How have you prospered by going green?

There are dozens of ways you can actually save money by making small changes to live an earth-friendly life. My original concept of the "Latte Factor" -- the idea that all the little things we spend money on over the course of the day really add up -- has evolved into the "Litter Factor", the idea that wasting money and hurting the planet go hand in hand.

For example, if you buy a water bottle every day for a year, you’re spending about $500 on water. Cutting out this little habit will not only save you a lot of money, but you’re also saving the planet tons of trash. Or, have a "veggie night" once a week and save on your grocery bill. Make it a habit, and you’ll save over $300 a year.

What are some ways that you can save money by going green?

Yahoo! Canada Answers staff: David is the author of Go Green, Live Rich (Random House):

40 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Or as the old saying goes: "Take care of the nickels and dimes and the dollars will look after themselves!"

    People underestimate the value that little actions hold. If you have 20 million people each saving that bottle a day for a year, it adds up.

    Considering that most companies are selling you bottled municipal water it's pretty silly to really spend the money isn't it? Not to mention the tonnage of plastic one would save.

    And never mind JUST having veggies one night a week why not GROW them in your backyard? Imagine if we all had a little 10 x 10 ft plot of our fav. veggies or better yet a wonderful herb garden.

    We can each do a little every day and it all adds up to a lot in the end. I mean people should know by now all the little things they can do to conserve from turning down your heat to switching bulbs and conserving water and using public transportation and mostly, making our concerns known to manufacturers and government so everyone reduces waste and please, please RECYCLE and do not pour chemicals and drugs down your drains and toilets!!!

    Use non-phosphonated detergents for laundry and dishwashers too. Why this isn't mandatory in this day and age I'll never know.

    Baking soda, vinegar and a little dishsoap makes the perfect cleaning solution for most surfaces. So many sites online to concoct these mixtures that we really should try shouldn't we? Especially in our kitchen who wants to use chemicals?

    Please people, do not pour motor oil into the sewers either...this goes right into the lakes.

    And I must say I REALLY agree with the concept of WORK WHERE YOU LIVE.

    I think the price of gas will either force this issue or should in future. This is really what is destroying our air quality, and costing taxpayers a fortune (salt/snow removal/road repairs!!!) This is where I, personally, have saved a FORTUNE over the years whereas I know people who live to feed their vehicles for the most part.

    Ditto on the cellphone usage too. I know people don't think much about cellphones and you may be asking how does it relate to "green" but it's INSANE the amount of money people spend on cellphones and when you consider all the "noise" that all these silent signals give off, and the unfortold consequences to our health of this wireless but signal-full world we live in, all I can say is TG I'm still a land-line person as this saves us a ton of cash. I have no use for one working from home but we do keep one for emergencies if the kids go somewhere that we can't reach them otherwise, and hubby has one for work so he's always reachable, and so we just top the spare off on a pay as you go basis for now. When the kids are older they'll have to pay for their own if they want one! The biggest crime to me is letting payphones disappear from the planet. You may need one some day and it won't be there.

    I must say that necessity is the mother of invention. People seem to always find a way to adapt to their environment, and mother nature is hurting and God Bless the people who hear her call and are kind to her!!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Our family has saved a significant amount on our electrical bill by switching to compact fluorescent bulbs, cold water for washing and turning off our appliances when we don't need them.

    When talking about how this will benefit the planet we first have to realize that climate change is a constant. There have been many periods in Earths history when the temperature was far warmer than today and ocean levels significantly higher as well. Climate change is a complex area of research in which we actually know so little about what is going on. Of what we do know, very little gets out to the general public.

    Most people know about the relation of carbon dioxide and rising temperatures. The Sun emits what is referred to as "Short Wave Radiation", which is visible light and UV radiation. The Earth absorbs this and emits it as "Long Wave" infrared radiation. The carbon dioxide and other green house gases absorb this long wave radiation and scatter it in all directions, a good portion of it back to the surface. This means that less energy is lost and therefore warmer temperatures.

    There are more dangerous greenhouse gases, such as Methane (cow farms are a large source) which are more efficient greenhouse gases. Warmer temperatures causes a problem because there are large reservoirs of Methane in some regions with permafrost which could be released if the groung thaws.

    Melting gaciers could pose a problem as well. If they melt fast enough the ocean currents could stall (because of fresh water being less dense than salt water). This could cause a decrease in polar lattitudes leading to a "mini" ice age.

    This next problem deals with planes. Their contrails are so extensive that they reduce the amount of light that gets through. The impact of this was not fully realized until the grounding of all U.S. planes for the three days in September 2001. Light levels rose and so did the temperatures (by an average 2 degrees accross the States if I remember correctly).

    Our impact is not completely understood, and due to climate change naturally occuring, we don't know to what extent we actually contribute.

    I personally believe we are contributing to it, we have yet to discover a situation where the temperature has increased this quickly as a natural occurence.

    This is only a small portion of what has been found, but as the first point I brought up demonstrates, if we continue to increase our carbon output there will be consequences, but we don't know with absolute certainty what those consequences will be.

    The best advice I can give is to reduce your carbon output, do your own research on the topic, don't believe what you hear at face value, and don't believe what you hear a politician say (very few, if any, of them know why the problem is occuring and are trying to grab votes).

  • 1 decade ago

    I used to eat out during weekdays, which cost me a lot, and it also generated a lot of waste, through packaging, etc. Now I make my own lunch. Now, sure, it's a pain sometimes, but not only am I saving a lot of money, but I've found that I've become more interested in food and cooking. Because of that, I've found that I am able to buy better quality food for lunch. Instead of eating garbage from fast food joints, I can have a really great meal, if not at lunch, then at dinner, when I have more time to prepare.

