Long before the green movement, efforts to halt the progression of pollution were solitary and far between. However, since the media has placed the spotlight on the green movement, both companies and individuals alike are doing their part.

Never before has there been more of an incentive to make a conscious effort to save the planet from pollution.

By following the tips below, you can also save some cash while living green:

1. Go shopping. Continuing to use dated appliances without an Energy Star seal costs you money each month. Substantially reduce your yearly utility bill by purchasing energy efficient appliances. Even though you may spend more money upfront, you’ll make back your investment many times over the long run.

  • The United States government offers tax incentives to homeowners that purchase appliances equipped with the Energy Star seal.
  • Minimize the upfront costs by selling your old appliances. You may be able to pocket $1,000 to $4,000 depending on the condition of your used appliances and how many you have.

2. Accept paperless billing. Many companies, such as cable television providers and insurance companies, offer discounts for paperless billing. The reward can be as little as a $1 credit on your bill each month, or as much as 5% of your auto insurance policy.

  • Although a $1 deduction may seem worthless, it certainly adds up. If 12 of your service providers grant you a $1 deduction on your bills each month, you can save up to $144 each year and up to $720 within five years.

3. Bring your own bag. By bringing your own reusable shopping tote, you can save green while going green. Some chain grocery stores now encourage you to go green by charging a fee per paper or plastic bag used to bag your groceries. The fee ranges from $0.04 to $0.10 per bag.

  • If you forgo 15 plastic bags in one shopping trip, you can save up to $1.50 per order. Assuming you shop for groceries every week, you’re able to save $78 per year, or $390 over five years.
  • You’ll also save yourself from forming an ever-growing pile of plastic bags in your kitchen’s broom closet.  

4. Recycle. Some retailers offer freebies and discounts to customers that recycle used containers. For example, Mac Cosmetic offers a free lipstick for every six containers returned to the company. Staples offers a $3 store credit for ink cartridges that are returned to the store.

5. Switch to CFL. Did you know that most of the energy emitted by incandescent light bulbs is heat? Only a small portion of the energy used actually goes into lighting your home. Switching to CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light) bulbs saves both energy and money.

  • CFLs last up to ten times longer than incandescent bulbs. They produce significantly less heat and use only a third of the energy.
  • It’s true that CFL bulbs can cost more money upfront than incandescent bulbs. But in a matter of a couple months, you’ll recoup your initial investment and then some with the money you save on your energy bill.

By following these small steps, you can do your part to preserve and protect the health of our planet while saving money at the same time. As you can see, many of the small things you can do require little to no decrease in your quality of life. Choose one or more of these ideas to implement today, and you’ll save green while going green!