Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Go Green, Save Money

The "green" fad comes in and out of style, and with it products and advertisements for things that may or may not be good for the environment, and  usually aren't any good for your wallet.  The planet does, in fact, need our help, though, and there are ways to do just that while also saving money rather than spending it.

DIY Your Home

Not every last thing needs to be done yourself.  To do so would be exhausting and unrealistic.  But two areas that are fairly easy to DIY and can save you cash over store-bought alternatives are bath and cleaning products.

A lot of bath products use things like parabens, formaldehyde, and other chemicals that are harmful to your body.  Making them yourself out helps your body and the environment.  Many of them are so simple to make with low-cost ingredients that you can whip up things like body scrub, lotion, and even shampoo for pennies on the dollar.

Household cleaners can be replaced for pennies on the dollar, too.  It's amazing how far some bi-carbonate of soda and vinegar can go, cleaning floors, walls, bathtubs, toilets, and so many other surfaces in your home.  There are all types of recipes out there for DIY household cleaning products, and they're worth doing a quick internet search for.  They can save you a ton of money while making your home safer, and most of them don't call for anything out of the ordinary.

Think Before You Purchase

Before you buy any major energy-sucking appliances, do due diligence.  Check out the product's Energy Rating Label.  (There's now an app!)  These are available for clothes washers and dryers, refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, computer monitors, dishwashers, and televisions.  By researching the product before you buy, you will be saving money in the long-run by not buying an appliance that you'll have to pay to suck down copious amounts of fossil-fueled energy.

Don't Change Anything, Except Who You Pay

As an Australian, you can choose who provides your electricity and gas.  Some supplier options are cheaper than others, and some are more energy-efficient.  When those two collide, it's a beautiful thing.  You can use tools such as Yahoo!7's Moneyhound to compare providers on both of these metrics.  After selecting the cheaper provider, you shouldn't notice any difference except a lower energy bill.

While being "green" may be sometimes be a marketing fad, being energy and cost-efficient is a smart move long-term, not just for your budget, but also for the expendable resources on our planet.

What planet-saving tactics have you put into place that have saved you money?

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