10 Easy Ways to Save Money by Going Green

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One of the most common complaints in the venture to go ‘green,’ is that it’s “too expensive.” Undoubtedly, the majority of eco-friendly designs and products on the market have higher price points than their status quo counterparts. But, inventiveness, a return to some old-fashioned ideals, and finding crafty ways to work around typical expenses will help you achieve an eco makeover that will actually save you money. Here are ten easy ways to save money by greening your family’s lifestyle:

10 ways to save money by going green,  blackout days,  borrow books,  eco friendly ways to save money,  fabkins napkins,  moon jars,  plant your own garden,  sun jars,  ways to save money

1. PLANT A VEGETABLE GARDEN.
Not only will this save you money on buying organic, local produce, your kids will also be more enthused about eating their veggies if they are able to grow them, and then pick them from their own yard!

10 ways to save money by going green,  blackout days,  borrow books,  eco friendly ways to save money,  fabkins napkins,  moon jars,  plant your own garden,  sun jars,  ways to save money

2. HOST A BLACKOUT!
Choose one day a month to have a blackout, no electricity day in your home. Kids will love this! Pitch a tent in the living room, or sleep under the stars. In lieu of lights, use solar powered flashlights or sun or moon jars. Turning out your lights will help you prepare for Earth Hour 2009, and refraining from using all of your appliances for at least one day a month will help you save money on your utility bills! For everyday living, be sure to unplug all of your energy zappers when not in use (cell phone chargers, laptop power cords), or plug them into a power strip you can turn off.

3. HOST A TOY EXCHANGE.
Have everyone bring a toy that their tot has outgrown or grown tired of to your next playgroup get together. After all, someone’s “trash” is someone else’s treasure… especially in the land of children. Kids will revel in their “new” toy, and you’ll delight in the fact that it didn’t cost you a thing!

4. MAKE YOUR OWN ART SUPPLIES.
Doing so is fun, cost effective, and you’ll know exactly what ingredients are going into your child’s hands and masterpieces. Here’s a great recipe for homemade glue and one for finger paints to get you started!

Make your own art supplies

5. CHECK OUT YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY
Borrow books as opposed to spending money buying them. Let your kids choose an armful of books from your local library, and check them all out for free. If you can walk or ride bikes to the library, that’s an added bonus, saving money on gas. Borrowing books will also help save trees.

6. ORGANIZE A MAGAZINE COOP
Any parent knows that finding time to unwind with a great, frivolous magazine is a treasured indulgence. Get together with five friends or neighbors and decide on five magazines you all love. Assign one subscription to each person, and then share and rotate all of the magazines every month. This will save you a bundle – five subscriptions for the price of one! You can also really get a bang for your buck if you use glossy magazine pages as wrapping paper… that is, after everyone’s had a chance to read the magazine.

10 ways to save money by going green,  blackout days,  borrow books,  eco friendly ways to save money,  fabkins napkins,  moon jars,  plant your own garden,  sun jars,  ways to save money

7. USE CLOTH NAPKINS
Fabkins makes adorable sets of cloth napkins that are perfectly tailored for pint-sized hands and puckers. According to Green Guide Magazine, you can save $1.68 per week by switching from paper to cloth napkins… and you’ll also be saving the earth from all that waste!

8. GO THRIFTING!
Shop at secondhand stores for gently used babygear. You’re sure to find great deals on items that kids quickly outgrow, and in many cases have barely broken in!

9. KICK THE BOTTLED WATER HABIT
Hopefully you’ve kicked the bottled water habit, but it’s worth mentioning here that if you haven’t, you should turn to the tap or filtered water system ASAP! You’ll save a boatload of money and you’ll keep disposable bottles out of landfills.

10. BUY IN BULK
More is less. Buy in bulk. You’ll save money, and you’ll cut down on pesky packaging of smaller containers and individually wrapped products.

Got any ‘green’ money saving tips you’d like to share with us? Please do so in the comments!

