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Save Green by being Green

Save Green by being Green
By Brad Trupp (c) 2008

Living the greener life -- to be more eco-friendly and sustainable -- does not have to be just a matter of saving the rain forests in South America. Instead, consider going green as your means to saving some money.

One emphasis of the sustainable lifestyle is to use a little less where possible, whether it be less energy or fewer resources. As energy prices skyrocket, energy conservation makes good sense on a financial level, as well as on an environmental level.

If you want to reduce your electricity bill, then you have to find ways to use less electricity. To pay less often at the gas pump, you have to drive less often.

Use less Stuff

In general, this one statement -- USE LESS STUFF -- works both for saving the environment and for saving you money. Here are some small steps you can take to implement this practice in your life.

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

One easy fix for your electricity bill is to swap out your incandescent light bulbs for CFLs.

For each bulb you replace , you should save at least $30.00 in electricity costs over the life of the bulb -- even taking into account the slightly higher purchase price of CFLs.

LED Light Bulbs

For spot lighting and night-lights, you can use LED lights for a greater saving yet. There are some very cost effective LED lights out there now for the these type of applications. As an added bonus, these small LEDs run extremely cool to reduce the hazards of overheating or accidental burns.

However, at the time of writing this in 2008, LED bulb with enough lumens to replace a 60 watt or greater incandescent are still too expensive for general use.

Energy Star Appliances

Energy Star appliances are appliances rated for superior energy efficiency over similar appliances that are not.

The initial purchase price for many Energy Star appliances can be a little higher, but over the long run, you will save you money by reducing your electricity bill each and every month. Additionally, products like front-loading washers will also save on water costs by using less.

Energy Star system not only covers major appliances, like washers and dryers, but a wide array of electronics, from lighting products to televisions to computers.

Public Transportation + Carpooling

Are you looking for ways to cut your gas bill?

In most parts of the country, you should be able to make use of public transportation. Compare the cost of bus fare against the combined cost of gas, the cost of parking, plus the general costs of owning and running your car. In many places $4.00 for bus fare will get you to and from work without spending $20.00 for gas and parking for the same trip.

Public transportation wins.

For those trips where public transportation is not a great solution, consider carpooling. Sharing costs is always better than paying in full.

Shop Locally

If the store is close enough, consider walking or riding a bicycle.

Try to combine your trips to reduce the overall number of miles you need to drive. You know -- from the house to the post office to the grocery store and back home -- one trip instead of three.

Try buying local products, that is, products made or grown within 100 miles of you. These products should have cost savings built-in by reduced transportation costs. Also, it is always good to support your local economy.

Tags: Personal - My Money



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