8 Ways Green Living Can Help You Save Money

Going green is not only good for the planet; it can also be very good for your budget. And while some changes to the home of green living require a significant amount of money, others can help you reduce your costs! Here are some ways that green living may help you save money:

 

1) Opening the Windows and Using Ceiling Fans Instead of Air Conditioning

This tip may not be ideal during the hottest summer months, depending on where you live. But you can use this tip in spring and autumn to reduce your monthly electricity bills and save money. Make sure you turn off the air conditioner so you don’t get overcooled!

Girl, Window, Beauty, Hands, Dreamy, Memory, Thoughts

2) Recycling as Much as Possible

No, this is not about throwing all your garbage in a blue bin, although you should follow a big green attitude as much as possible. Instead, we are talking about an actual recycling process where disposable products are used more than once. Instead of using a new ziplock bag every day to pack your meal, take one and keep reusing it. You can reuse aluminum foil, bottles, and bags. Find a new use for each item and avoid buying more disposable items month after month.

3) Composting

Starting a compost reduces the amount of waste you throw away to keep it out of landfills. It also gives you free fertilizer for your garden.

4) Drying Your Clothes in the Sun

If you’re going to use your dryer, always do it when it’s full to save energy. However, a better solution is to skip the dryer entirely and dry your clothes, sheets, and towels in the sun as much as possible. If you are worried about stiffness, use fabric softener in the washing machine instead of drying the sheets in the dryer. This will help save energy and reduce your electricity bill at the same time!

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5) Buying Products That Are Built To Last

The durability and shelf life of the products you buy are important factors that you should consider to be green and save money at the same time. The longer you can store the products without replacing them, the less you contribute to filling landfills with broken items. If you can keep a small device for ten years instead of just five, you’ll avoid wastage and reduce your costs by half.

6) Planting Drought-Resistant Flowers

If you water your lawn sufficiently in the summer to prevent plants from dying, it may require a considerable amount of water. In many countries, you may need to water every day to keep your garden green. This is a huge waste of our water resources and your income with higher water bills in summer.

Having drought resistant plants means you don’t have to water as often. Look for native grasses and ornamental plants that have evolved to be ideal for the environment you live in. For example, those that only require watering a few days only and won’t welcome you back home with dead flowers!

7) Walking Where Possible

Minus the cost of the shoes you have to wear anyway, walking is free. Therefore, look for ways to walk when possible. You should combine public transportation with walking to get to wherever you need to go if you live in an urban area.

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8) Ditching Paper Products and Choosing Washable Alternatives

Everything you can do with a paper towel, you can do with a good fabric towel! Cleaning countertops, cleaning dust, even draining oil from fried food, all these things can be done with a reusable and washable cloth. The same goes for fabric napkins versus paper napkins. Save paper, cut a few dollars every month from your grocery bill, and avoid wasting paper fillings from garbage cans.

What are your thoughts about these? Share it with us in the comments below!

The 6 Greenest Cities in the World

With a mass of people, a lot of fumes, and piles of rubbish, big cities are not precisely known for their positive contribution to environmental protection. However, many cities also contribute well to ecological protection compared to the large polluters. Here are 6 of the greenest cities of the world:

1) Freiburg, Germany

Perhaps not for every city globally, but certainly for Freiburg: this city is entirely car-free. The city has been creating a more sustainable environment since 1970, and this process is bearing fruit. Waste disposal in Freiburg has been reduced by 90,000 tonnes in just 12 years. The German city has set several targets: in 2007, it was agreed that CO2 emissions must be reduced by 40% by 2030, and in 2014 the target will be increased to 50%. The city now wants 100% renewable energy.

2) Reykjavik, Iceland

The Icelandic city is determined to live entirely without fossil fuels by 2050. That will probably be the case. Geothermal heat, also known as geothermal energy, already supplies power to all buildings in the city. Around 0.01% of electricity in Iceland is produced from fossil fuels. According to The Huffington Post, Reykjavik takes the dough for green life, being the first city to live almost entirely on green energy.

3) Oslo, Norway

Last year the Oslo Government announced that it wants to ban all cars in the city within four years, and with this plan, it intends to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Eighty percent of Oslo’s heating system is based on renewable energy, and the city’s objective is to increase this percentage to 100 percent. Besides, the Norwegian town has a system that converts household waste into recyclable energy. Norway wants to be fully CO2-neutral by 2030, the chances of success are reasonable, given the successful adaptations of recent times.

