Save Money while Saving the Environment

by Tchiki Davis

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Plastic can take up to 500 years to decompose, and the area of land occupied by landfills may never return to normal. Pollution can damage forest, wildlife, and agriculture, and the effects of these toxic gases can even hurt our health. We know that the planet is a good investment, but did you know that helping the earth can actually save you money? The following are eight ways to save money and the planet at the same time.

  1. Start a compost. A good portion of any landfill is packed with biodegradable products such as food and paper, but because it is covered in plastic, it can never decompose. If you start a compost by tossing carrot stems and eggshells into a biodegradable bag or box, you can decrease the amount of waste that must be buried. And come springtime, you won't have to pay a cent for nutrient rich compost to put in your garden.
  2. Buy locally. When organic fruits and veggies are in season, farmers often sell them at discount prices. By purchasing local food, you do not contribute to emissions released during transportation of goods. And by shopping organic, you save the environment (and yourself) from harmful pesticides. Depending on where you live, different foods will be in season at different times, so keep an eye out for dropping prices at farmers markets.
  3. Buy a water bottle. A one time purchase of a heavy duty water bottle will save you from having to purchase bottles that could end up in landfills.
  4. Don't throw anything away. Instead bring your items to a consignment shop or thrift store. You will not only keep your stuff from ending up in the dumpster, but also you will likely earn back some of the money you spent in the first place.
  5. Buy used. Buy used clothing, purses, wallets, furniture, appliances, everything that you're comfortable with. There is no point in cutting down trees and burying slightly used items so that we can all have brand new stuff. You can find just about everything you need at a thrift store, and you'll never pay more than half of what the item cost new.
  6. Save containers. When you use the last of the cream cheese or yogurt, save the tubs. Just clean them out and use them to store leftovers or bring snacks to school or work. You'll never have to buy Tupperware, and less plastic will end up underground.
  7. Share a subscription. Got a neighbor or a friend? Share a subscription to your favorite magazines and newspapers with them. You'll have half the waste and half the cost.
  8. Recycle. Recycling is free, and there is nothing less expensive than free.

Take the Next Step:

  • Everyone wants to save a buck. But what if you could save a buck and make choices that benefit our planet at the same time? The above eight are good places to start.
  • For more information on helping the environment check out these additional articles: Makin Mulch, Simple Composting How-To, Recycling Ideas

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