This post and giveaway are sponsored by GIANT Food Stores.
April 22 marks Earth Day, the one day a year that we set aside to celebrate what’s best for our planet.
However, there are simple things we can do every day that help Mother Earth by using less energy, sending less trash to the land fills, and conserving our natural resources. And the bonus to starting these new habits is that you can save quite a bit of money too.
So we’re helping the environment and saving money…it’s a win-win.
6 Everyday Changes that Save Money & Help our Planet
1. Replace Disposable Products with Reusable Alternatives.
In an effort over the years to save money at the grocery store and reduce our waste, I’ve found reusable alternatives to many paper products that we were using. It’s easy to make the switch, and with these items not on my grocery list, I’ve made more room in my grocery budget for actual food.
- Replace paper napkins with cloth napkins.
- Skip the paper towels and instead keep some old towels and rags under your kitchen sink to clean up kitchen spills.
- Invest in a silicone baking mat to replace parchment paper. I’ve been using a silicone mat for over 10 years and it has more than paid for itself.
- Use reusable containers with lids rather than plastic wrap and aluminum foil to store leftovers.
- Use reusable containers with lids rather than plastic sandwich & snack baggies.
- Make reusable Swiffer dry mop covers from old flannel blankets or shirts.
- Use reusable grocery bags, rather than the plastic bags to cart your groceries home from the store.
2. Conserve water.
In an effort to conserve water, especially during dry spells, and save on your water bill, follow these easy tips.
- Trap rain water and use to water your plants and garden.
- Use water collected from dehumidifier to water your garden and flower pots.
- Choose drought tolerant plants for your landscape.
- Limit shower time and use low-flow shower heads.
- Use the water from steaming vegetables and/or corn on the cob to water your garden.
3. Eat those leftovers!
I have a good friend who hates leftovers and throws any away after a meal. That’s crazy! American households waste about $600 of food a year. That is close to what an average family spends on food in one month. By eating your leftovers, you are saving money and avoiding the land fills.
Invest in reusable containers with lids to store leftovers. Take them to work in your brown bag lunch, or choose one night a week as, “raid the fridge night”. You’ll appreciate the night off from cooking.
4. Brew your own coffee.
Buying a coffee is a guilty splurge for me, but to be honest, the particular coffee shop brand that I love is sold in grocery stores, like Giant. Brew your coffee at home and take it along with you in a travel mug. You will save about $2.50 a day, and avoid sending those paper cups to the landfill.
5. Choose thrift first.
Rather than purchasing new, check to see if you can borrow from a friend, barter, or buy second hand. The result is less packaging in the land fills, and the money saved is still in your pocket. And rather than throw unused possessions away, donate to a thrift store or offer up on Freecycle.org.
Recently, we were in need of a twin sized box spring. My husband put a call out of Facebook and sure enough, two friends each had one that they no longer needed and were looking to unload.
6. Save on your Energy Bill.
According to Energy Star, the average home spends more than $2,000 per year on utility bills, nearly half going to heating and cooling. These simple habits will help you save money and use less home energy.
- Always turn off the lights when you leave the room. We are currently trying to teach our daughters this simple habit. For some reason, this doesn’t come naturally to an 8 year old!
- And speaking of lights, avoid incandescent bulbs. Instead, look for Energy Star certified compact fluorescent light bulbs and you’ll use about 70-90% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and they will last 10 to 25 times longer, saving you $30 to $80 in electricity costs over the bulb’s lifetime.(**source)
- Change your HVAC air filter monthly during peak season or at least when it is dirty. A dirty filter slows down air flow and makes your system work harder to keep you comfortable.
- After home heating and cooling costs, the second largest home energy use is water heating. An average household spends more than $250 per year to heat their water. Two tips to consider: set your water heater thermostat at 120 degrees F or lower and wash your clothing in cold water.
- Power down the electronics when they’re not in use. I’m not telling you to turn off your refrigerator, but computers, TVs, gaming systems, smart phone chargers are all things that are usually left plugged in when not in use. Use an inexpensive power strip to plug your electronics in at one central place. Just turn off the power strip when you’re not using the electronics.
What every day tips do you have that not only save money, but also help our planet? Let us know in the comments.
Giant Food Stores is committed year round to helping the planet and serving their communities, not just on Earth Day. Check your local Giant for Nature’s Promise Free from cleaning products (with deliciously fresh scents), CFL lightbulbs, reusable grocery bags, and other earth friendly products.
THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED – Enter for a chance to Win a $25 Giant Food Stores Gift Card
The Prize: One $25 Giant Food Stores gift card will be given away to one lucky winner.
To Enter: Simply leave a comment telling us one habit you can change to help our planet.
This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.
I’ll randomly choose a winner at 6:30 am EST on Friday, April 29, 2016. Please use a valid email when commenting, so that I may contact you if you win.
Congratulations, Lydia , you were comment #7. I will be emailing you shortly.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post and giveaway by Giant Food Stores. All opinions are my own & I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe my readers will enjoy. You can read the site’s full disclosure here.