In this day and age, going green seems to be all the rage – yet many wonder whether the costs of doing so are truly worth the effort. However, you may be surprised to learn that you can produce less waste and actually save money at the same time. It may require a bit of research and a change in habits, but the rewards are worthwhile. If you want to leave the world a better place for your kids and simultaneously cash in, check out these tips.
1. Recycle Plastic, Aluminum, and Glass
You’d have to amass and recycle a hefty amount of plastic, aluminum, or glass in order to cash in, but it’s worth the effort. Check the website Earth911 for a list of recycling centers near you. Ten states currently have cash redemption programs for recycling glass bottles and aluminum cans: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, New York, Oregon, and Vermont. The payout is typically 5 to 10 cents per bottle.
2. Eat More Fresh Fruits and Veggies
By eating more fresh fruits and veggies, you can save a great deal of money as opposed to purchasing processed foods and meats – especially if you use a local farmers’ market. This decreases the amount of plastic containers and other packaging products that end up in landfills. If you’re able to decrease your meat intake as a result, you can help reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions released into the environment due to meat production.
3. Composting and Gardening
Composting in and of itself creates less waste, but it probably won’t net you any savings. However, you can save a great amount of money on your food bill by having a home garden, and your compost can be combined with fertilizer and potting soil to deliver nutrients to your homegrown veggies. Just be sure to keep any meat or animal products out of your compost, as that can attract animals.
4. Sell, Recycle, or Donate Your Old Electronics
The next time you upgrade your iPod or replace your tablet computer, dispose of your unneeded electronic devices properly. Resell it on eBay or Amazon, or donate it to an IRS-qualified charity to get a tax deduction. Or you could recycle your items through a website called ElectronicsForCash.
5. Get an Energy Audit
Greening your home means less energy waste, which can help you to decrease your carbon footprint. If it is offered by your energy provider, an energy audit performed on your home can inform you of a number of ways to be more efficient and reduce your energy usage.
When greening your home, be wise in how you spend your money, and don’t spend beyond your means. For example, though installing solar panels can save you money in the long-run, it could cost you more than $10,000 upfront – this may require more than 17 years before you see any true savings. Be sure to fully research your options to ensure that you can, in fact, save money.
What ways can you think of to reduce waste and save money at the same time?
David Bakke is a contributor for Money Crashers Finance, a resource that provides tips for saving money and saving the environment.