Today is Earth Day and you may be asking what do Earth Day and finances have in common. Earth Day is a worldwide event used to create awareness and appreciation of the Earth’s natural environment. Many of the things we do can be changed to not only make the Earth a better place, but they can also save you money. Here are a few things you can do to save money and the Earth:
Change Driving Habits – Simply braking sooner and accelerating slower could help you increase your gas mileage by up to 37% . Driving the speed limit and using cruise control can increase your gas mileage by up to 14%. These are not only substantial savings, but you are also using less fuel which is always better for the Earth.
Install Solar Power – Yes solar does have a high initial cost but there is a 30% federal tax credit available and many states also offer incentives. If you plan on staying in your current residence the payback can range from 10 to 15 years depending on the cost of electricity in your area. Here is a calculator to help you estimate your payback time on solar. Solar will not only eliminate your power but you are helping Earth because most electricity is either produced from coal or nuclear reactors.
Use Less Water – Taking shorter showers, lowering the time you water your lawn, use less dishes to save on dishwasher water and turning off the water while brushing your teeth will all help decrease water usage. This will not only save money on your water bill, but it will help Earth by conserving water in those areas that are at risk of droughts.
Energy Efficient Bulbs – If you can’t justify spending the money on solar energy, replace all your bulbs with energy efficient bulbs. They use 25% to 80% less energy, which will lead to substantial cost savings on your electric bill. Just like solar, this helps the Earth by lowering electric consumption, which leads to less pollutants.
Earth Day is a great day for awareness, but we should be protecting Earth on a daily basis. I am not a tree hugger, but I love the outdoors and want many generations below me to be able to enjoy the outdoors as well. Are you doing anything for Earth Day? Is there anything that you make a conscious effort to do to save money and help the Earth?
“The Earth is what we all have in common.” – Wendell Barry