How To Go Green For Earth Day?byandtheend©
Cheap things that you can do now to save money and save the planet.
1. Install solar panels, a tankless water heater, and buy an alternative energy vehicle.
The above items, installing solar panels and a tankless water heater and buying an alternative energy vehicle are certainly not cheap things to do for the sake of saving money, although, without doubt, they will save you money. Nonetheless, with the initial outlay of cash, it will take you some time to get your money back from the investment. Yet, there are other ways that are cheaper to not only go green without breaking your budget and make you feel better about yourself in the process, by doing your part to save the planet, but also that will save you some money in the process.
You don't need to add solar panels to the roof of your house, or burden yourself with the expense of investing in a tankless water heater, or even going through the expense of selling or trading in your car for a more fuel efficient one. In these times of disruptive and life altering recessionary transitions of high unemployment and home foreclosures, there are many smaller and less expensive ways to change your lifestyle, save you some money, and help to save the planet, all at the same time.
"What's Tommy doing up on the roof with all those mirrors? What's he up to now?" The first neighbor watched Tommy carefully positioning mirrors at the perfect angles to attract the sun to his roof.
"Oh, he's determined to go green and save money," said a second neighbor taking a sip of his coffee, while watching Tommy putting the mirrors in place on his roof.
"The man's an idiot," said a third neighbor. "After he set his car on fire trying to burn trash for fuel, instead of gasoline, this time, he thinks he fabricated some homemade solar panels to save some money. He got a quote from the solar panel dealer and they were too expensive, so he figured he'd make his own. Commendably, he's trying to save money by heating his house with the sun and helping to save the planet by reducing his carbon foot print at the same time," said the third neighbor.
"Heating his house? Those aren't solar panels. Those are mirrors. He won't heat his house, he'll set it on fire," said the first neighbor. "He'll burn it to the ground."
"I know. Live and learn. I told him that, but he wouldn't listen to me," said the second neighbor. "Go figure."
"Maybe I should get some marshmallows," said the third neighborhood. "We can have a barbeque, later."
"Maybe we should just alert the fire department," said the first neighbor. "They'll talk some sense in him, before it's too late."
2. Instead of asking for paper over plastic, just bring your own bags to the supermarket.
Going to the supermarket? Ask for paper instead of plastic or even better, take your reusable bags with you. You won't save any money but it will help to save the planet. If we all did that, at the very least, used paper instead of plastic or our own reusable bags, we'd notice the difference.
"Well, I may not be saving money, Gloria," said Tommy, "but I'm saving the planet by using our own reusable grocery bags, instead of using the paper or plastic bags from the supermarket."
"Speaking of groceries," said Gloria looking in the back seat of the car. "Where are the groceries?"
His wife shot him a look of disbelief, as this wasn't the first time he's done something as stupid as this.
"Shit, I was so focused on bagging my own groceries that I forgot to put them in the car. They're still in the carriage at the supermarket parking lot."
"Not anymore, you moron," said his wife. "They're gone. Someone took them, no doubt."
3. Use newspapers for packaging, instead of bubble wrap or Styrofoam.
Packing a package to send to grandma? Be kind to our landfills and save a few dollars at the same time by not buying bubble wrap and Styrofoam. Use crumpled newspapers, instead. Besides saving money and helping to save the environment, Grandma may get a kick out of reading your local news, even if it is a bit dated. If we all recycled our newspapers, we'd save tens of thousands of trees each year.
"George, come look at this," said Tommy's grandmother to her husband, Tommy's grandfather.
"What is it?"
"Tommy used all these crumpled up newspapers to cushion our Christmas gifts, instead of wasting money on bubble wrap and Styrofoam and I started reading some of them."
"So? He's concerned about the environment, no doubt, and he's doing his part to help save the planet. I'm proud of my grandson for doing his fair share. He's always been a good boy."
"Yeah, but there's a police report here in the newspaper that he was arrested for soliciting a prostitute last month. Seems like he's not such a good boy after all."
4. Plan your car trips.
Instead of hopping in your car to run your errands daily, group your errands together and go out twice or once a week, instead of every day. The money you'd save on gasoline alone, not to mention the wear and tear on your car is well worth the extra planning.
