You know that recycling, composting and turning the faucet off while you brush your teeth are simple ways to reduce waste in your home. But did you also know these actions can save you cold, hard cash every month? Here are easy, environmentally friendly tips that help you save big.
Save on: Clothes | Reduce: Pesticides, synthetic materials
If your clothing wasn’t made with organic fiber, chances are it was made with cotton grown with pesticides or oil-derived fibers like nylon, which is technically plastic. Rather than buy new clothes, organize a clothing swap with your friends. Attendees should bring items from their closet they don’t wear anymore to give away; offer snacks to make it a festive affair.
Save on: Grocery bill | Reduce: Food waste
Composting reduces food waste in your household. But many small cities and towns don’t have municipal composting services. Try collecting the leftover vegetable odds and ends from cooking—carrot ends, celery leaves, kale stems, for example—in a mason jar in your freezer. When the jar fills up, simmer the vegetables in salted water until fragrant, and use as a vegetable stock for soups, sauces and stews.
Save on: Water bill | Reduce: Wasted clean water
It may look like just a little drip, but that leaky faucet can account for more than 3,000 gallons of water wasted per household every year, according to the EPA. As soon as you see (or hear) a drip, either fix it yourself or call a plumber. Correcting drips can save homeowners as much as 10 percent on the monthly water bill, too.
Save on: Household paper goods | Reduce: Paper waste
One-time-use paper towels add up to massive amounts of waste—some experts estimate Americans throw away more than 3,000 tons of paper towels each year. The fix: Invest in beautiful, organic-cotton kitchen towels that can easily be tossed into the washing machine—they’re more expensive than paper towels but will save money over time. Or, cut old T-shirts into squares to dry dishes, wipe down countertops and sop up spilled liquids.