Going Green to Save Some Green

By Tina M.

Don’t worry, it’s all about the small things! Earth Day is April 22nd and so is our Money Smart Week. Every year, I promise to be more “environmentally friendly” and “save more money.” It’s not as easy as it looks, but by adding one thing at a time – say one thing every three months – it can help you to become more environmentally conscious.

Save on Transportation. Bike to Work, use public transportation, or carpool. You can find a list of books on bicycling here. If you can’t bike to work, at least share your ride with other people. And, if you are buying a fuel-efficient car, you might be able to get a tax break on it and save money on gas!

Recycle your old electronics. Did you know that there are sites that will buy your old electronics? You can find a list of electronics donations and recycling locations here and get rid of all those old cell phones piling up at home.

Buy a reusable water bottle. Save money and the environment by filling a glass and possibly “BPA-free” water bottle. See here for a general list of books on recycling.

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle or “Precycle.” By reusing your items, you make the best use of the resources and material used to make the item. Or consider borrowing from a friend or a neighbor. Are you going to really use that tool more than once? There are all kinds of lending libraries; here’s an example of a tool library!

Grow your own garden vegetables. Growing your own vegetables can save you money! You can test out how much you save by tracking your homegrown produce, weighing it, and comparing it to those at the super market. You are almost guaranteed to save at least $200 or more. We have tons of books on growing your own vegetables in the collection.

Cook your own lunch. It’ll be fresher and healthier than anything you pick up and whole lot cheaper. Try to eat out less! Brown bag your lunch from home. It can save you money on unnecessary food packaging and to go boxes. For ideas on packing your own lunch, see this list here.

Save on Energy. Change your light bulbs to energy efficient ones and do a home energy audit. Reduce wasteful consumption of energy and save money on your electric bill. Line-dry your clothes during the summer. You can find a list of books on energy efficiency here. You can also borrow the Kill A Watt power meter from the Library and find out the actual electrical consumption of small to medium electrical devices in your home.

Save Water. Take shorter showers, and do double duty by brushing your teeth in the shower.

So, why not help the earth while helping your bank account? As they say, let’s make it rain!

This post is part of The Seattle Public Library’s celebration of Money Smart Week—check out the many programs and resources at a branch near you!

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