Klean Kanteen Bottles

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12 Responses to “10 Easy Ways to Save Money by Going Green”

  1. Andrew K says:

    Love the list. I’m totally going to add some of the missing ideas to my bigger list over http://www.GreenMyWallet.com which is all about saving people money while going green. 10 things is a great start though… Go Team! Go Green!
    Cheers,
    -Andrew

  2. Taoist says:

    I would point out that in addition to many people’s misconception that living “green” is too expensive, many people, especially the more environmentally conscious, often misperceive products as “green” when their price clearly indicates that they are not.

    Basic economics teaches us that the base price of an object is a composite of the resources (manpower, raw materials, and energy) required to produce it. Something that is environmentally friendly will therefore almost always be cheaper (at least in the long run). Common areas where environmentalists forget this basic principle are cars (a hybrid is more damaging to the environment to produce and dispose of than your average family sedan, which is why it generally costs more) and bags. If both are disposed of properly (i.e. recycled) a plastic bag is much more environmentally friendly than a paper bag, since it takes much less energy and raw materials to produce.

    Another thing most people don’t realize about recycled paper is that its never heated to the boiling point, or otherwise purified in any way. So you’re carrying your groceries in yesterday’s newspaper recycled off the floor of the bus. Yuck!

  3. Barrett says:

    I totally dig the list. One thing you could add is invest in a water conserving shower head. It uses less water and energy. Mine paid for itself in 2 months. The one I have reduces water use by 1 gallon/minute without sacrificing water pressure. And if you are willing to take a “Navy Shower” and use the cutoff switch while you soap and lather up, you can save even more. I liked mine so much, it was this year’s xmas gift to my whole family.

  4. I love the blackout idea! You could even just sneak downstairs and shut off the circut breaker and then eveyone else would think it was off for real. :)

  5. I’d also like to add that if you eat out a lot or get take-away, you don’t even need to buy cloth napkins. You can use the take out napkins instead. I find that I hardly ever purchase paper napkins or paper towels anymore.

  6. rikey cheng says:

    to whom it may concern,

    this is rikey from lohas traveler in taiwan. i’m responsible for introducing good articles to lohas traveler’s readers and maintaining our blog. since i’m also a loyal reader of your website, may i ask for the authorization of translating this article to traditional chinese and posted in our blog? (with noting the sources of inhabitots and pictires)

    if you agree, we’d like use creative commons 2.5 for this chinese translation. :)

    rikey

  7. Noah Hogan says:

    I think this list is pure gold (I mean green!) I SO totally gonna try all these wonderful ideas!!! I love the glow-in-the-dark jars, & the Green Kanteens!

  8. Everyone can save money in small and seemingly insignificant areas if you know how and where to do it. Start in simple ways which will help you lead your life in the same manner as before without feeling too much of a pinch.

  9. hi
    nice post
    Everyone can save money in small and seemingly insignificant areas if you know how and where to do it.
    These are all great ideas
    Great tips! I’ll be coming back to learn more about saving money!

  10. L C says:

    Here is another tip for saving money on plumbing bills while protecting the environment. Don’t use the toilet as a trash can. Many items can plug up the your system or they may escape the sewage system during heavy storms and end up on beaches where they endanger marine wildlife. Sanitary products may say they are flushable but our plumbing systems were only designed to handle human waste and toilet paper so “Bag it and Trash it”. Try using single use biodegradable bags such as “Scensibles” to dispose of items like tampons, applicators, condoms, Q tips, personal wipes, etc. to maintain a hygienic environment in the lieu and protect our shared environment. For more information and free samples check out the Scensible Source website

  11. cknuts17 says:

    There are tons of ways to save money by going green. I’ve done a lot of research on what the most worth while green investments to make. Here are the best ways I’ve discovered to save some serious money by going green. http://bit.ly/6CaxUA

  12. everydayfrugaleverydaygreen.blogspot.com says:

    Great post! And regarding #7 on your list – “use cloth napkins”, I couldn’t agree more. Cloth napkins are even greener if you make them from repurposed fabric. For example, I made a set of 8 dinner-sized napkins from an old red & white checkered tablecloth that had seen better days. I cut 10″ x 10″ squares – being careful to avoid the stains and holes. Then I hemmed each square all the way around (I did it by hand with a rolled edge, but it can be done by machine too). Inexpensive (practically free!) napkins that have lasted for years.

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