>> Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Earth Day is just a week away. I find living a frugal lifestyle and practicing environmentally friendly habits go hand in hand. Here are 8 ways practice frugality and protect the environment at the same time.
1. Make sure your tires are properly inflated. It's not only safer to make sure your tires are properly inflated, it also saves fuel. Properly inflated tires can improve gas mileage by up to 3%.
2. Repair those leaky faucets. A small drip can waste up to 100 gallons a week. That's not only water down the drain, if you don't have a well, that's money too.
3. Switch to cloth napkins. A set of 4 cloth napkins can be purchased for as little as $2 if you find them on clearance. According to the Sierra Club, if a family of four used cloth napkins at every meal for a year, they would save 4,380 paper napkins from the landfill.
4. Use reusable lunch containers. Purchase a reusable lunch container, water bottle, utensil set and snack container instead of using plastic bags, disposable drinks & plastic utensils. Wastefreelunches.org estimates the cost of a disposable lunch at $4.02 a day and the cost of a waste-free lunch at $2.65 a day. That's a savings of $246.60 per person per school year and as much as 67 pounds of waste.
5. Eat less meat. Raising livestock for our food supply contributes to global warming, deforestation, soil erosion as well as having other negative environmental impacts. Having one meat-free day a week will not only have a positive impact on the environment, it will also have a positive impact on your wallet since meat tends to be expensive.
6. Switch to Energy Star CFL bulbs. Each bulb is estimated to save $30 over it's lifetime and uses 75% less energy.
7. Take showers instead of baths. You'll save water and money. For greater savings switch to a low flow shower head.
8. Unplug appliances when not in use. As much as 20% of your homes energy usage can be contributed to stand-by power. Unplug to save energy and money.