a woman rides her bike next to her dog near wind turbines after reading Gate City Bank’s tips for going green & saving money

Go Green, Save Green: 7 Economical Ways to Help the Earth and Your Finances.

From reusing materials to buying items secondhand to changing daily habits and everything in between, saving the planet – and money – is easier than one might think.

Contrary to popular belief, becoming more environmentally friendly doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing game – you can live a lifestyle that benefits both the world and your finances! It’s all about embracing a mindset of sustainability to reduce your carbon footprint, increase efficiency and improve overall well-being.

  1. Resolve to reuse

    Bottled water. Plastic bags. Disposable razors. Styrofoam cups and plates. What do all these things have in common? They’re convenient. But they’re also harmful to the environment. When it comes to your daily routine and consumption, consider replacing disposable things with more durable ones! By cutting down on non-biodegradable items and opting instead for reusable resources like water tumblers and fabric tote bags, you’ll help Mother Earth and cut costs in the process.

    The key word here is “reusable.” Have leftover water from doing dishes? Apply it to your vegetable garden. Wondering what to do with that empty coffee can? Use it to store food or miscellaneous items instead of buying expensive containers. Need to power smaller devices? Turn to rechargeable batteries. By extending the life of your materials, you’ll be well on your way to becoming more eco-friendly by keeping items from going into a landfill unnecessarily.

  2. Thrift it up!

    While many of us love buying new things, we could probably survive by purchasing used items in a number of cases. The good news? Secondhand can actually be super sweet! You just need to look in the right places. Whether it’s clothes, jewelry, toys or anything in between, you’d be surprised at the amazing deals and quality items you can find. The idea is to shop more ethically, both in terms of saving some dough and helping the globe.

    Alternatively, don’t throw perfectly good items away! Depending on what things you’re looking to get rid of, as well as what shape they’re in, consider donating them to a thrift shop or charity in need. It will feel great to declutter – and to give toward a noble cause.

  3. Cut your utility bills

    In addition to helping the earth by visiting your local consignment store, you can do the same thing right at home! By making a few simple lifestyle changes, you can cut utility costs substantially – and make a significant environmental impact in the process. From drying clothes on a line to investing in energy-efficient appliances to taking shorter showers and turning off the water when you brush your teeth, it’s the little things that make a BIG difference.

    Swap out those inefficient lightbulbs with modern LEDs. Install premium insulation. Unplug electronics when they’re not in use. Heck, if you’re planning to live in your home long term, you can even install solar panels on your roof to save money in the long run. The opportunities are endless.

  4. Rethink food

    For those with a strong appetite to help the environment, changing food habits is another idea to chew on. From growing some of your own fruits and vegetables to cutting out food waste to cooking in bulk for more efficient meal planning, there are a number of different ways you can cut costs in a culinary sense. It can be a delicious way to make a difference!

    Eat everything up before you make another grocery run. Store items in the freezer or pickle certain foods to make them last longer. Consider going meat-free from time to time, which will lower your carbon footprint and save on expensive cuts. You can even buy preferred amounts of loose produce instead of items that are pre-packaged in plastic.

  5. Travel smarter

    It’s no secret that cars come with costs. From gas to insurance to repairs, they’ll guzzle up dollars faster than you can say “global warming.” To that point, they’re also no friend of the earth when it comes to carbon emissions. Depending on your situation, you could potentially save big by choosing alternative options – and help the planet in the process.

    Live relatively close to your destination? Consider taking your bicycle! (Not only is this good for the environment and your finances, but it’s also good for your health.) Curious about embracing innovation while you save the earth? Maybe it’s time to invest in a hybrid or all-electric ride. From avoiding idling your engine to fitting in as many stops in a trip as you can to carpooling as much as possible, if you’re driven enough to make an impact, the earth-saving and bank-account-relieving tactics go on and on.

  6. Share when you can

    Speaking of sharing a ride, there are other things you can share to help save money and the environment, as well. Whether it’s borrowing instead of buying tools, finding a roommate to help split the rent or something similar, there are countless ways you can live more efficiently by working together.

  7. Choose a community bank

    Believe it or not, where you bank can have a substantial impact on the world. It’s not just about investing in a financial institution that helps grow your wealth through innovative products and services; it’s also about investing in an organization that prioritizes giving back to local communities along the way, especially when it comes to supporting causes that benefit the earth and those who inhabit it. Long story short, choose a bank that walks the walk when it comes to making a difference in the world.

Pro Tip:

If you’re interested in contributing to a healthy world, consider putting your trust in a mutual bank – that is, one that doesn’t report to shareholders but instead puts communities first.

Save Like the World Depends on It.

Being kind to the earth doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Ultimately, by focusing on reducing your consumption altogether and only spending when and where absolutely necessary, you can reduce your carbon footprint – and make a difference. By following the environmentally friendly options we’ve outlined above, you’ll be well on your way to helping the planet – and your wallet – For a Better Way of Life.®

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