Most of us have embraced living more sustainably at this point, even if it's as simple as sorting our recycling from our trash for the city's pickup. But there are more things many of us can do to be a little greener. And if you need more incentive, saving some money could be the outcome of making a few more eco-friendly choices. Better for the planet, better for your pocketbook — sound good? Here are just three simple ways going greener can save you some green.
No matter how small your outdoor space, you can grow some fresh produce for your own consumption. Even if you just have a small balcony at your condo, you can grow fresh herbs, a tomato plant or even some cabbage. This can shave off money from your grocery bill; fresh herbs typically cost about $2 each, for example, and they often don't last long in the fridge, so you have to buy them regularly. If you're friendly with your neighbours and they too are growing some produce, you can trade, say, some tomatoes for some of their lettuces — more variety for all of you. And non-green thumbs shouldn't shy away; tomatoes, cabbages and herbs are all easy to grow and maintain.
Although you might assume using the dishwasher is more taxing on your wallet and the envionment than handwashing dishes is, the opposite is true. If you have an energy-efficient Energy Star machine, washing with your dishwasher uses less water, and your energy bill could be up to $40 less than it would be if you washed by hand. So why not say goodbye to dishpan hands and go with the more eco-friendly option?
In the thick of summer's heat waves, by all means, use your air conditioning so you're comfortable and don't suffer from heatstroke. But on days when the temperature is more moderate, why not use your ceiling fans instead? They're a greener choice and will cost you much less in energy. According to this New York Times article, central air conditioning will cost you about 36 cents for one hour, whereas a ceiling fan will cost only 1 cent to run for one hour. Keep in mind the cost will vary and depend on the energy costs of where you live, but this gives you a ballpark figure.
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