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My Top 7 Eco-Friendly Saving Tips

{ Posted on Mar 31 2010 by Marcus Alston }

A lot of these eco-friendly savings tips are pretty extreme, but if you can do 2 or 3 of them, you should realize some real savings and help the environment too.  If you do not find these very extreme then maybe you already have the “miser mentality”:

  1. ECO-FRIENDLY:  Go Retro.  Stop buying new clothes and buy used clothing from vintage and thrift stores.  You will save a bundle and reduce your carbon footprint.  The average family spends approximately $1,700 on clothes a year.  Buying clothes at the thrift store can save you up to 70-90% over new clothes.
  2. ECO-FRIENDLY:  Car pool to work with at least two other people that live close to you or are on your route.  You could cut your gasoline bill by 50% or more depending on how far out of the way your fellow commuters are.   And it is less wear and tear on your car, and you may even make closer friends, form a great social network, get help work news, or learn about something cool you never knew before.
  3. ECO-FRIENDLY:  Buy a human powered push mower instead of using a gas or electric mower and instead of hiring someone to do it for you.  Save on gas or electricity and emit zero emissions using this method.  Plus its great exercise.   Gas mowers emit a huge amount of pollution.  According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a typical gas-powered lawn mower operated for one hour generates as much pollution as driving a typical car for 350 miles! The EPA estimates that gas lawn mower emissions account for as much as 5% of the nation’s total air pollution.   Most push gas lawn mowers at Home Depot are well above $200 and riding mowers begin in the $700 range.  I bought a Scott’s human powered push mower for about $100 at Home Depot and it works well for me.  It’s more work than a gas mower, but I consider myself of average strength for a man and I have no problem doing it.  Human push mowers probably work best with lawns under one acre.
  4. ECO-FRIENDLY:  Ditch the gas powered snow blower in favor of a shovel.  According to the EPA, a snow blower operated for one hour generators as much carbon monoxide (CO) as driving a typical car 70 miles (about a pound of CO).  If you really must use a snow blower, save it for really heavy snow.  On average, shoveling snow takes about 1.5 to 2 times the time it takes to shovel snow.  But in that time, you could burn off over 500 calories.  Most gas snow blowers at Home Depot range from about $350 to $1,400 according to the Home Depot website.
  5. ECO-FRIENDLY:  Bike to work.  Zero gas, zero emissions, and great exercise.  Of course this is only realistic if you are within a reasonable distance from work and or for longer distances, an avid biker.  It helps if you have a shower at work too.
  6. ECO-FRIENDLY: Make it yourself.  Use baking soda in place of toothpaste or deodorant (my mother told me about this one).  You can also try talcum powder instead of deodorant.  These are much cheaper alternatives to toothpaste and deodorant and they work well and they are better for the environment.  Make your own cleaning solution using vinegar and lemon juice or just vinegar.  You can also experiment with vinegar and water or ammonia and water.  See VinegarTips.com or AngelFire.com for ideas.
  7. ECO-FRIENDLY:  Don’t flush the toilet every time you use it (This is a shocking and extreme one that I had to include).  This could be quite disgusting, but depending on your toilet, you will save about 2-5 gallons of water each time you don’t flush.  If you try this method, I would use it for non-bowel movements only (i.e. urine only) as you could otherwise clog the toilet with too much waste, not to mention the smell!  Alternatively, you could also consider adjusting the fill level in the tank to see if you can get away with using less water per flush.  You could even use a brick or large stone to displace some of the water so that you automatically use less water.   Most people find that a gallon is sufficient for their needs.  The average household uses 185-291 gallons of water per day.  On average, 60% of a family’s water bill is used by the toilet and the shower, 20% in the laundry and 20% in other indoor areas like the kitchen.  Source GreenBuildingSupply.com.  Also consider a dual flush toilet and you could save 68% of your toilet’s previous water usage.

Did you find this helpful or interesting?  Have any eco-friendly or other savings tips of your own?  Please write me by leaving a comment below, tweet me on Twitter, or find me on Facebook.  For extreme saving tips, read my post on  extreme saving tips.

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