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Going Green Saves Money: 9 “Green” Ways to Save BIG in this Unpredictable Economy

Are you searching for tips and advice on how to create more cash in your world? For information on everything from budgeting and teaching your child about money to saving money on groceries and gas – welcome to

At a time when you cannot control gas prices, or the price of staples like eggs, milk and bread, there are some powerful ways that going green can bring down your cost of living!

Consider that a home that uses energy efficiently can cut your bills by up to 66%! According to These Green Times, an online environmental information hub, the average utility bill in the US is $1,500 a year. What could you do with that extra $990?

CNN: How Going Green Can Save You Money

Here are 9 of the easiest ways that “going green” can save money and that you and your family can reduce your "carbon footprint" and help save our precious Mother Earth from global warming.

1. Adjust Your Home Temperature by Two Degrees: Simply turn your heat down by two degrees in the winter and put on a sweater! In the summer, if you use an air conditioner, just turn your thermostat up by two degrees! In either case, this act of going green can save you money to the tune of 10% per degree!

2. Unplug Your Chargers: Have you ever noticed that little red light that glows in the dark on your cell phone charger, or the eerie yellow light on your computer monitor that never goes to sleep? This phenomenon is known as “phantom electricity.” Did you know that 95% of energy used to power up your cell phone is wasted when you leave your charger plugged in? That’s right, your charger only uses 5% of the energy it consumes to actually recharge your cell phone battery, and the rest is wasted! This is also true for the rest of your “rechargeable ” gadgets, like laptop computers, PDAs, MP3 players, and digital cameras. Unplugging these when they are not in use is another way that going green saves money over the long haul. Just turning off your computer at night instead of letting it hibernate will cut the energy it takes by 75%. That’s a huge savings! One million people logging off every night would remove 45,000 tons of greenhouse gases from entering our atmosphere. Make sure you buy your next computer with an Energy Star and you’ll do even better to save money and Mother Earth from global warming.

3. Change the Light Bulbs to CFLs: Using compact fluorescent light bulbs, referred to as CFLs, will not only help to substantially reduce your annual consumption of energy and the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, but will also save you a small fortune! A CFL light bulb costs about $2.60 at any hardware store and lasts up to 10 times longer than a traditional bulb, while using about 75% less energy. This is a great example of how going green saves BIG money and can be implemented easily!

4. Walk, Walk, Walk: Need we say more? Walking or riding a bicycle is not only good for the environment; it relieves you of the cost of filling up your gas tank and also provides excellent exercise for your body and soul. Walking or riding on a regular basis is not just less expensive, it’s healthier for your heart: if one million people replaced a five-mile car trip with a healthy walk or bike ride at least once a week, Mother Earth would get in shape too with carbon dioxide emissions reduced by about 100,000 tons every year. You'll both win by losing!

5. Take a Shorter Shower, Not a Bath: "Global warming" is predicted to increase water shortages in the near future, so plan now to conserve here. You'll use one-third less water by taking a shower versus a bath, and if you cut your shower by just one minute, you can save more than 500 gallons of precious water every year. What an easy way to get going green.

6. Choose Your Energy: This one is really easy! Just call your energy company and tell them that you have heard that going green saves money and you’d like to know if they offer any alternative energy use possibilities. Over 600 energy companies in the U.S. have the ability to offer their customers "green power alternatives" like wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, biomass, or landfill gas.

7. Close the Doors and Open the Windows: How often have you found yourself staring into the refrigerator trying to decide what to eat while all the cold air rushes pass you? Or, have you ever carried on a conversation with a friend or a neighbor with your front door cracked open, letting all the warm air inside escape out into the winter sky? We all do it and yet it is a terrible waste of energy. Every little bit counts! And this is one of the easiest new "energy behaviors” to change. Just be mindful and observant of your and your family's behaviors. Shut the doors when the heat or air conditioning is running, and open them and your windows when the weather is beautiful. You'll enjoy the fresh air and allow toxins from inside your home to escape, making your home environment healthier and safer for your family and your pets, while saving money on your utility bills.

8. Only Do Full Loads: Save on water and energy by making sure you are doing only full loads of dishes or laundry. Most dishwashers today have an energy saving selection — so use it! Could going green and saving money be easier?

9. Bank Online: It’s time to join the twenty-first century and become a “with–it” world member by paying your bills online. Most banks offer this service free of charge. If yours doesn’t, find another bank. It’s convenient, easy, and safe — and just think of all the time, money (no stamps!), and costly gas you’ll save. And remember that the U.S. Postal Service uses trucks, too! Just imagine how much energy would be saved and how your tax dollars could be lessened if everyone did their banking online. By best estimates, if every family received and paid their bills online, we would save more than 29 trillion BTUs of energy and reduce 1.7 billion pounds of waste every year. Can you imagine that 405,000 trees are cut down every year just to pay our phone bills? You can also sign up for direct pay with your employer. You’ll save money, time and substantially contribute to saving Mother Earth. Little things like this that you do in life can force big companies to get going green, which at the end of the day saves everyone money!

In these trying times, every little bit makes a difference, both to your wallet and to the planet!

By: Diane Stech