Often perceived to be expensive, living an eco-friendly lifestyle can actually save you money and save the environment.
Many Americans believe that living an eco-friendly lifestyle costs too much “green.” That’s the finding of a new survey by digital coupon website RetailMeNot and The Omnibus Co. released just in time for Earth Day.
The survey found that less than half – 44 percent – of Americans would describe their lifestyle as completely green. Nearly half of the survey participants said the biggest reason for not living an entirely eco-friendly existence is because it’s too expensive.
And 7 in 10 people said they only purchase eco-friendly products if the cost is the same or lower than non-green.
Trae Bodge, senior editor of The Real Deal blog, says that despite many people’s perception that living green is spendy, it can actually save you money. Bodge compiled 11 ways to go green and save.
Here are our five favorite tips. They’re both easy and Earth-friendly:
- Bag it. Follow a “BYOB” policy, where you bring your own bag(s) or reusable totes when you shop. Many stores, including Target, Whole Foods and other grocery stores, offer a small discount if you use your own bags to haul your items.
- Make sure it’s full. Don’t run your dishwasher (or washing machine) unless it’s completely full. “According to the EPA, running only full loads will save the earth 100 pounds of carbon dioxide and save you $40 a year, plus you’ll avoid that horrible feeling that you’re always unloading the dishes,” Bodge said.
- Let the light shine. Trade just a handful of incandescent light bulbs for Energy Star-certified compact fluorescent bulbs. “You’ll use at least 75 percent less energy and save about $70 a year on your electric bill, or up to $135 per bulb over its lifespan,” Bodge said.
- Erratic driving. Slamming on the gas or brakes and speeding are bad for gas mileage. FuelEconomy.org says you can improve your gas mileage by up to 33 percent with smoother driving. Make sure your tires are inflated correctly – that can save you 3 percent in gas mileage.
- Put that plastic bottle down. On average, Americans drink 30.8 gallons of bottled water annually, Bodge said. Rather than filling up landfills with plastic bottles, purchase a reusable bottle and fill it with tap water.
I already follow Tip 2 (I’m happy it’s eco-friendly, but I do it because I HATE unloading the dishwasher), Tip 3 and Tip 5. I have a bunch of cool, reusable bags for groceries, so Tip 1 should be checked off for me too. But I frequently forget to bring them to the store with me.
Bodge’s tips for being green really are easy and they won’t break the bank. It’s a win-win.
Happy Earth Day.
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