The cost of living edges up with each passing year, forcing the frugally-minded to get more creative in order to keep cash in their wallet. Thankfully, most of these solutions are not only good for bank accounts but the planet as well. This means that instead of treating the planet like you’re crashing on its couch, you can get up and pay your share of the proverbial rent by thinking green to save some greenbacks.
1.) Barter your heart out. Frustrated by a 9-to-5 that just isn’t paying all the bills, some people are turning their talents to the time-honored practice of bartering. Have a green thumb? Offer to landscape a neighbor’s lawn in exchange for a batch of their famous lasagna. When you occasionally cross the street instead of crossing town to earn and spend your productivity, you’ll be cutting back on gas and emissions too.
2.) Stop filling up the trash with bottles and cans. You use, you throw away, you buy more, right? Not if you’d like a clean planet for your grandkids, you don’t. Aside from the obvious impacts, you may be missing out on a potential goldmine. Recycling machines are bridging the gap between trash and treasure for states that don’t offer a bottle return, giving out points for every can and bottle that in turn can be exchanged for prizes like gift cards and coupons.
3.) Buy in bulk, locally. Most people consider buying in bulk to be the purchase of a large quantity at once, but it can also mean the collective buying power of co-ops. These are special groups that pool money and resources to buy large amounts of items like local produce to distribute to members at a heavily discounted price. There is likely one in your area, so check message boards and local chatrooms to locate the head honcho of veggies.
4.) Carpool. If you have to travel to a location often, such as an office for work, it makes a lot of sense to divide the work with others heading to the same destination. Trade off with other drivers, or ferry coworkers in exchange for gas money. You might not want to spend a half hour drive listening to Merv from accounting, but hey – that’s what radios are for.
5.) Dress for the weather. It may seem like an obvious step, but some people unthinkingly adjust the heat or air conditioning when they’re uncomfortable. Putting on a sweater or changing into something cooler helps keep utility bills down in the house and sometimes offers better gas mileage in a car as well.