5 Ways to Be Green and Save Money on Earth Day


going greenToday’s homeowner is always looking for ways to save money around the home.  Combining that with eco-friendly or green improvements can be expensive, however there are many ways you can go green and save money at the same time without spending a lot of money.

Home Energy Audit

A home energy audit is the first step in identifying how much energy you are using and what improvements should be taken to cut energy use and save money.  An energy audit can identify ways to save an average of 30% on home energy costs and many Utility Companies offer rebates towards to cost of an audit.  Some of the tests performed during a comprehensive audit include a blower door test (a diagnostic test designed to accurately measure and locate sources of air leakage in/out of your home), a thermal imaging analysis (test designed to identify sources of heat loss), and an energy savings payback analysis.

Recycle Your Electronics

Not only will recycling your old electronics and cell phones keep toxic materials out of landfills you can sell your old cellphones for cash at gazelle.com .  You can drop off your old cell phone at most of the major electronics stores and cell phone retail outlets such as: AT&T, Best Buy, Office Depot, Staples and Verizon.  Another option is to donate your cell phone to support Domestic Violence Shelters via shelteralliance.net

Fix Leaking Faucets and Toilets

A running faucet wastes up to 74 gallons per day while a leaking toilet wastes up to 200 gallons of water per day.  Repairing a leaky faucet is an easy DIY Project and can be as simple as replacing a $2 gasket.  A leaking toilet usually involves replacing the flapper mechanism and is also a project that anyone with a wrench should be able to tackle with ease.  As with any plumbing repair project you will need to shut the water off at the source and in an emergency you should be able to shut the water off at the main shutoff valve.

Don’t Buy New

Why buy new when you can buy the same item for up to 75% less money?  Many people refuse to even consider buying used items because they believe a new item will last longer and provide trouble-free use.  While there are items that you should never buy used such as a mattress, bike helmets, and tires, buying used can be a smart way to stretch your dollar while still getting similar quality. Use Craigslist to buy used items or Freesharing to pick up that item you are searching for at no cost.  If you are looking for used clothing one of the best places to start is Buffalo Exchange.

  • Musical Instruments
  • Video Games
  • Exercise Equipment
  • Baby Furniture
  • Car
  • Clothing

Go Green Outdoors

When making landscaping decisions consider planting plants that are native to your geographic area.  Native flowers, plants, and trees require less fertilizer and water in most cases because they are adapted to the local climate.  Using mulch will help to retain moisture in the soil, will help prevent weeds and keep soil cool in hot summer months.   Did you know that watering your lawn accounts for up to 70% of a home’s water usage?  Water early in the morning and let the grass grow longer to help reduce water loss due to evaporation.

Do you consider eco-friendly qualities when making purchases or home improvements?

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13 Responses to 5 Ways to Be Green and Save Money on Earth Day

  1. Modest Money 04/23/2012 at 8:19 pm #

    One of the great ideas I’ve seen for saving water on watering your lawn is to collect water via your roof gutter by connecting it to a barrel.

    The home energy audit sounds like a smart move too. By preventing heat loss you can save a lot of money on your heating bill.

    • Sustainable PF 04/24/2012 at 10:38 am #

      Sounds like our latest Green Tip @ SPF ;)

      @FT – we do all of the above. I wrote early on about our home energy retrofit, and how much money we got back.

      • Paul 04/24/2012 at 5:04 pm #

        I’ll be sure to check that out Simon! I’m going to try to work more Green topics in for the readers.

  2. Rob 04/24/2012 at 5:43 am #

    I personally save money by bartering. Think of all the unused stuff you have! You can easily get rid of that and get something you really like in exchange. At barterquest.com you can trade services, goods and even real estate, it’s my favorite site out there and has always worked for me so far.

    • Paul 04/24/2012 at 5:58 am #

      I have not tried bartering yet, I’ll have to give it a try. I’d be interested to hear how your experience was.

  3. Kurt @ Money Counselor 04/24/2012 at 7:47 am #

    I like especially your ‘don’t buy new.’ I’ve tried to adopt the habit of thinking used first, and new only as a last resort, when I need something. One key to making this work is anticipating needs. If you find yourself suddenly in need of something, you may not have the patience or option to take the ‘used’ route and end up buying new.

    • Paul 04/24/2012 at 5:18 pm #

      Good point Kurt. Convenience is a major reason why we buy new instead of used. My next car will be used not so much for the green factor but it just makes sense from a financial stand point.

  4. TB at Blue Collar Workman 04/24/2012 at 11:37 am #

    Got the leaky faucets down pat! As a blue collar guy, Im always fixing things up in our place to make them more efficient and better!

    • Paul 04/24/2012 at 5:11 pm #

      Not too long ago I replaced our dishwasher and saved about $100. Not bad…

  5. MrFrugalFrank 07/23/2012 at 8:31 pm #

    The best thing i done lately was rid myself of the electric hot water tank and self installed a propane tankless giving a net monthly savings of $80/month Cost to install was around $700 icluding the EasyTankless

    • Paul 07/28/2012 at 2:39 am #

      I was close to going with the tankless but went with a gas replacement. Gas is pretty efficient.

  6. TB at BlueCollarWorkman 07/23/2012 at 8:39 pm #

    Since I’m a blue collar guy, I defintely agree with fixing leaky faucets/sinks. No reason to let that stuff run, fix it today! Easy! But I also recommend keeping your home maintained in other ways too. Get in that attic and check your uinsulation, check your soffit for molding, change your air filter…. so many things that can save money and time and the environment!

  7. Jose 02/10/2013 at 1:38 pm #

    I’m all about not buying new. Many of the items we buy are used and we are definitely frequent haunters of thrift stores and craigslist. It’s amazing how many things you can find that are in good condition. The one exception to that is large appliances or electronics, you typically won’t find what you want and there certainly won’t be any warranties on it if you do.

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