Tips Tuesday: Tips for Saving Money and the Earth

Scan the news today and the message is clear: Our planet is facing an environmental crisis and many Americans are facing an economic one as well.  As many people deal with tightening their belts and trimming expenditures, they struggle with the dilemma of saving the planet or saving cash.

"There seems to be the perception that a commitment to the environment is going to cost you," says Marjorie Kass, MXenergy Managing Director. "And while it is true that some environmental decisions, such as purchasing organic produce can have a higher price tag, many choices and lifestyle changes can actually save you money."

When dealing with your home energy usage, a home energy audit is a great place to start.  Simple steps such as changing to energy efficient lighting, sealing leaks around windows and doors, adding insulation to attics and walls, and fixing water leaks can all save you energy and money. 

Many utilities now offer customers programmable thermostats, which have been shown to reduce energy usage as well.  Turning down your water heater, washing clothes in cold water, and plugging into power strips are also easy decisions that ultimately save you cash.

Think before you buy.  Put the bottled water back on the self and opt for a good aluminum water bottle instead.  Not only will you save the cost of water, you will be eliminating plastic.

Consider planting a vegetable garden.  You save dollars at the grocery store, gas for the drive and get the piece of mind knowing your garden produce doesn't have any added chemicals or toxins.  Composting is great for your garden and also reduces the amount of trash and waste you produce each week.

Go green behind the wheel.  While a new Chevy Volt, or other high-efficiency car may not be in your budget at the moment, that doesn't mean you can't save money and reduce your carbon footprint. Simple actions such as properly maintaining your vehicle, making sure your tires are properly inflated, combining errands, and carpooling to work all save cash and earn you environmental bonus points.