"Honey, hurry, my water just broke. The baby is coming. My contractions are every few minutes. We need to go to the hospital."
"Gees, Hon, ordinarily, I'd take you to the hospital, if I could," said Tommy turning to look at the calendar mounted on the refrigerator, "but I'm not scheduled to go out to run errands until tomorrow. Sorry. Why don't you sit down and keep your legs together?"
"Keep my legs together? That's what I should have done nine months ago and that's what I may do from now on, after the baby is born. This is an emergency, you fool. Get in the car and drive me to the hospital now."
5. Use public transportation, instead of your car.
When taking a trip or commuting to work, think of taking the bus.
"Gees, we're packed in like sardines on this smelly, hot bus. I've never seen it so crowded," said Tommy to the passenger standing beside him.
It was so crowded that he struggled to put his arm down from holding onto the overhead railing to reach for his wallet to retrieve his bus pass. Just as the bus was leaving for the next stop, he looked out the bus window in time to see a homeless man holding his missing wallet, after having pick pocketed it.
6. Then, again, there's always carpooling.
"Okay, who farted?" Tommy opened his window and waved his hand in front of his nose, while everyone in the car looked at one another laughing and without confessing, who had passed gas. "Did you have tacos for dinner last night, Glen?" He looked at his neighbor sitting next to him in time to catch him laughing.
7. Get fresh air and exercise by riding a bike, instead of driving your car.
Instead of driving your car everywhere, alternate. Walk or ride a bike on those nice days that you don't need to drive. You'll not only help to save the planet but also you'll improve your health by getting some exercise. Who knows, maybe you'll even shed a few pounds?
"God damn it!"
"Gees, you're always so tense, Tommy," said his co-worker. " What's the matter, now? It's a beautiful day, what could possibly be wrong?"
"Someone stole my bike," said Tommy looking up at the bright, blue sky that was suddenly giving way to dark, grey clouds, just as it started to rain. That's just great. It's raining and my umbrella and raincoat were in my saddlebag on my stolen bike."
8. Even when you must take your car, you can still walk part of the way.
Even if you feel the need to take your car, park it at a distance from where you need to go and walk the rest of the way. You'll be surprised, what you'll save on gasoline and the health benefits will add up quickly.
"Honey, why park way over here, when the mall is way over there?"
"We're not going to that mall. I thought we'd walk to the one across town."
"Are you nuts? That's three miles there and three miles back."
"I know. C'mon, I'll race you."
9. A well maintained automobile will not only be safer but also save you on gas.
Check your tire pressure. You'd be surprised by not only how much less gas your car will use in better rolling resistance running on properly inflated tires but also your tires will handle better, stop the car in shorter distances, and your tires will last longer, too.
"What the Hell? Hey, this inflation machine is deflating my tires instead of inflating them," said Tommy to the gas station attendant.
"Can't you read, buddy? There's a sign that reads the machine is broken."
Tommy looked for a sign, before looking down on the ground.
"Oh, you mean, this sign that's on the ground face down?"
10. Let in the sunshine.
Open your blinds and drapes and let in the sunshine. Take advantage of the sun's natural energy, whenever you can. You'd be surprised how quickly the sun's solar energy can heat up a room, reduce your heating costs, and make you feel better, all at the same time. Sunshine is free. It's all that home heating oil, gas, and electricity that cost you money. The natural energy from the sun is the way our ancestors stayed warm and what we can do, too.
Tommy stepped from the shower, grabbed a towel, and tied it around himself, before opening his front door. A policeman with a stern face greeted him at the door.
"What seems to be the problem, Officer?"
"We've had reports that you've been flashing your neighbors."
"Flashing my neighbors? Oh," said Tommy in a quandary and nearly losing his towel to scratch his head. "I opened the blinds to let the sun in and I didn't realize that--"
"We've heard that excuse before, sir. I'll let you off with a warning this time. Unless you're fully dressed, make sure you close your blinds."
11. More efficient energy conserving light bulbs will save you money.
Use energy conserving light bulbs. Not only will you save money on your electric bill but also you'll save much needed energy for the planet.
