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What are Some Inexpensive Ways to Go Green?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 18 November 2018
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Since the end of the 20th century, many people have been attempting to reorganize their lives to be more sustainable and less damaging to the environment. Although some celebrities have attempted to lead the pack by installing roofs full of solar panels and buying fleets of hybrid cars, finding ways to go green doesn't mean breaking the bank. Looking for new and simple ways to go green can be fun, educational, and even save money on energy costs in the long run.

While looking for ways to go green, bear in mind that many lifestyle changes do require initial expenditure. By growing a vegetable garden, plants, tools and soil will need to be purchased at the outset. However, when the neighbors are spending hard-earned cash in the vegetable aisle grocery store, a gardener will be enjoying straight-from-the-vine tomatoes that didn't include the environmentally hurtful steps of transportation in gas-run vehicles or pesticide spraying. Growing a garden, in addition to saving money, also provides greenery that can absorb carbon dioxide and make the air a little healthier as well.

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For fashionistas searching for ways to go green, there is no more hip accessory than the reusable grocery bag. Available from many major stores in a variety of cute patterns, colors and materials, these sturdy totes don't clutter up landfills or require trees to fall, and usually cost between $2-$5 US Dollars (USD). Besides, this is a wonderful opportunity to get rid of the kitchen cabinet space devoted to paper or plastic grocery bags faithfully stashed in the hopes they will be needed someday.

Remember that lots of ways to go green cost no money at all. Starting a recycling program in your neighborhood or at the office can require nothing more than a big cardboard box that says “Recycling” and a trip to a local recycling center once a week. Hanging laundry on a clothing line during the summer will not only save energy, it also can save apartment-dwellers a small fortune in laundry money.

If saving the environment isn't quite enough motivation to find ways to go green, saving money might do the trick. According to some studies, unplugging electronics and appliances can lower energy usage by up to 40%. By unplugging appliances at night, not only does total usage drop, so do energy bills. Going green can't get much better than that. Not only that, wrapping a water heater in an insulating blanket can cut energy needed by nearly one-third. These small changes can chip away at huge power or gas bills, little by little.

Finding ways to go green can also help educate impressionable kids about sustainable living and the state of the environment. Encouraging children to draw on both sides of the paper, recycle their lunch bags, or even plant a window garden can extend the efforts of environmentalism beyond the current generation. Instilling a desire to continue protecting the planet is free, enjoyable, and may be one of the most important small ways to go green.

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sunnysideup
Post 3

Creative projects can be pretty cheap and are good ways to go green for kids.

I've taken tee shirts with cool graphics that my kids grew out of (but still liked) and turned them into throw pillows for their rooms. I used plastic grocery bags to stuff them with and that project literally costs me pennies. I figure that's the cost of using my sewing machine and thread. And, it is a great way to teach the kids how to sew an easy pillow!

Another one of my favorite green projects is making mosaics out of all the broken dishes I save. I've made mosaics on photo frames, bird houses, flat mirrors, and on old side tables. The mastic is the one item you have to purchase but boy, is it worth it!

My kids do the breaking, then I do the making.

ninetydegree
Post 2

Going green in small ways definitely adds up.

We allowed the power company to put us on a program that helps them manage periods of high energy usage. They cut off our air conditioning for a few minutes when they need to, thus reducing our bill. We never even notice when it happens, so it's a win-win for everyone.

I also compost, and while it does take concerted effort on a daily basis, it makes me feel good about creating black gold to fertilize my plants with instead of spending money on manure!

sobeit
Post 1

I doubt I'll ever remember to go around the house unplugging all the electronics each night in hopes of reducing the electric bill.

But we have made the effort to reduce energy costs in simple, one-time actions like having the windows tinted to reduce heat during our long summers. We had the tinting applied on the windows that get full sun and definitely noticed those rooms were not as hot in the afternoons. A little effort for a great return.

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