4) Curitiba, Brazil

Curitiba is an excellent example of how a large, growing city can be and remain sustainable. Although Curitiba has almost two million inhabitants, the government works hard to create green areas such as parks and gardens. Besides, public transport in the Brazilian city is called a real revolution in transportation: buses run the same system like the metro, with fixed prices, lanes, and buses departing several times an hour. Around 72% of the city’s inhabitants use buses instead of their transport, which means much less air pollution. More than 1.5 million trees have recently been planted in the town, and more than 50 percent of paper, metal, glass, and plastic are recycled. The government stimulates this by rewarding residents who give away waste with vegetables or bus tickets.

 

5) Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen wants to be entirely CO2-neutral by 2025, with its dedicated inhabitants, clean water, and plenty of greenery, which certainly seems feasible. The city has an offshore wind farm along the coast and began building a new metro system in 2000, which improves public transport. In addition, Copenhagen is known for making bicycles available free of charge to the city’s residents, so only 25% of Copenhagen’s households have a car.

6) Vienna, Austria

Vienna is an example of being the greenest city in the world. Moreover, it ranks first in the ranking of the « greenest » metropolises. Vienna is a leader in the following disciplines:

  • Parks and local recreational areas at every turn – half of the city is green.
  • Public transport in Vienna will take you everywhere. This is why every second inhabitant of Vienna uses it.
  • The recycling and composting programs are top-notch: 30% of the city’s energy needs come from renewable sources.
  • Sorting waste can also be stylish: In Vienna, energy is also an art.
  • Local agricultural markets provide the city with the best groceries.

What are your thoughts about these cities? Share it with us in the comments below!

Tips in Green Living

Moving towards an environmentally friendly lifestyle can help improve your health and your life in general, and it is also a major asset for the world around you. Eliminating unnecessary chemicals, unhealthy foods, earth-unfriendly practices and bad habits can add up to make you healthier, while at the same time boosting the environment and the ecosystem. Wherever you are in the world, the following 8 tips are all achievable. Some of them are even great fun! Treat yourself, as we all fight for a greener future.

1. Get a high efficiency shower-head A high efficiency shower-head can save up to 3,000 gallons of water per person per year. You will also save $50 in energy costs and 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per person per year. Shower-heads are specially designed to conserve resources while providing a luxurious shower. Accessories for sinks and aerators also save large amounts of water and are very inexpensive.

2. Recycle water in your bathroom Use devices that allow you to reuse water from the sink to flush your toilet. You can also keep a bucket near the shower or bathtub and fill it with cold water from the sink before the hot water kicks in. Then take the bucket outside and use it to water your plants.

3. Compost Use a compost bin to turn your food and lawn waste into a rich mulch. It’s a great way to reduce your waste production, and next year you’ll have a rich compost ready to be planted in the spring.

4. Buy green power from your utility Most utilities charge less than $5 per month extra. Not only will your energy come from a renewable source, but you will use your spending control to show utility executives and government officials that we need more investment in renewable energy projects.

5. Improving the efficiency of your tankless and solar water heaters is all well and good, but simple modifications to your existing installation can reduce your energy bills and carbon emissions by 25% or more. Reduce the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees, wrap it in an insulating water heater blanket and insulate the first 3 to 6 feet of hot and cold water piping. These inexpensive changes should take less than an hour.

6. Use high-efficiency outdoor lighting A typical 100-watt spotlight, if used six hours a day, can use up to $40 worth of electricity over a year and produce more than 400 pounds of carbon dioxide, depending on where you live. To get started, replace these projectors with compact fluorescent versions, which are just as bright and consume a quarter of the energy. Next, replace the low-energy halogen landscape bulbs with LED versions. They reduce energy consumption by more than 80% and can last for ten years or more. Finally, install motion detectors on non-essential lights. The new versions screw directly into the socket of your existing luminary.

7. 7. Replace heavy-duty indoor lights with compact fluorescent or LEDs With high-quality light, sizes to fit almost any luminary and dimmable versions, compact fluorescent have it all. They are more expensive than standard light bulbs, but between the energy savings and their much longer service life, they pay for themselves in less than two years. And think about LED bulbs for non-dimmable circuits (especially for vacation lighting). They are real energy wasters and will last as long as you live in your home.

8. Load the washing machines Make sure to run the dishwasher and washing machines only when they are full. Clothes washers consume a lot of energy and water, so be sure to do full loads (or adjust the water setting) whenever possible. And most of us use much more water (and soap) than we need to wash dishes by hand, especially when compared to high-efficiency Energy Star dishwashers. So save your time, water and energy by putting these dishes directly in the dishwasher after a meal.