Sometimes ethical choices are hard. But when you can save the planet and save a buck at the same time, you know you've found a winning option. Luckily, going green and saving a little green often go hand in hand.
Here are some simple steps you can take to manage the earth's resources and your household finances at the same time.
Plant a Garden
Giving over part of your yard to grow vegetables and herbs is a winning plan on several levels. You'll save money on groceries and eat healthier.
You'll also save fuel, both by making fewer trips to the store and by having an area of your yard that doesn't need mowing. Add a small compost pile and you'll reduce your landfill and yard waste production, too.
Pump Your Heat
A geothermal heat pump uses the consistent temperature of the earth to keep your home comfortable, which saves energy and money. The heat pump draws warmth from the ground to keep your home warm in winter and does the reverse in summer.
In both seasons, a geothermal heat pump keeps your home comfortable while using much less electricity than a traditional system, so it saves money and resources.
As a bonus, there are fewer emissions and the equipment lasts longer.
Dry Your Clothes On A Line
Clothes dryers are one of the most energy-hungry appliances in your home. In fact, your dryer is responsible for as much as 6 percent of your total energy usage — and your power bill.
It's not difficult to line-dry clothes, at least during summer months, and if you have a basement you can even line-dry indoors in winter.
You'll save a tremendous amount of energy over the course of the year and enjoy lower power bills as well.
Cut Back on Red Meats
Did you know that agriculture accounts for 30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and that livestock accounts for half of that? Even if you're not ready to become a vegetarian, skipping meat even once a week adds up to a huge reduction in emissions.
It will also save you money and improve your health. Although all food requires energy to grow and creates emission problems, Beef and lamb are the biggest offenders.
Fruits and vegetables are much lower in greenhouse gas emissions. Luckily for you, they're also cheaper and healthier.
Stop Buying Bottled Water
Those plastic bottles are an environmental disaster. It takes more than 17 million barrels of oil to produce the plastic water bottles that American consume every year. Then 86% of the bottles become litter or waste.
Bottled water is also 3,000 times more expensive than tap water. And if you think bottled water is somehow more "pure" than tap water, think again.
Regulations governing tap water are much stricter than those for bottled water.
It's not hard to find ways to improve your family's financial health while reducing your impact on the planet. Incorporate these changes one or two at a time and soon you'll be saving a ton of green and feeling really good about your new choices.