EARTH DAY COUNTDOWN: More Money-Saving Eco Tips



One of the biggest obstacles to "going green" is the perception that eco-living is expensive. The following choices not only don’t break the bank, but actually help consumers save money.

* Improve fuel economy – Gasoline is at an all-time high of $3.50 a gallon. Improved fuel efficiency means you travel farther on every gallon of gasoline. The cost savings? Consider this: Say you drive 15,000 miles per year. If your car gets an average of 20 miles per gallon, over the course of the year, at an average fuel price of $3.50/gallon, you will spend $2625 on gasoline. However, if your vehicle achieves 35 mpg, driving the same 15,000 miles will only cost you $1701 – a savings of $924. Say you drive that car for ten years. In all likelihood, gasoline will only get more expensive. In ten years, you could save more than $10,000. And if you invested that money over time, your savings increase considerably more.

Lunch_box * Bring your lunch to work - Lunchtime food packaging wastes enormous energy and other natural resources – think of all the plastic and paper you throw away after you’re finished with a take-out salad, sandwich or burger. David Bach, author of Go Green, Live Rich, calculates that, if you spend $9 a day on lunch from the local Subway or sandwich shop, you’re spending $45 a week, or $2, 250 a year to eat out. Much of what you’re paying for — the wrapping — you throw away. The greener, money-saving option: take food from home in reusable containers, including a durable lunch bag. If you save and invest the $2,250 every year, says Back, in 20 years it will amount to $111,000. (Need a lunchbox? Check out these.)

* Sell your stuff - Someone is willing to pay for what you might be throwing away. By some calculations, 75-90% of what people trash would willingly be used by someone else. Before you toss, try to sell. It’s easy to get started on Craig’s List or EBay, though holding a yard sale also works to generate income while unloading your "riches" on those who want them.

* Pay bills online - You’ll save money, time, paper and late fees — as much as $400 a year or more — by automating your accounts and paying with a click of your mouse rather than having to write a check, seal an envelope, and lick a stamp.

*  Buy less - Ah, abstinence! Like some of the other behaviors this action is associated with, keeping your money in your purse or pocketbook is among the most sure-fire ways to hold onto it – while not contributing to the excessive consumer demand that fuels climate change and pollution. Just do it.

Want more ideas? Check out the Top Ten Ways to Afford Going Green.

7 Responses to EARTH DAY COUNTDOWN: More Money-Saving Eco Tips

  1. Adrian April 21, 2008 at 3:53 pm #

    Hey thanks for the great blog, I love this stuff. I don’t usually do much for Earth Day but with everyone going green these days, I thought I’d try to do my part.
    I am trying to find easy, simple things I can do to help stop global warming (I don’t plan on buying a hybrid). Has anyone seen that http://www.EarthLab.com is promoting their Earth Day (month) challenge, with the goal to get 1 million people to take their carbon footprint test in April? I took the test, it was easy and only took me about 2 minutes and I am planning on lowering my score with some of their tips.
    I am looking for more easy fun stuff to do. If you know of any other sites worth my time let me know.

  2. The Q April 21, 2008 at 7:35 pm #

    Diane, your blog is so informative. Every time I come here I come away with something new I can use.
    To the previous poster, you’re welcome to drop by and visit my blog about sustainable fashion: http://www.evolvedfashion.com.
    Thanks again for all your work, Diane!

  3. Diane MacEachern April 22, 2008 at 8:30 am #

    Thanks for writing and sharing more suggestions for eco-cheap living!

  4. N. & J. April 22, 2008 at 10:58 am #

    Just a note about selling stuff- Craigslist is the easiest and cheapest since there aren’t any associated fees but people flake out all the time and it can get frustrating if you are trying to sell a bunch of stuff at one time. For Ebay go on and see what the going rate is and list accordingly but there isn’t any garuntee you will sell your stuff and you still have to pay the fees.

  5. Cherry Emery September 25, 2009 at 2:55 am #

    Thanks Diane for your useful tips .These are really useful for everyone . I am very much happy to read such a blog since long time . I appreciate it .
    http://studentsblog2.blogspot.com/2009/09/money-saving-tips-for-students.html

  6. Diane MacEachern March 7, 2010 at 6:53 am #

    Great – I’m glad it was hepful. Let me know if you come up with other ideas.

  7. Eco Money Saving February 10, 2011 at 1:50 am #

    I particular agree with ‘Sell Your Stuff’. We seem to hoard far too much junk just in case we need it one day (but never do) and just because we have a small emotional attachment to it.
    Garages, attics and cellars are full of this kind of baggage which should be either sold, given away or recycled. If you haven’t used in six months get rid of it!
    You might even make space in your garage to park your car ;)

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