. Ask if they would trade the use of their electric leaf blower for a fresh cherry pie, or the like. You might be surprised at how you can barter with those around you to save money for both parties.

· Take water consumption down a notch by installing water saver showerheads and by taking shorter showers.

· Buy secondhand whenever possible to make your dollar stretch even more. Secondhand or consignment shops and thrift stores are popping up all over the country and are doing a great business because people seem to realize it's the smart way to get more for your money. You can often find slightly or gently used items that still have a lot of life left in them, but won't cost as much as if it was a new item.

· Utilize organizations like Craigslist and Freecycle to find furniture, appliances, lamps, and more items for your house.

· Can you
stand it a little cooler in your home? Keep the heat down around 68 or so if possible. Keep the temperature around 75 or so if you can during the summer to save on energy costs.

· Ride your bicycle or walk to work rather than driving. See if your employer will let you work at home one or more days a week (depending on the type of work you do). Or, develop your own green work at home!

· Go back to the "old days" of drying clothing on a clothesline. I love this, and your clothes will smell great from being outdoors!

· Laundry can be done in cold water and it's just as effective; not to mention it saves on utility costs.

· Plant a garden in the back yard or use containers to grow fruits and vegetables. Picking from your own garden means fewer trips to the grocery store and less money spent on gasoline and food.

· Eat and buy local foods! Support your local businesses by staying in your general area to buy food, drink, dine out, and more. They'll thank you and so will the environment given that the more you buy locally, the fewer times trucks have to haul in merchandise and food to your town or city.

· Drink from reusable bottles; it's a smart way to cut down on trash and save money by not buying bottled water. Install a purifier on your kitchen faucet and you'll be able to enjoy cold fresh water all the time.

· Compost your food scraps to create a nutrient rich soil for your garden or flowerbeds.

· Buy in bulk whenever possible; make sure you have the storage capacity and containers to keep it fresh.

· Recycle electronics

· Improve air quality in your home by making your own cleaning products from natural ingredients

These simple steps together can make a real difference when it comes to positively impacting the environment and saving a bit on your bottom line at the same time!

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