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Be Ecofriendly To Your Wallet This Summer

It’s become trendy to be ecofriendly.

I used to pull soda cans out of other people’s trash can, walk down the hallway, and deposit them into the recycling bin at the end of the hall. We don’t have deposits in Maryland, so there was no profit motive, but it always amazed me how inconsiderate some people were. I know I got some strange looks, lifting stuff from people’s trash bins at the office, but I didn’t care (I only took the ones off the top, I didn’t dig and I didn’t tell the person about their inconsiderateness). The utility I gained from recycling that can, or picking up that bottle to recycle it at home, far outweighed the hit I may have taken going through someone’s trash. Thankfully, recycling has become more trendy so I no longer get those strange looks.

In addition to becoming trendy, being ecofriendly can benefit your wallet in ways you probably didn’t imagine. We all know that consuming fewer fossil fuels is one way to be ecofriendly and help your wallet, but are there other ways? Other ways to save the planet and dollars besides carpooling and hypermiling?

Yes, here are five areas you can contribute to the Earth and save yourself some green.

Use Less (Hot) Water

Water is exceptionally cheap; we pay around $50 a quarter to consume 7500 gallons of water, or a little over half a cent a gallon. Consuming less water by itself is hardly a significant way to save money but consuming less hot water is. Hot water takes electricity to heat up, which is generated by burning fossil fuels. Pumping water also takes electricity. While you may not save a ton of money by using less water, you do help out the earth, reduce our reliance on fossil fuels by a little bit, and save a few cents in the process.

Skip Plastic Bags, Go Reusable

Plastic bags, like all plastic products, are products of petroleum and one of the biggest items of pollution on the planet. The massive floating trash island in the Pacific [3] is made of plastic and it’s absolutely disgusting, we should all do our part by limited our use of plastic where we can.

Turn Down The Air Conditioner

In the summer, one of the greatest draws in power is your central air conditioning unit and turning the temperature up on the thermostat is a great way to save yourself some money while doing the Earth some good. The real value in this is in the energy savings, which reduces demand on the grid and lowers the amount of fuel the power plant needs to consume to generate electricity. Likewise, your wallet will smile since it’ll be a little fatter given the skyrocketing price in energy.

Turn Down The Water Heater

Here’s something you probably didn’t think of – try turning down your hot water heater. Your water heater is another large draw of power in your home as it tries to keep that huge tank full of burning hot water. In the summer, we tend to take cooler showers so why not help that along by lowering the temperature of the hot water?

Practice Energy Conservation at Work

Energy conservation at home is easy, because you get all the benefits. Every dollar you save is one that you can put towards savings or spend at your next outing. At work, it’s less transparent but you still do benefit. If you and your co-workers can save your employer some money on utilities, that can translate into a slightly better bottom line and high salaries for you. Electricity is the number one cost at most companies so employ the same techniques you do at home at your workplace, and be an evangelist about it.

With a few easy steps, you can both help the environment and your wallet!

(Photo: lori_greig [5])