Get Ready for Earth Day! Five Ways to Greenify your Budget

Earth dayWhile Earth Day (April 22) is all about embracing Mother Earth, and reconsidering how you can change your own ways of doing things to be more environmentally friendly, there are additional benefits, beyond the obvious intent.

Did you know that being environmentally friendly is one of the best ways you can shave spending off your monthly budget and pocket some extra cash here and there (or direct towards debt or savings)?

Here are some ways to give Mother Earth a hand and pad your wallet at the same time:

Go Vegetarian

You don’t have to cast off meat forever, but the simple act of cutting meat out of main dishes once or twice a week can save some serious cash off of your grocery bill.

Consider alternatives like vegetarian pasta dishes, or dishes that use legumes (i.e. black beans, chickpeas or lentils) as their staple ingredient. They are high in protein and low in cost.

Raising beef and poultry, for instance, can be costly from an environmental standpoint, because of the extra energy and water used to raise these animals for meat consumption.

Dial it Down (or up, depending on the season)

In the winter, drop that thermostat by a couple of degrees, and throw on a sweater. In the summer, increase the temperature, so that your air conditioning doesn’t have to work so hard. Conversely, turn it off altogether and open a window to enjoy the summer breeze.

Support Local Farmers

Buying food from local growers is not only supportive of local business initiative; it is often cheaper and is more environmentally friendly.

Buying food that has been shipped in from exotic locales requires fuel, which is taxing both to the environment and to you, the consumer

Walk, Bike or Roll

Instead of hopping in the car to get from point A to point B, consider using your own power to get you to your destination. Walk, ride your bike or roller blade. You get the exercise benefits, save money on gas and also act in an environmentally friendly fashion.

If your commute, for instance, is too far to accommodate these methods of transport, consider carpooling or taking the bus. While you are still consuming fuel, you are making less of a carbon footprint (and it is often cheaper).

Dodge the Draught

Caulk up leaky windows to keep cold air in and hot air out (and vice versa during the winter months). Leaky seals around windows mean that you are paying extra to cool the outdoors during the summer (and again, vice versa during the winter). You needn’t bother. Mother Nature has that part all figured out.