Here is a continuation of Part 1 of Keeping Mother Earth Happy. If you missed Part 1 you can catch up.
How To Keep Mother Earth Happy Part 2
- Filter Up. It important to change your air filter on your forced air unit every 3-4 months. The build up of dust and dirt within the filter will restrict the flow of airflow through the unit; thereby requiring your system to work harder and longer to keep your home cool or warm, which impacts the overall longevity of your unit.
- Timing is Everything. Use electrical timers to turn on interior lights at desired times this will provide additional security and savings.
- America’s Got Talent. You may be a singing sensation in the shower; however keep your showers short and install an energy efficient shower head.
- Read and Repeat. After reading books and magazines, donate them to libraries, schools or even a nursing home.
- Re-gifting. Obviously, we’ve all received wonderful gifts that we’ve leveraged by giving them to others – preferably not to the original gift giver.
- Better than Re-Gifting. Reuse gift boxes, bags and ribbons. I’ll be honest, my wife has to intervene at times and dispose of gift boxes past their prime.
- Explore Your Green Thumb. Start by planting a small garden with a few tomato, squash, zucchini and/or cucumber plants or even a couple fruit-bearing plants like blackberries and blueberries.
- Compost. Don’t toss your organic by-products (i.e. potato peelings, leftover food (not meat), coffee grounds, etc.) put them into your compost bin, which can later be used as a natural fertilizer in your garden.
- Show Me the Money. Take clothes that may be too snug or no longer wanted to consignment stores. If items are in good condition and stylish, they can be sold and provide some additional cash.
- Donate, Donate, and Donate. Instead of tossing clothes, household items or any other items that are still functioning, contact a not-for-profit organization to make a donation. Many organizations will come and pick your items and provide you with a receipt, so that you can take a deduction on your annual federal income tax return.
- One Man’s Garbage is Another Man’s Treasure. And finally before your local waste management company arrives, put any desirable items out in open view. Our weekly garbage pick-up is on Tuesday, so when I have an item that may be of interest to someone, I’ll be sure to get it out to the street at 6pm Monday evening. This allows plenty of time for someone to drive by and see something they may want for themselves before the garbage is picked up.
- Bottoms up. Use a coffee mug or tervis tumbler and avoid using disposable cups.
- Double Down. If you have a home office or just a home printer or multi-functional device, many newer models have a double-sided setting (duplex), so save some paper by printing on both sides.
- Go Electronic. Sign up for electronic delivery of your financial statements, Explanation of Benefits (EOBs), utility bills.
- Say “No” to Junk. A work colleague shared with me a website, www.donotmail.org that allows you to remove your name from junk mail lists.
- Re-Use. Use cloth bags at the grocery store instead of plastic/paper bags. Some stores will also give you a small discount for bringing your own bags.
- Wax On, Wax Off. In addition to providing protection for your car, waxing your car before a road trip will help you improve your fuel efficiency.
- Are You Deflated? Having the proper amount of air pressure in your car tires can help with your MPG.
- Got Junk in Your Trunk? If so, take a few minutes to de-junk your trunk – the additional weight will negatively impact your fuel efficiency.
- Not a Tailgater. If you drive a pick-up without a bed topper, make sure you drive with your tailgate up. By driving with your tailgate down, you’re creating more “down force” or “drag”, which will negatively impact your fuel efficiency.
- Go Public or Together. Depending on your geographical location, consider using public transportation or carpooling.
- Go to Two Wheels. Ride a motorcycle versus driving a car . . . or in my case, going to two wheels means a bicycle. Thanks, Honey!
Hopefully if you don’t already leverage some of these ideas, you can easily and quickly implement a few of these to save yourself some money while keeping Mother Earth happy.