"Gees, look at all these different kind of light bulbs. Which one do I buy? Holy shit, look at the prices on some of these things."
12. Save electricity by turning off energy zapping electronics.
Not going to be home? At work all day? Are you going away for the weekend? Are you taking a vacation for the week up at that cabin by the lake? Then, unplug all those electronics that zap and use your precious electricity. In the course of a year, you'd be surprised how much you'll save in electrical costs.
"Honey, get up. We overslept again," said Tommy shaking his wife, Gloria, awake.
"What time is it?"
"It's 10am and we're both late for work. This is the last time I unplug everything," said Tommy jumping out of bed. "I had to reset the cable, the TV, the computer, and the clocks on the microwave, the stove, and the DVD player. I must have forgotten to reset the alarm clock. This is nuts. It just isn't worth it."
13. Buy fruits and vegetables from a local farmer.
Support local farmers by buying fresher, cheaper, and better produce from them than from the big supermarkets. Helping to support local farmers by buying fruits and vegetables from them helps everyone.
"Well, hello cutie pie. If I knew the farmer's daughter was so pretty, I'd have shopped at your local farm stand long ago, instead of going to the supermarket."
Tommy looked long and hard at the young, blonde, and buxom woman. She was so beautiful. Much like the woman in the Cool Hand Luke movie, the one where she's washing the car and getting lots of soap suds all over her nearly naked body, she was so sexy. Wearing Daisy Duke shorts and an unbuttoned top that was tied at the bottom and that barely confined her big, braless breasts, he couldn't stop leering at her.
"I'd be careful runnin' off your mouth like that with compliments, Mister, if I was you," she said spitting out a gob of tobacco. "He doesn't take kindly to strangers being too friendly, especially if those strangers are city slickers. He doesn't like city slickers," she said looking over her shoulder at the man sitting on a tree stump and holding a shotgun.
"Oh, sorry, is that your grandfather over there?"
"Grandpa? Nope," she said with a laugh, while shaking her head.
"Sorry, I meant no disrespect to your Daddy?"
"Daddy? Shucks," she said looking down, while twirling her shoeless toe in the dirt, "You sure are a funny one, Mister. I may be a bit backward never havin' been formally schooled but, I don't reckon I'd be havin' sex with my Daddy," she said showing a toothless smile before looking over her shoulder at the man sitting on the stump. "That there's my husband, my jealous husband."
13. Buy organic fruits and vegetables.
Although they may cost a bit more, eat organic fruits and vegetables, whenever you can. No one needs to consume all those pesticides and synthetic growth hormone chemicals that the big fruit and produce companies use to unnaturally grow their fruit and produce to larger sizes for bigger profits.
"Gees, how much are these apples? They look a little puny to me," said Tom taking a bite out of one. "I'm used to the bigger and shinier ones they have at the supermarket."
"They're organic," said the produce clerk. "They don't have all the growth hormones that cause birth defects and pesticide chemicals that cause cancer."
"I don't get what all the fuss is about. They don't taste as good as the non-organic ones. They're not as flavorful."
"That's what Snow White said before she ate the poison apple that the wicked witch gave her, the one grown from synthetic growth hormones and covered in pesticides and that nearly killed her. You're going to have to pay for that apple you took a bite out of, by the way."
"I'll take a dozen of these organic apples," said Tom.
14. Use what Grandma used to use.
Instead of using toxins in spray cans with a laundry list of chemicals that you can't pronounce and don't know what they are and what adverse affects they may have on you and on the environment, that is, until it's too late, return to the good old days of cleaning your house with the trusted and proven non-toxic things that your grandmother and her mother before her used. Baking soda, ammonia, peroxide, and white vinegar are miracle cleaners that can clean practically anything.
"Honey," said Tom, "your teeth are really white but you taste like the smell, when I clean out the coffeepot."
"Oh, I've been using a mixture of baking soda and peroxide to brush my teeth, instead of using expensive chemically laden toothpaste."
15. Stop wasting food.
Hey, don't throw away those food scraps. Stop feeding all that wasted food to Fido. Put it out back in your compost pile. Organic and non-toxic, your plants will show how much they like your garbage by blooming for you next season.
