Go Green Without Spending a Dime 15

Green living is good for everybody. It saves money, helps the environment, and in many cases makes your home a safer and healthier place to live. And while many advocates of going green focus on the big-ticket items – new windows, energy-efficient heating systems – there are plenty of little things you can do to make your home greener without spending a dime.

  1. Start composting. Eggshells, coffee grounds, vegetable waste and fireplace ashes can all go straight into your compost pile, reducing the load on the local landfill and providing free fertilizer for your lawn and garden plants.

  2. Don’t heat an empty house. Turn your thermostat down to 55 degrees when you’re away in winter and 68 degrees while you’re home. You can also close off the heating vents in unused rooms so you’re not heating empty space.

  3. Turn your computer completely off at night rather than just putting it to sleep. Other appliances can be completely unplugged when not in use, or connected to a power strip that you can easily turn on and off.

  4. Start recycling. All sorts of household waste can be recycled. Check out our handy recycling guide to learn more.

  5. Clean your refrigerator coils. A quick vacuuming and wiping with a damp cloth can help this appliance run much more efficiently.

  6. Take a refillable water container or coffee mug out with you in instead of using store-bought water bottles and disposable coffee cups. Many coffee shops will actually give you a discount for bringing in your own mug.

  7. Schedule your errands so you can take care of several stops in a single trip. Walk or ride a bike whenever you can, and look into carpooling for longer trips.

  8. Donate your used reading materials. Goodwill often accepts used magazines, and you can usually pass them along to your local library or a doctor’s office for their waiting room. Many animal shelters will take your old newspapers off your hands too.

  9. Pay your bills online to save paper and postage.

  10. Leave the leaf blower and snow blower in the garage and grab a rake or snow shovel instead. You’ll trim your energy bill and burn a few calories while you’re at it.

  11. Clean your furnace and air conditioner filters every three months to reduce heating and cooling costs and keep your air cleaner.

  12. Take unnecessary items out of your vehicle to reduce its weight and stretch your gas mileage.
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