Save Money and Go Green in 2013

10 Small Changes to Live a More Sustainable Lifestyle - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

My awesome canvas bag.

I’m sure one of your New Year’s resolutions is to save money. A few cents here and there add up after a while. I discovered that in my constant effort to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, I’ve saved money, too.

Small, sustainable changes can make a huge difference and are easy to incorporate in to everyday life. Need a little inspiration? I’ve got a few ideas to help get you started, and they’re affordable and easy. I promise.

Switch to reusable grocery bags
Most plastic grocery bags end up in landfills or whirling around on the side of the road. Because of this, a lot of stores and even some cities are banning them. For a few bucks you can pick up a couple of canvas bags. Many stores even knock a few cents off your order if you use your own bags.

Use a water bottle
Banish bottled water from your home by using filter pitchers and reusable water bottles. According to National Geographic, “Bottled water also creates its own share of pollution – the production of plastic bottles requires millions of barrels of oil per year, and the transportation of bottled water from its source to stores releases thousands of tons of carbon dioxide.” I spent $8 to buy my plastic reusable cup and made the money back on it in about five uses considering vending machine water cost me $1.50 each.

Stop using sandwich and freezer bags
Sandwich and freezer bags are convenient, but they’re used once and thrown into the trash. Using plastic containers, like Tupperware, keeps a lot of plastic from ending up in landfills. For the price of about two boxes of bags, you can get this container set from IKEA. I’ve had this particular set for a while, it’s held up well, and I haven’t bought bags in about a year.

Start a garden
Even a small garden can help reduce your dependency on produce trucked in from hundreds or even thousands of miles away, decreasing your carbon footprint. Gardens also save you money and offer the convenience of healthy fruits and vegetables just steps from your kitchen. Think about how much organic tomatoes cost. You can grow the same or an even better variety for pennies on the dollar.

Use solar-powered home decorations
Solar-powered trinkets are inexpensive and come in a variety of styles to match anyone’s taste. So go ahead and add some solar-powered decorations  to your garden or patio because they won’t add anything to your electric bill, but they will add some flare to your outdoor spaces.

Use cold water to do laundry
In order to reduce my dependency on gas, I haven’t used hot water to wash my clothes in years.. Daily Finance adds that washing with cold water costs only four cents per load verses 60 cents for hot water. If you do 10 loads of laundry per week, you’re spending nearly $6 a week for hot water. This simple change can add up to major cash and energy savings at the end of the month.

Hang your laundry outside
Last summer, I made a clothesline from a piece of rope I bought for a $1. That $1 saved me nearly $3 a load at the laundromat this past spring, summer and fall. Considering I do laundry twice a month and have three loads each time, I put $18 a month back in my pocket just by hanging my clothes out. Plus I use the sun’s energy to dry my clothes – no electricity or gas required – helping me save even more.

Sustainable changes not only save energy, they save money, too. As a bonus, the changes above don’t take much effort or investment on your part, so why not try them?

Will you make some small changes to live a more sustainable lifestyle this year? Share what you plan to do with other Zing readers!

 

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