52 Eco-Friendly Tips to Improve Your Finances
Earth Day is celebrated by billions of people around the globe each year on April 22nd. In honor of this year’s theme, “Invest in Our Planet,” we’ve compiled a list of 52 eco-friendly ways you can help the planet every week. These Earth Day ideas can help you conserve water and energy, reduce your carbon footprint, and improve the environment for future generations—plus, they’ll help you save money while you make a positive impact!
- Use a programmable thermostat. You’ll save energy and reduce your heating and cooling bills by running the heat and air conditioning only while you’re home.
- Install blackout curtains to help keep heat in during the winter (and out during the summer).
- Use caulk and weatherstripping to seal any gaps in your windows and doors to minimize heat loss.
- Install ceiling fans in your home. Make sure the blades are spinning counterclockwise during the summer months and clockwise in the cooler months.
- Replace your air filters every three months (more often if you have pets) to improve your air conditioning system’s efficiency.
- Install energy-efficient windows to reduce heat gain and loss. You could save hundreds on your annual energy bills.
- Replace older appliances with ENERGY STAR certified appliances to save energy and lower your electric bill.
- Save water and run your dishwasher or washing machine only when you have a full load.
- Use cold water to wash your clothes. Cold water is just as effective at removing stains, and it’s actually better for delicate fabrics.
- Hang your clothes outside to dry instead of using your dryer. (BONUS: they’ll smell great!)
- Plant a garden with your favorite vegetables. If you don’t have a yard, start a windowsill garden with herbs.
- Collect rainwater in barrels and use it to water your garden.
- Install low-flow faucets, showerheads, and toilets to conserve water.
- Take shorter, cooler showers to save water, energy, and money. Cold showers can also help improve your circulation and increase your metabolism!
- Use LED lightbulbs, which emit fewer greenhouse gases and are more efficient and cost-effective than conventional incandescent lightbulbs or compact fluorescent lights.
- Install dimmer switches to use less energy and extend the life of your lightbulbs.
- Turn off lights every time you leave a room. It’s one of the easiest ways to save on your home’s energy costs.
- Unplug electronics and kitchen appliances you don’t regularly use to save an estimated $100 – $200 each year.
- Use a smart power strip to automatically turn off electricity to unused devices and reduce energy consumption.
- Install solar panels to reduce your reliance on electricity. Solar is a renewable energy source, reduces carbon emissions, and may increase your home’s value.
On the Go
- Pick up any trash you see while walking or running in parks and other public spaces.
- If you regularly commute to work, ask your employer if you can work remotely a few days a week. You’ll save on gas and reduce your carbon emissions.
- If telecommuting isn’t an option, try carpooling with a coworker. You’ll both save money on fuel costs and reduce the wear and tear on your vehicles.
- If you bring your lunch to work (and you should, it’s a great way to save money!), use a reusable lunch bag or cooler instead of paper bags.
- Walk or ride your bike instead of driving whenever possible. It’s better for the environment and better for your health!
- When running errands, group them together based on location so you don’t have to make multiple trips.
- Replace your car’s air filters regularly and keep your tires properly inflated to increase fuel efficiency and minimize emissions.
- When it’s time to upgrade your car, consider a hybrid or electric vehicle to reduce your carbon emissions and save money at the pump.
- Buy a reusable water bottle instead of wasting money on single-use plastic bottles that often end up in landfills or, worse, our planet’s oceans.
- Stop buying paper towels and use washable cloth towels to wipe up spills. You’ll save money and reduce the amount of trash that ends up in landfills every year.
- Support your local farmers markets. Produce at chain supermarkets is more likely to be transported from farther away, creating more carbon emissions.
- Bring your own tote bags to the grocery store and other retailers instead of using plastic bags.
- Buy organic fruits and vegetables when possible. Pesticides pollute our soil and water.
- Commit to eating less meat. Meat production causes greenhouse gas emissions and results in deforestation, contributing to climate change.
- Invest in quality clothing that will hold up over time instead of “fast fashion” items that will wear out faster and need to be replaced more often.
- Sign up for secure eStatements to help save trees, reduce paper waste, and lower your risk of identity theft.
- Pay bills online. It’s faster than using paper checks, and you’ll eliminate the need to buy envelopes and stamps.
- Switch to online billing from your utility company and service providers.
- Use mobile check deposit to deposit checks with your phone instead of driving to a branch.
- Set up your mobile wallet to make secure electronic payments with your phone—no receipt necessary.
- Make electronic person-to-person payments to friends and family instead of going to an ATM or writing a check.
- Test your current environmental literacy knowledge.
- See how much you know about climate change.
- Calculate your foodprint to understand how your food choices impact the planet.
- Take the sustainable fashion quiz to find out what’s really going on in your closet.
- Learn how plastic waste threatens our planet with the plastic pollution quiz.
- Global Earth Challenge.
- Join the Great Global Cleanup, or organize your own community cleanup to help create a waste-free world.
- Sign the petition for climate and environmental literacy education.
- Contact your local representative to support the Earth Bill.
- Consider making a donation to Earth Day or another environmental nonprofit.
- Check out the Earth Day 2023 Action Toolkit for more ideas.
Bonus Tip: Choose an Eco-Friendly Financial Partner
American Heritage offers a variety of solutions to help you go green affordably, like low-rate home equity loans or personal loans for energy-efficient home upgrades, auto loans to purchase a more fuel-efficient vehicle, and secure online and mobile banking tools to bank digitally anytime, anywhere. Contact us to see how we can help you achieve a greener, more sustainable financial future.