Fast Money Blog
Ways to go green that save green
When people hear “go green” thoughts often wander to solar panels, electric cars, and smart appliances. And while it’s true that all these items can help you save money in the long run, they can also be costly today. The good news is that if you really want to do something good for your neighbors and future generations, there are lots of things you can do right now that don’t cost much and can even save you money.
Here are 6 easy ways to go green that save you green:
Adjust your thermostat by one degree. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Savers website says that typical a household can save 3% on their heating bill for each degree they turn down their thermostats in the winter. That’s a lot of savings for a very small change.
Car pool. Not everyone lives near public transportation. But that doesn’t mean you’ve got to buy a hybrid or electric vehicle to save gas. Just make a few friends and start an office car pool.
Clean up your house-cleaning habits. Some cleaning supplies use harsh chemicals that can be more harmful than the messes they remove. A mixture of 50/50 vinegar and water makes an effective daily cleaner for most surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom, and even on glass. A combination of undiluted vinegar and baking soda can be used on tough stains, but test for color-fastness first.
Buy second hand. Between the Internet and the local thrift store, you can find just about anything you want gently used. This can be especially useful when buying things that you only use occasionally, like household tools, or things that don’t easily wear out, like dishes.
Put electronics on power strips. Even when they are “off”, many electronics, such as cable boxes, computers, stereo equipment and TVs continue to draw electricity. Put them on power strips and turn the strips off when not in use. This will stop your electronic devices from draining power and money from your wallet.
Wash your clothes in cold water. Up to 85% of the energy used to machine wash clothing comes from heating the water. But you can clean most clothing in cold water if you pre-treat stains and use a liquid detergent, which dissolve more easily than laundry powders. As an added bonus, cold water is gentler on your clothes and helps keep colors from fading.
While these steps might seem small, the money you save can really add up. And if you need a place to keep all that extra green, talk to us about opening a Bank of Colorado Savings Account