    I've also found that I enjoy shopping for groceries and cooking with my girlfriend. I guess it'll be hard for most people to believe, but when we cook something together, it tastes better, and the whole experience turns out to be more than it seems to be.

    You know, going green is not just about saving money. I guess it sounds pretentious and a little patronizing, but if you go green, you're going for a better lifestyle that concerns more than the environment.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I reckon going Green is a little similar to believing in Santa if you believe it will do some good by making the person happy.

    As for not buying water in bottles we could save a small fortune as the water out here in Eastern SK is not fit to drink and we would almost certainly have serious health issues and die young.

    The big issue with water in clear plastic bottles is BPA. Denmark BANNED plastic bottles and drinks in metal cans years ago. All bottles are recycleable glass I believe less energy is used than washing and transporting the empties.

    As for low energy bulbs there are serious issues with heavy and very rare metals bieng wasted.

    Hydrogen cars are the biggest joke of the lot as the cost of making hydrogen is enormous, although GW Bush thinks Nuclear power could be used for making the hydrogen (and his bombs no doubt).

    I am afraid that the only serious way to be greener is to use less energy by moving closer to your work and walking to work.

    Getting up with the sun and go to bed when it gets dark no TV or Internet. Oh dont forget the garden and the hundred mile diet, shopping with the walking distance diet.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Cashiers are often surprised when they see how low my grocery bill is after they put through so many items....and then they realize it's because they are mainly fruits, vegetables, tofu, and nuts....AND they're usually organic!

    Not taking the elevator to the fifth floor of my apartment and walking instead of driving has also helped my physical health, since school has been keeping me from the gym these days.

    I try not to buy a lot, and if I do it's usually a coffee in my reusable mug that saves me money and doesn't generate waste.

    I also save money and emissions by not using the dryer in my apartment building.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Do we save a "lot" of money by going green? I don't really think so.

    Bringing my own cup to Tim Hortons saves me 10 cents a cup. Bringing me from about 700 dollars a year on coffee to 690. Nothing really. But it does save about 600 paper cups going to a landfill. For about ZERO effort. (and yes, even during roll up the rim!)

    Bringing my own grocery bags.

    At my grocery store it's 5 cents per bag.

    I probably use about 5 bags per week, give or take.

    So...what? 25 bucks a year...give or take.

    I've had reusable bags for about 3 years now, that someone gave me. So, 75 dollars so far.

    That's not a lot of money, but it is 600 paper cups and 260 plastic bags. And these are things that don't cost ME anything, in effort, time or money.

    I'm not about to start a homestead or grow my own vegetables, I don't have the time for it or the inclination. But it's the little things that add up. That doesn't always equal money for me.

  • Ethel
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    Obama is not the Messiah, that would be Jesus, although I'm sure you're being sarcastic. No green energy company is prospering. I have a degree in environmental science and can attest to that. In fact, these green companies have caused numerous environmental problems. Do you have any idea who and how all that glass sitting at Solyndra will be cleaned up? Also wind turbines and solar arrays can be disastrous for wildlife.

  • 1 decade ago

    I don't feel I've done as much as I truely can... I walk to work most days, have invested in compact florecent lightbulbs, and invested in a few power bars so that I can shut down my "ghost" power products (like my T.V., V.C.R, stereo, microwave, computer set-up, and the like). I try to pack a lunch of work every day, using my "WRAP-N-MAT" for sandwiches instead of platic wrap or plastic sandwich bags. I have a stainless steel canteen kit that I use for cool items, and I have a set of "To-Go Ware" bamboo utensils so that I don't use plastic ones that fill the landfill (I bought all these items at I use cloth bags, and recycled plastic totes for my grocery shopping, and cotton sacks for my produce instead of plastic. I used to buy a bottle of water everyday for work, but have since bought a reusable water bottle that I fill from our water cooler at home and work, and by doing this I save ($780/year plastic bottles, less the $36/year cooler bottles) OVER $700 a year! Wow...until now I hadn't bothered with the math...

    I have also been reading books about homesteading and self-sufficient lifestyle to get ideas on how to implement better ways into my existing lifestyle. I know that I still have a fair ways to go, but with each new baby step change I make, I get closer to bettering myself, my family, AND the environment.

  • Choqs
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    First thing is that I have stopped using hot water in my washer. The clothes are just as clean using cold.

    I also keep my thermostat turned down to 65 and wear a sweater if I'm cold.

    Unfortunately I live in a very small village and the well water makes me sick so we are drinking bottled water. I do though remove the caps and sort them and take them in to the recycle place in the nearest city along with my cans, cardboard and anything else I don't throw in the trash. I have a garden and a composter so most of my scraps can go there and my plants love it.

    I walk or bike to most places but I will admit that my other half couldn't care less, and as a farmer's son you'd think he would. I have a brother who is and environmental consultant as well as one who is a biologist along with his wife, all involved in saving our planet and so I do try.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm not really sure I've saved a lot by composting, but I've been doing it for years and love to be able to spread my compost each spring without have to go and get a lot of chemical fertilizers for my garden. And it's so convenient! I know a lot of community are adding the wet recycling, but by keeping my own compost out it doesn't get as smelly and it has definitely reduced the amount of garbage we've put on the curbside.

    My other huge contribution to being green was cloth diapers when my children were little. Honestly, I was forced into it because there little butts couldn't tolerate paper, but again it greatly reduced garbage. Although the water consumption went up.

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