10 Ways to Save Money and the Environment
We’ve only got one planet, but you’ve only got one wallet. Here are 10 ways for you to keep both of them a little greener.
Bring a Mug
Save money: Find a cafe that gives a discount for bringing a mug. Ten cents off each of your five drinks per week saves you $26 a year.
Save the planet: 14.4 billion coffee cups were thrown away in the U.S. in 2005. At five lattes a week, you can save 260 cups from the garbage.
Be Smoke Free
Save money: Quit smoking and the average smoker pockets $700 a year.
Save the planet: It is estimated that tobacco use causes 8.8 percent of deaths (about 4.9 million) worldwide.
Remember to Recycle
Save money: With a five cent reimbursement per can, you can save $1.20 for every case.
Save the planet: It takes 95 percent less energy to recycle an aluminum can than to make a new one.
Save money: Save 1 to 3 percent on your electricity bill for every degree you lower your thermostat.
Save the planet: Turning the thermostat down two degrees in the winter and up two degrees in the summer keeps 2,000 lbs. of planet-warming CO2 out of the atmosphere.
Save money: Recharge batteries 500 times with a charger for $16.99 and pennies worth of electricity. 500 packages of alkaline AA batteries would cost you around $970.
Save the planet: Three billion batteries are thrown away every year, leaking toxic metals like lead, arsenic, zinc, cadmium, copper, and mercury into the soil.
Save money: Skip the sofa from Pottery Barn ($999), grab a thrift store couch ($50), and cover it with a slipcover ($30 at amazon.com).
Save the planet: If you guess about 70 cubic feet per couch, reusing could save some serious landfill space.
Slash your Gas
Save money: Carpooling with three people cuts your gas costs by 75 percent.
Save the planet: Every gallon of gas you don’t burn keeps 20 lbs. of harmful CO2 out of the atmosphere.
Ditch the Bottles
Save money: Pay ten cents per gallon for filtered water (using an under-sink filter), instead of $1 (or more) for a 16 oz. bottle.
Save the planet: Help reduce the sixty million water bottles thrown away every day.
Save money: Many grocery stores refund a few pennies, or even a nickel, for bringing your own bag.
Save the planet: Reusing or recycling one ton of plastic bags and one ton of paper bags saves about 11 barrels of oil and 13-17 trees, respectively.
Save money: Donating old computers and cell phones can be written off on your taxes if you itemize.
Save the planet: Harmful lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium leak from televisions, circuit boards and other electronic equipment.