Investing Savings

10 Ways to Save Money and the Environment

We've only got one planet, but you've only got one wallet. Here are 10 ways for you to keep both of them a little greener. Bring a Mug Save money: Find a cafe that gives a discount for bringing a mug. Ten cents off each of your five drinks per week saves you $26 a year. Save the planet: 14.4 billion coffee cups were thrown away in the U.S. in 2005. At five lattes a week, you can save 260 cups from the garbage. Be Smoke Free Save money: Quit smoking and the average smoker pockets $700 a year. Save the planet: It is estimated that tobacco use causes 8.8 percent of deaths (about 4.9 million) worldwide. Remember to Recycle Save money: With a five cent reimbursement per can, you can save $1.20 for every case. Save the planet: It takes 95 percent less energy to recycle an aluminum can than to make a new one. Control Temp Save money: Save 1 to 3 percent on your electricity bill for every degree you lower your thermostat. Save the planet: Turning the thermostat down two degrees in the winter and up two degrees in the summer keeps 2,000 lbs. of planet-warming CO2 out of the atmosphere. Recharge Batteries Save money: Recharge batteries 500 times with a charger for $16.99 and pennies worth of electricity. 500 packages of alkaline AA batteries would cost you around $970. Save the planet: Three billion batteries are thrown away every year, leaking toxic metals like lead, arsenic, zinc, cadmium, copper, and mercury into the soil. Get Thrifty Save money: Skip the sofa from Pottery Barn ($999), grab a thrift store couch ($50), and cover it with a slipcover ($30 at amazon.com). Save the planet: If you guess about 70 cubic feet per couch, reusing could save some serious landfill space. Slash your Gas Save money: Carpooling with three people cuts your gas costs by 75 percent. Save the planet: Every gallon of gas you don't burn keeps 20 lbs. of harmful CO2 out of the atmosphere. Ditch the Bottles Save money: Pay ten cents per gallon for filtered water (using an under-sink filter), instead of $1 (or more) for a 16 oz. bottle. Save the planet: Help reduce the sixty million water bottles thrown away every day. Reuse Bags Save money: Many grocery stores refund a few pennies, or even a nickel, for bringing your own bag. Save the planet: Reusing or recycling one ton of plastic bags and one ton of paper bags saves about 11 barrels of oil and 13-17 trees, respectively. Re-gift Technology Save money: Donating old computers and cell phones can be written off on your taxes if you itemize. Save the planet: Harmful lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium leak from televisions, circuit boards and other electronic equipment.