Image credit: Josh Parrish @ flickr
Going green is definitely better for you, and the planet, but it can occasionally mean a little green has to leave your wallet. Even if you'll make the money back in increased efficiency or energy savings, you have to shell out some bucks for compact fluorescent light bulbs, a more efficient dishwasher, a professional home energy audit, or an entire home energy monitor. The waiting is tiresome, and it's tough to calculate exactly how much each light bulb, for example, is saving you.
Given the economic events of the past months, waiting to start saving might not be a wise choice. These tips will save you money starting today, and will continue to for as long as you continue to do them. And if you get started now, you can save almost $1000 in the next year without buying anything extra! Read on to get the scoop.
Image credit: katsniffen @ flickr
Hang your laundry out to dry
Your dryer checks in at number two on the list of household energy hogs (right after your fridge), according to the U.S. Department of Energy, and uses more than you might think.
By cutting the dryer out of the equation and using the ample solar energy that falls to the earth every day, you can save some bucks, and prolong the life of your clothes, too. Get the full scoop in our guide for How to Go Green: Laundry.
Annual savings: $70 per year in energy costs
Photo credit: karimian @ flickr
Eat more veggies (and less meat) and save more money
Fresh vegetables are cheaper than meat; eat less meat, save more money.
According to the USDA, the weighted average price for all fresh fruit is 71 cents per pound; that averages out to about 18 cents per serving, and almost two-thirds of the fresh fruits, 16 out of 25, cost 25 cents or less per serving.
The weighted average price for all fresh vegetables was 64 cents per pound, which averages to 12 cents per serving. Contrast that with the average price per pound of beef, which, in October 2007, was $4.15 per pound; the average price per pound for pork was $2.93. Cutting meat will save more than money, too; according to a recent UN report, it'll cut way back on your contribution to climate change, too. Crunch the numbers over at Planet Green.
Annual savings: $100 per person, if you cut out one average meal of beef per week (assuming that a serving is about a eight ounces). If you go veggie, you'll save a bundle!
Image credit: PhilipsPhotos @ flickr
Set your thermostat wisely
Properly manipulate your thermostat -- hopefully it's a programmable model -- and your savings will mount quickly. Follow Energy Star's tips -- simple things like regulating for when you're awake and asleep, and modulating the settings for summer and winter -- and you can remain comfortably heated or cooled, with a few extra bucks in your pocket. Get more tips in our guide for How to Go Green: Heating.
Annual savings: $180, according to Energy Star, if you maintain your diligence for an entire year.
There's still over $500 to go! Keep reading for tips about your work life, getting around, and cleaning up after yourself.