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How to Save Money by Going Green

3 minute read

Joshua Williams

By Joshua Williams

That’s right, saving the environment to save yourself some paper.  Keep a tree alive so you can keep some cheddar.

Here are some quick tips you might not have thought of to lower both your impact on the natural world and your expenses.

Go to the Library

Your tax dollars already pay for the books, CDs, and DVDs your local library holds, so you might as well take advantage. It’s free to sign up and use, so there’s not much of an excuse.

Make Sure the Electronics Are Off

Electronics, such as computers and TVs, suck energy from your outlets even when they’re off, especially if they’re in a “standby” mode. The easiest way to rectify this is to send your electronics through a surge protector, which can then be switched off when you’re out of the house or asleep.

Also, laptop computers use about a tenth of the energy that desktops do. So if you’re debating which one to fire up to work on, or which kind to buy, laptops are by far the more energy-efficient choice.

Craigslist, eBay, and Goodwill

A quick listing on one of these or other such online sales sites can clean out your junk piles quickly without sending them to the landfill. Plus, it can leave you with a pile of cash.

Donating clothes and furniture can also be claimed as a tax deduction, saving you come tax time.

Control Your Printing

Print on both sides. Turn your printer on only when you are about to use it. Most printers have “green” settings to save ink; use them. Don’t print something that can be emailed. Double-check the print preview, so you don’t end up needing to reprint because of mistakes.


Bike maintenance costs a laughable fraction of car maintenance. Bikes require no fuel. For short trips in nice weather, it’s really a no-brainer.

Costless Car Adjustments

Cruise control, standard on every car these days, saves fuel over long distances through smooth acceleration and reduces wear on your tires.

Correct tire inflation will help as well. Plus, many gas stations have free air pumps or ones that can be used for just a quarter.

Water Filters

A running joke for stand-up comedians over the past decade has been how much we as a country pay for water in a bottle that says it’s from another country when we are lucky to live in a country with the means to purify its tap water. And that’s discounting the massive amount of waste the plastic bottles themselves create.

So buy a water filter if you crave that crisp taste and a few aluminum bottles to reuse, and you won’t spend any more money on bottled water.

Buy in Bulk

Not only will you save money on a per-item basis, but you will also save packaging on a per-item basis, meaning less ends up in a landfill.


A new iPhone app, Carticipate, allows users to join a network for people who want to carpool to and from work. If you don’t live near your coworkers, this can be a great way to save money for all involved.

Leaf Heart in Woman's HandsMIA Studio / Shutterstock
Joshua Williams


Joshua is a freelance writer with years of experience blogging about business and finance, and a whole host of other things too. When he's not writing, he enjoys camping with his dog, a golden retriever named Oakley.


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