Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Living Frugal & Green - Ways to Save and Earn $$$

In Honor of Earth Day I wanted to share a few tips on how you can Save and Earn money, and Reduce your impact on the environment, not just today-but everyday!
We've been recycling for some time now by using the bins that our local disposal company (Rumpke) comes and picks up on garbage day. If you're not doing this yet, you should! Some disposal companies charge a fee, but where I live there is no fee. So it's worth checking into.
However, we do not recycle our Aluminum with this method! Instead we turn in our Aluminum and Earn money.
Here are a few tips if your interested...
*We always rinse out our aluminum cans after we are finished with them. Then we crush them (you earn more money if they are crushed) and put them into big garbage bags or boxes.

*We collect them for quite awhile and then we bring them to our local scrap yard and they pay us money for the Aluminum. I recommend calling around to closest scrap yards in your area and asking how much the payout for aluminum is. Check your local Yellow pages & look under scrap yards. There are several in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area HERE.
Then go to whoever is paying the most. Right now the pay out is low unfortunately, thanks to the economy. We usually turn in our aluminum every couple months (though we haven't been since last fall) and usually earn about $20. Your payout will depend on how many pounds of aluminum you have. So it's better to save for awhile before making a trip. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or throw me an email.

Another way to Reuse and Earn money

*You can recycle your children's clothing and earn money on the spot at Once Upon A Child.
Or Host A Yard Sale to earn money while reusing! Or you could just donate to Goodwill.
Also, buying used can drastically cut your environmental impact.

More Tips

*Before throwing something away, ask yourself how could I reuse this item. Reusing items is a great way to save money and the environment. For example, instead of purchasing reusable containers, why not reuse empty food containers such as a butter containers, or shoe boxes.

*Consolidating Errands & Drive the Speed Limit- If you can eliminate a few trips out, you'll save time, money on gas, and reduce your carbon footprint.
*Grow your own garden. We've started our garden Here!
*Make your own composting bin for $15. HERE.
*Reduce your use of plastic throw away bags. If you do use them, reuse them by bringing them with you the next time you shop. Krogers gives you $.03 per bag off your shopping order, even if you bring in & reuse their plastic bags. We also reuse the plastic bags as garbage bags in the bathroom. You can also purchase reusable bags at just about any store, or you could make them yourself. Details HERE.
*Pay as many bills as possible online, to reduce receiving paper bills in the mail.
Lower Your Electric Bill and Save Energy
*Switch to CFL light bulbs. They use four times less energy than incandescent bulbs.

*Turn off the lights when you leave a room.

*Keep your fridge and freezer full. It acts as insulation, and lessens the time that it takes to run to stay cool.

*Plug appliances such as TVs, computers, stereos onto a power strip. Then get into the habit of turning off the power strip when the items are not in use.

*Line Dry your laundry whenever possible. If you can't hang a line in your back yard, consider the shower rod, or a drying rack. Line drying will help your clothes to last longer, reduce shrinking, it also saves on money & energy. If you don't like the "stiff" feeling of line dried clothing, throw them into the dryer for a few minutes before hanging them out.

*Speaking of laundry, try completing all of your laundry on one day. This will save you time, and will help to keep your appliances running longer, and saves energy. Because when they are constantly going they don't have to work as hard.

*Wash laundry in cold water. 90% of the cost of washing clothes is caused by the cost of heating the water. Washing in cold water will also keep colors brighter longer. And only wash a full load!

*Turn off the heat dry on your dishwasher & dry your dishes by hand. Also try running your dishwasher at night before you go to bed, when peak user hours are lower. And only wash a full load!

*Using the microwave to cook uses less energy than your oven!

These are just a few tips. Interested in learning more? Go Here.

Lower Your Water Bill

*It takes more water to hand wash dishes than to run the dishwasher!

*Take a shower instead of a bath, replace the shower head w/ a low-flow shower head, and use a timer to aim for a five minute shower.

*Never let the water run while you brush your teeth or shave!

*Convert your toilets to a low-flush. Put a jug of water into your toilet tank. Over a month, a family of 5 could save 350 gallons of water. Find out more HERE.

Go Here for 35 ways to save money on your water bill!

Do you have any tips that you'd like to add to my list? Please leave a comment & share!

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