Ways to go green – and save green!
There is often an added bonus to being green – usually, it means you save money, too.
For example, turning off the lights in empty rooms and switching your computer off when it's not in use are both environmentally friendly actions that also shave dollars off your electric bill.
It's the little things we do every day that can have a big environmental impact in the end.
Think, for example, about brushing your teeth. The next time you are standing at the sink, scrubbing those pearly whites, don't leave the water running the whole time. You conserve water (and save money on your water bill) by turning the water on only at the end when you are ready for it.
Here are some other random tips that are kind to the planet, and still add up to some savings, too:
• Walk more, drive less
• Only run the dishwasher or washing machine when they are absolutely full
• Take shorter showers. I have a friend who takes this to the extreme – he turns on the shower, rinses off, then turns it off again while he soaps up. When he's ready for the final rinse, he turns the water back on again. Sounds shivery, but with Yuma's hot summer months, this might work for some readers. But just a shorter shower is a good start.
• Hang your clothes on a clothesline to dry, rather than running the dryer
• Repurpose or reuse water bottles, butter containers, etc. I sometimes buy minced garlic, which comes in little glass jars. Turns out, those jars are great to hold paint for little aspiring Monets.
• Set your thermostat a little higher in the summer – and a little lower in the winter – to save on that dreaded APS bill.
• Take your recyclables to one of the businesses in Yuma that will pay you for your used glass, metal, newspapers, etc.
• Unplug appliances and random cords (like your cell phone charger) when they aren't in use. This cuts down on what's called “vampire” electric use – things that drain power even though they are actually being used.
• Make your own cleaning supplies. All you really need are a few common ingredients, and they aren't toxic like most you buy at the store. Learn more on page ___.
• Eat out less. Homemade meals are usually more healthy, use less packaging, cost less and you don't spend money on gas driving back and forth to restaurants.
• Start a veggie garden
• Make sure your home is well-sealed. Caulk cracks and seal windows and doors to save on heating and cooling costs.
• Turn down your hot-water heater a few degrees. Not only will it save money, it's also a little safer with small children in the house.
These are just a few simple steps, many of which we've implemented at our home. It might not seem like much, but remember, every penny saved adds up to dollars over time. And at the same time, you are helping the environment - a win-win situation!