Submitting Frugal Author: Alicia Rainville
Everywhere we go we see and hear about the importance of “going green”. There are green bags for sale at almost every retail store, a wide variety of energy efficient electronics, earth-friendly cleaning products, hybrid cars, wind power testing and implementation, newspapers printing on recycled paper with natural ink, and a significant increase of items are being made out of recycled materials – from food packaging to house-building materials. This is all a wonderful thing to see. But have you tried saving money going green?

Here are some very simple tips on how to be a "Greener" AND save $$$:

  •  Use a water bottle instead of buying water in plastic. A plastic bottle of water can cost you about $1.50 a day or $390 a year! You can purchase purification filtered bottles if you are concerned about taste or quality.
  • Skip the morning “coffee run” - this cuts back on waste and saves you $500 or more annually!
  • Shut your computer monitors off when you shut your PC down. At home it costs about $88 per year to leave your monitor running 24 hours per day. Shutting it off will cut that by at least 40%
  • Buy those green bags - use them at the mall, for groceries, going to the beach, bringing in lunch, or anytime you need to put things in a bag for transporting. 
  • Donate your old electronics – this will save both waste and disposal fees
  • Re-use empty plastic containers of Cool-whip, sandwich meat, etc. These are great for storing leftovers and cuts back on using plastic wraps, bags, and foil. You can also wash and re-use freezer bags.
  • Bows, ribbons, gift bags, cards and quality wrapping paper can all be re-used. I often cut out the pictures on cards, punch a hole in it, and use it as a gift tag. Another option is to give a gift in a re-usable bag – it’s a gift in a gift!
  • Get a travel mug – more and more places are offering discounts for using your own mug and this reduces your carbon footprint. Ask your local coffee shop if they offer a discount, as some places take up to 15 cents off.
  • Use electric outdoor tools (ie – leaf blowers) and a push mower. This cuts down on cost of gas and exhaust emissions. You’d be surprised at how far push mowers have come!
  • Subscribe to the “e-dition” of newspapers instead of getting home delivery
  • Compost food scraps for your home gardening instead of buying fertilizer – the fertilizers often have chemicals in them which can be harmful to pets. This also cuts back on the toxic breakdown that occurs in trash bags.
  • Get creative with meat leftovers – makes stews, sandwiches, wraps, reheat it in a pan with new spices, put in sauce, or grind it into dog food (your pup will LOVE that!)

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