Go green and save money

|    Standard Chartered Bank    |

IS IT possible to be environmentally friendly and save money at the same time? “Going green” is quite a common phrase used lately especially since reports of a hole in the ozone layer.

There are many suggested steps that we can take to stop climate change to make our lives better. Our grandchildren and their children will thank us for living more sustainably.

Here are some tips and ideas on how you can GO GREEN and SAVE MONEY at home and at work.

Save energy to save money

– Set your air-conditioner thermostat a few degrees higher to save on cooling costs.

– Install compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).

– Unplug appliances when you’re not using them. Even when they aren’t charging anything, plugged-in cell phone, laptop and other chargers continue to draw electricity.

– Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible. As much as 85 per cent of the energy used to machine-wash clothes goes to heating the water.

– Use a drying rack or clothesline to save the energy otherwise used during machine drying.

Save water to save money

– Take shorter showers to reduce water use. This will lower your water and heating bills too. Hot water heaters are big energy and dollar guzzlers.

– Install a low-flow showerhead. They don’t cost much, and the water and energy savings can quickly pay back your investment. Decades ago, toilets used five gallons per flush, but these days more efficient models are readily available.

So-called low-flow models use less than a gallon, and work great.

– Make sure you have a faucet aerator on each faucet.

These inexpensive appliances conserve heat and water, while keeping water pressure high.

– Plant drought-tolerant native plants in your garden. Many plants need minimal watering. Find out which occur naturally in your area.

Green carpet grass lawns take a huge amount of water in dry climates, which leads to both high water bills.

Save petrol to save money and reduce pollution

– Walk or cycle to nearby places.

This saves on petrol and parking cost while improving your cardiovascular health and reducing your risk of obesity.

– Take the stairs instead of the lift.

Eat smart

– If you eat meat, add one meatless meal a week.

Meat costs a lot at the store – and it’s even more expensive when you consider the related environmental and health costs.

– Buy locally raised, humane, and organic meat, eggs, and dairy whenever you can. Purchasing from local farmers keeps money in the local economy.

Skip bottled water

– Use a water filter to purify tap water instead of buying bottled water. Not only is bottled water expensive, but it generates large amounts of container waste.

– Use a reusable aluminium water bottle.

Think before you buy

– Find used second-hand products. Check out garage sales to track down furniture, appliances and other items cheaply or for free.

– Borrow from your local libraries instead of buying personal books and movies.

– Share power tools with your friends or neighbours. This will also reduce clutter in your garage.

– Buy in bulk to save on packing and reduce pollution.

– Wear clothes that do not need to be dry-cleaned. This not only saves money but cuts down on toxic chemicals used.

– Invest in high-quality, long-lasting products. You might pay more now, but you’ll be happy when you do not have to replace them frequently.

Keep electronics out of the trash

– Donate or recycle your used cell phones, computers and other electronics and do not change them so often. These electronics contain mercury and other toxics.

Make your own cleaning products

– Making your own cleaning products not only saves money, time and packaging but takes out the chemicals and toxins used in store-bought cleaning products. All you need are baking soda, vinegar and lemon.

Reuse, Refuse and Recycle

– Look to see what items can be reused around the house before recycling or disposing of them.

You can easily turn old detergent bottles into water scoops by cutting them in half, reuse plastic bags and so forth.

– Refuse plastic bags by bringing your own shopping bags when you do your groceries. Don’t forget that every day in Brunei is “no plastic bag day”.

– Take the time to sort through your waste and recycle items that can be recycled such as old newspapers, aluminium cans and plastic bottles. Some recycling plants also pay you for your items and you can put this towards your savings.

Do try out some of these tips and enjoy savings as well as contribute positively towards our environment.

This article is for general information purposes only and while the information in it is believed to be reliable, it has not been independently verified by us. You are advised to exercise your own independent judgement with the contents in this article.