When companies often charge substantially more for green and organic products, sometimes it feels like the whole green environmentalist movement was a plot to bring in more revenue. And with insurance payments, hospital bills, or children to take care of, spending those extra dollars to go green may not always come first on your to-do list. Fortunately, there are ways to save not only the environment, but your hard-earned cash as well. Here are a few environmentally conscious practices that will add a little “green” to your wallet:
At around $2 a bottle, bottled water is clearly expensive. If you drink just one water bottle each day for a week, you have spent around $15 on water bottles alone that week. Keep it up for a year, and you will have spent close to $800 dollars! As if that is not enough, the environmental cost is equally substantial. The Pacific Institute estimates that in 2006, the equivalent of 17 million barrels of oil was used in American production of bottled water alone, and don’t forget about the plastic bottles littered across our landfills, streets, and oceans! Instead of contributing to this waste, save yourself some money and invest in a reusable water bottle.
If possible, think about riding a bike or taking the city bus. However, if you need to travel by car, carpool! In his article titled “Saving Money By Going Green: 19 Tips That Can Save Hundreds”, Dan Shapley estimated that the average American will save from $650 to $1,000 a year by carpooling. To maximize your savings and minimize your environmental impact, consider the vehicle you are driving as well. There are plenty of affordable options with great gas mileage, such as the Hyundai Accent, which Shapley ranked as the most affordable fuel-efficient car of 2011.
Home Energy Use
Don’t wait until you’re pumping the AC in summertime Arizona or cranking up the heater in Idaho’s winter months – optimize your home energy usage now! This doesn’t necessarily require investing in an expensive solar panel set, however. Think about conducting a home energy audit to pinpoint where you are wasting energy – you may be surprised how much energy (and money!) can be saved by making a few adjustments. Check out Energy.gov for information on how to do-it-yourself or how to find a professional energy auditor, who can conduct a home assessment and computer analysis of your home energy consumption for a fee.
At Carrington, we believe that it is important to make a positive impact on our students as well as the environment. In fact, we can proudly say that our Mesquite, Texas campus is LEED Silver Certified, thanks to the help of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Despite already setting the standard for building excellence, the USGBC continues to emphasize further advancement of green building practices globally through LEED and other programs. We encourage to you be like the hard-working employees of the USGBC – don’t stop at the list above in your search for sustainability!
There are always new ways to make a positive impact on the environment, and while you may not have the resources of a government organization, you can still make a positive impact by sharing your findings with others. Comment below to tell us about some of the things you do to save money and the environment!
Bottled water and energy fact sheet. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.pacinst.org/publication/bottled-water-and-energy-a-fact-sheet/
Shapely, D. (n.d.). The most affordable fuel-efficient new cars. Retrieved from http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/most-affordable-fuel-efficient-cars
Shapley, D. (n.d.). Saving money by going green: 19 tips that can save hundreds. Retrieved from http://www.thedailygreen.com/green-homes/latest/save-money-megaflip
Do-it-yourself home energy audits. (2013, June 24). Retrieved from http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/do-it-yourself-home-energy-audits
Energy saver 101 infographic: Home energy audits. (2013, August 15). Retrieved from http://energy.gov/articles/energy-saver-101-infographic-home-energy-audits
Professional home energy audits. (2012, September 26). Retrieved from http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/professional-home-energy-audits
LEED is driving the green building industry. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.usgbc.org/leed