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Go Green: Save the Earth and Your Money

Go Green: Save the Earth and Your Money

By: Christopher Lurmen

Are you sick of wondering where your money goes? Does it seem like your bills are constantly piling up? If so, you aren’t as alone as you think. And things aren’t as hopeless as you think. Changing your situation may be a simple matter of changing some of your daily habits. For example: You can buy used clothing, walk or bike instead of drive, carpool, cook more efficiently or use natural cleaning products.


Another area where people create a lot of waste is with clothing. You don’t need to throw used clothing out, necessarily. Instead, why not give it to family, donate it, sell it in a yard sale or thrift store, repurpose it (e.g. turn jeans with a hole in the knee into shorts), or use it for cleaning rags around the house.

When it comes to buying clothing, similar things are true. You don’t necessarily need to waste money and resources by buying all new clothes. You can often find great deals on used clothing online, at garage sales and in thrift stores.

When you buy new clothing, you are wasting energy and resources that don’t necessarily need to be exhausted. And there’s simply no reason to use up energy, create waste, pollute the planet or endanger more animal species just to have the most popular shirt, belt or purse.

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Another area where you can save energy and money is with driving. A 2007 study showed that a hybrid electric car offers a gas mileage of roughly 75 cents per gallon. Considering that gas prices haven’t been that low in many years, electric cars are definitely the way to go.

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Electric or not, though, all cars use energy and produce emissions, no matter what type they are. That’s why it’s a good idea to use your car efficiently. Carpool when you can and only use your car when you’re going long distances. If you’re staying nearby, ride a bike or walk. It’s better for your health and for the environment.

In fact, you can extend that philosophy in more ways than you might think. For example, you can take the stairs at work instead of the elevator. It will keep you in great shape and reduce the electricity usage and carbon footprint of the building.

You could also find great out of the way spots to visit on vacation that are closer to home, rather than going on long road trips. In fact, you could even enjoy a “staycation,” like camping out with the kids in the back yard. Then you don’t have to spend time or money on gas, fancy hotels or expensive attractions.


There are two important things to consider when it comes to cooking. Those are when you cook and how you cook. As far as the when, eating out every night or cooking new meals each day are both bad ideas. They can waste gas and electricity, money, time, and increase CO2 emissions.

The best alternative is to cook meals in large batches and then package them into appropriate serving sizes to warm up later. If you can’t do that because you’re low on freezer space, invest in a toaster oven. The best toaster ovens are the newer models with plenty of setting options that heat up quickly and efficiently, without releasing lots of heat into your house. You can even cook whole pizzas in some of them, making them a much better choice than a standard oven, both in terms of money and energy waste.

In fact, you can save $500 or more a year by not eating out and even more than that if you cook large meals and eat leftovers, rather than using your oven over and over again.


It’s amazing how expensive most commercial cleaning products are getting. Not only that, but they aren’t all that healthy for you or for the environment. So, a final tip, if you want to go green, is to use natural products to clean your house. Baking soda, lemon and vinegar come to mind, but the possibilities are practically endless. It’s great if you can use safe household products for multiple purposes.

Also, if you want to save energy when cleaning, get yourself an energy-efficient vacuum cleaner, or avoid using a vacuum cleaner at all. If you have more wood floors than carpets, you can simply mop them. That will save energy and money, since you won’t have to buy vacuum bags as often or pay for the electricity that a vacuum would use.

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This guest article was contributed by Christopher Lurmen, who writes about energy efficiency and ways to green your home . He is also the publisher of, a site dedicated to helping consumers purchase energy efficient appliances and the latest consumer gadgets like the Cuisinart Toaster Oven and green cleaning products for their kitchen.

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