Earth Day falls on April 22 this year, and there’s no better time to appreciate the place we call home. It’s also a great time to consider ways to be better environmental stewards and evaluate our current practices and activities.
In addition to being better patrons to our planet, “going green” can also save money. Use these simple tricks to save over $2,000 per year and get more eco-friendly while you’re at it!
1. Buy Refurbished Ink ($130 Annual Savings)
Though 97 percent of an ink cartridge is recyclable, 375 million cartridges end up in landfills each year. To cut down on this waste and to cut your costs by 70 percent, head online to InkjetWilly.com to find the cheapest replacement ink and remanufactured options for your specific printer.
2. DIY Cleaning Products ($50 Annual Savings)
Manufacturer’s boasting “natural” toilet cleaners charge roughly $5 per bottle. You can save up to $50 a year using pantry goods like vinegar and baking soda to tackle common household chores!
3. Use Mobile Coupons ($1,560 Annual Savings)
Last year, the average coupon user saved $1,560 a year spending just 20 minutes each week looking for deals. Avoid those paper circulars and download a free coupon app like Coupon Sherpa for savings at retailers, restaurants, service providers and more. Save paper, save money: boom!
4. Don’t Buy Bottled Water ($100 Annual Savings)
The average American spends $100 each year on bottled water. What’s more, U.S. citizens discard 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour and contribute unnecessarily to landfills. Purchase inexpensive, BPA-free reusable water bottles and keep one at the office, in your gym bag and at home so you always have one to refill.
5. Send E-Cards or Repurpose Greeting Cards ($40 Annual Savings)
From birthdays to holidays to other special occasions, Americans buy roughly 6.5 billion greeting cards annually. At an average of $4 a pop, this represents an enormous expenditure by consumers. Instead, send e-vites and other digital greetings, or reuse cards you received by cutting out the personal sentiment and creating a postcard.
6. Kill Energy Vampires ($65 Annual Savings)
Gadgets and appliances like TVs, laptops, coffee makers, space heaters and cable boxes continue to suck energy even when turned off. Get in the habit of unplugging all these electronics and appliances when you aren’t using them. Considering that the average American home electricity costs are $1,300 a year, 5 percent savings can keep an extra $65 in your pocket.
7. Swap Paper Towels for Cloth ($150 Annual Savings)
Americans use a staggering 13 billion pounds of paper towels every year, equating to over 50,000 trees and 60 million gallons of water. Swap these paper hogs for cloth alternatives like sponges and microfiber towels which you can toss in the dishwasher and washing machine for reuse.
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Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert who helps consumers live on less without radically changing their lifestyles. From smart spending tips to personal finance advice, Andrea transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers. She has been featured among top news outlets such as Good Morning America, NBC’s Today, MSNBC, New York Times, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more. You can follow her on Twitter for daily savings advice and tips.