"Hey, Tommy, where'd you get all those trees in your backyard?"
"Trees? Oh, those aren't trees, those are my sunflowers."
"Sunflowers? Really, how'd you get them to grown so tall?"
"Organic apples. I figured the plants would like them better than I did and I was right."
If you're not already recycling, recycle. It's not just cans and bottles that can be recycled. You can recycle practically anything and everything. From bottles, to plastic, to paper and cardboard, to cans, and even unwanted electronics. You'd be amazed to know how much energy savings you can do by recycling one bottle or can.
17. Only, there's a limit to recycling.
There are limits and laws, even, to what you can and cannot recyle.
"Tommy, where are you going with my mother? Put her down."
"I'm taking her to the dump. I figured I'd recycle her. She's dead anyway."
"Put her down, now. I've already called 911. Once the doctor signs the death certificate, she'll be released to the funeral home."
18. Unfortunately or fortunately, you can't recycle everything.
Recycled paper is cheaper to make than paper from wood pulp. Save a tree and use recycled paper. Moreover, don't throw out that paper, turn it over and write on the other side of it. You can use it as scrap. Matter of fact, whenever you can, use a dry erase board, instead of paper. We're talking about saving trees here and it starts with one piece of paper at a time and it starts with one person. It starts with you. Multiple that one piece of paper by all the people in the world and by all the paper that we waste in just a day, well, you get my point.
"I know you're trying to save money, as well as helping to save the planet, Tommy, but this is ridiculous. This is going too far. I'm not going to reuse your used toilet paper."
"The other side is still clean, Gloria. See?"
"Eww. Gross. Flush it, Tommy. That's just disgusting and the smell is so nasty. I'm not making you tacos anymore."
19. Save water.
Use low flow showerheads. C'mon, seriously, no one needs to take a shower that feels like a fireman is holding a fire hose on you. If the money you'll save at the end of the year by using less water isn't enough, with droughts and water shortages expected over many parts of the planet in just a few short years, the water you'll save for the rest of us should be enough to make you switch.
"Look Gloria, it's raining."
"So? Where're you going, Tommy?"
"I'm going outside to take a shower. Those low flow showerheads really suck. It takes me twice the time to rinse off the soap."
"You can't go outside naked? You'll be arrested."
20. It's not your father's car anymore.
Ready to buy a new car? Think about an alternative fuel vehicle. The electric and hybrid cars are not only cheaper to run but also better than the cars that preceded them. Even Uncle Same is ready to reward your green nature and frugal ways in using less fossil fuels with a tax credit.
"Did you hear about Tommy?"
"No, what did he do now?"
"He bought a Toyota Prius," said the first neighbor.
"Yeah, so. Don't tell me it was one of those cars that was recalled," said the second neighbor. "Did he crash it, when his brakes failed?"
"Nah, not that," said the first neighbor. "I'm mean, yeah, he did that, too, and he is suing Toyota."
"It's always something with him," said the second neighbor. "What else happened to him?"
"He used the tax credit that the government offered for driving an alternative fuel vehicle," said the first neighbor.
"So? What's wrong with that? I wish I could have taken advantage of a tax credit, when I bought my Hummer."
"Well, he hasn't filed his taxes in years," said the first neighbor.
"Oh. That sounds like Tommy," said the second neighbor.
"He's being audited."
21. Thermostat is another inexpensive way to save not only energy but also money.
Change your thermostat to a digital one instead of an analog one. You'd be surprised how inaccurate and inefficient that 1960's style thermostat was wasting your precious fuel.
"Tommy, shouldn't you turn the power off first, before you install that thermostat?"
"Nah, Gloria, this is easy. It's only three wires that when...Yeow!"
"911, what's your emergency?"
"My husband has been electrocuted. He's not breathing. I think he's dead. I would have driven him to the hospital, but I don't do my errands until Thursday and today is Tuesday."
"We'll send an ambulance, Ma'am."
"Okay, no hurry. Take your time."
Well, there you have it, my list of how anyone and everyone can go green, while not only saving some money in the process but also helping to save the environment.
Happy Earth Day everyone.