10 Ways to Save Money and Help the Environment Too

Saving Money and the Environment

Every year on April 22, we celebrate Earth Day.  A Day to remind ourselves that there is only one planet Earth and we need to take care of her. There are lots of ways we can all help be apart of the earth day movement on this day and every day of the year. Here are 51 ways to restore our earth. 

In honor of Earth Day and my April focus on parenting on a budget, I have compiled a list of ways you can save money and help save the environment too!

This past year, being at home I have seen our bills increase, a lot – we are eating at home more (more groceries to be bought but less eating out), we are using more electricity at home between virtual schooling and lights being on, more water being used, Increased natural gas usage – home needing to be heated more hours a day, hot water, stove used more often etc. In fact when our bc hydro reconciliation happened this March, we owed an extra $750! I nearly had a heart attack.  Needless to say, I have spent a lot of time implementing ways to save money everywhere we can.

 

  1. Meal Preparation – One of the biggest ways in which we can help reduce our footprints is by stopping food waste.  It can make a huge impact and save ourselves a lot of money doing it. Plan your meals ahead of time. Some people find the meal planning services to be helpful to help them stay on budget. While those services are generally more expensive then buying the items individually, especially if you monitor flyers etc. If you just done have the time and as a result waste a lot of food then the meal kit services might be what you need.
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  2. Plant-Based Meals – Animal agriculture has a huge impact on our food system. By eating more plant-based or meatless meals we will be helping the environment and saving ourselves from the high costs of meat.  Try having meatless Mondays. There are so many more meatless options now than there were years ago. Plant-based protein has evolved a lot over the last few years. While our family has never really been a fan of plant-based protein alternatives, I have to admit we have not really tried them in the last few years to know if we like them.  We tend to just have meatless meals once or twice a week. ie. A salad night, wraps or rice bowls Modern Mama has written several blog posts in the past with meatless meal ideas, be sure to check them out!
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  3. Use Reuseable Dishes/Cutlery – invest in creating a picnic basket full of all the items you would need to eat outside. I use a bin that I keep stocked with all the eating supplies  (hand sanitizer, napkins, reusable utensils, plates, table cloth etc.)  for when we host a gathering or BBQ (its collecting some dust right now due to the pandemic restrictions but every spring I go through it and restock it. We also have a picnic backpack that I can just take and go.
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  4. Bring Your Own Bags – as I mentioned in the blog post “5 Ways to Save Money on Groceries“, bringing your own bags saves you .05 cents on every bag, while it seems small it adds up over the course of a month.  Reducing and eliminating our use of plastic bags and other single-use plastics has a huge positive impact on our environment.
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  5. Bike or Walk – cut down or eliminate emissions by biking or walking whenever possible, which will obviously save you a bundle on gas and help you get your heart rate up.
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  6. Buy Local – reduce the distance food must travel to reach your plate.  In season produce is often much cheaper from local farmers than big-chain grocery stores.  Farm-to-table businesses will give you a convenient opportunity to obtain fresh food, locally and will often deliver for FREE (min order applies). Several farm-to-table delivery businesses have started up in the last few years that aim to reduce the middle transactions and time it takes to get the product from the farmer to the consumer.  In doing this, they have a more efficient pick-up/delivery system which allows for less of a carbon footprint then big-chain grocery stores.  One such company that I did a blog post on last year on was directfood.store.  I have enjoyed being able to order many local items from one spot and have them delivered next day. It saves me driving all around to pick up these items on my own and many of these items are outside of my home town, so would not easily be able to get. I can get farm fresh eggs, craft beer, marinated meats, bannock, produce and more.  It is free to sign up and be a customer and they offer free delivery from Chilliwack to Vancouver!
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  7. Bottled Water – Think about all that money you can save by drinking water from our taps.  Think about all the plastic you will save by using reusable water bottles.  When water costs on average $2 a bottle, it is a no brainer.
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  8. Reduce your Electricity Consumption –  This is an area that I have been focusing a lot on to help our family reduce our monthly expenses. We recently cleaned out our HVAC and Dryer ducts and make sure to replace our furnace filter on a regular basis because it allows our furnace to run more efficiently and our dryers to dry faster which is a huge cost savings.  We also converted our hot water tank and our stove to gas.
    BC Hydro has a great list of 21 no-cost ways to reduce your electricity consumption. Who knew that by de-selecting the heat-dry setting on our dishwasher would save us up to $27 a year or that keeping your fridge between 2C-3C and your freezer at -18C you can save $25/year!
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  9. Reduce Water Usage – This is one of the main areas I have been focusing on, as a family.   We have upgraded our toilets – as they were phantom flushing,   ensured all our showers and faucets are not leaking and have water saving aerators, we have replaced our main water regulator and converted our electric hot water tank to a tankless unit which is saving us a lot of money on electricity and water usage.   Fortis has some great rebates as well for energy-efficient upgrades you should check out if you are looking to do any upgrades or replacements.
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  10. Pesticides –  Save the Bees and Monarch butterflies! Store-bought chemical pesticides have a negative impact on so many living things, including humans and pollinators.  Pollinators are critically important to our global food production and nutritional security.  It is estimated that pollinators directly contribute US$235-$577 billion each year, to our global food production.  40% of pollinator species  are facing extinction. (source: earthday.org). Instead of expensive, harmful pesticides try creating a natural deterrent ie. Neem Leaf, Salt spray, Onion & Garlic Spray, Eucalyptus Oil and Chrysanthemum Flower Tea.  (Source: NDTV FOOD)  You could go one step further and invest in a bee house to help encourage and bring back the helpful Mason bees.  Spring just after the frost is over, is a great time to start your bee house.

    Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post.  As always, all the opinions in this article are my own. 

     

    Tina Evans

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