When learning how to help the environment, you’ve probably heard the phrase ‘reduce, reuse, recycle.’
It’s a friendly reminder that simple steps can go a long way in changing the world for the better. There’s another word, though, that can help you go green – while also saving some green in your bank along the way: replace.
By making these seven eco-friendly habit changes, you can lead a lifestyle that ensures a better tomorrow – one that’s better for our planet – and your wallet, too.
1. Go with the low-flow
Start your morning with a refreshing shower and the added confidence boost of knowing you’re helping the environment. Low-faucet aerators and shower heads are affordable and reduce the amount of water coming out of your sink or shower (without reducing water pressure!)
With the average American using thousands of gallons of water per day, practicing water conservation is important for the growing water crisis and saving money on your monthly utility bill.
Savings: Up to $160/year
2. Take the high road: Reduce your commute
Hopping into your car to drive down the block can be convenient, but car-related expenses add up. Plus, cars are big contributors to air pollution.
Luckily, you have transportation alternatives:
- Carpool with coworkers,
- Go for a stroll,
- Take your bike or
- Use public transportation
The environment – and your wallet – will thank you.
3. Fly the rags: Swap paper towels with washables
Say goodbye to wasteful paper towels and hello to washable rags! Though this may not take you from rags to riches right away, single-use paper towels can cost around $12 every month on average, while buying kitchen towels only costs about $9 every few years.
Old rags can get the job done just as efficiently as paper towels, reducing unnecessary paper waste, saving trees and keeping paper out of landfills.
4. Hydration station: All aboard the water filter train
You can’t live without water, but you can live without bottled water.
From the manufacturing to the waste of plastic water bottles – with billions being sent to landfills every year – these products pollute our air and take a toll on the environment. Adding a simple water filter to your faucet, as well as filling reusable water bottles, is sustainable for both your wallet and the ecosystem.
5. So long, power suckers! Use a power strip to power down
Even when powered down, plugged-in electronics – like TVs, computers and laptops – can still drain electricity all night. These power suckers can add up on your electric bill, so plugging them into power strips and making sure to shut the strip off when they’re not in use can greatly reduce your energy consumption.
6. Take charge with rechargeable batteries
While it’s easy to toss old batteries from your TV remote, trashing them sends them to the landfill where they can release harmful metals or toxins into the environment. The cost of replacing batteries can also put your wallet in ‘low-battery mode,’ but investing in rechargeable batteries allows you to fill them up as needed and saves you frequent trips to the store.
7. Give hot water the cold shoulder
In addition to the costs of heating water to wash clothes, this can also put the quality of your clothes – and your utility bill – in hot water. High-temp water sometimes damages fabric, leaving your clothes wrinkled, faded or shrunk. By washing laundry in cold water and leaving them to hang-dry, you can save energy, money and your favorite pair of work pants.
Add it up.
These simple replacements in your daily routine could save you over $1,000 a year, all while making the environment a healthier place to live in for current and future generations.
When it comes to going green and saving green, these changes may seem small at first – but even simple steps can help in making big strides for a brighter – and greener – future.