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Five green lifestyle tips to save you money

Want to save money and help the planet? These five lifestyle tips can help you cut down on expenses while reducing your energy output.

Here are some ways to cut down on both expenses and energy through green choices in your home and lifestyle.

  1. The right bulb

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), LEDs use at least 75 percent less energy‡ and last about 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Remove your inefficient incandescent light bulbs and replace them with longer-lasting, energy-efficient LED bulbs. How do LED bulbs impact your wallet? Well, according to The Simple Dollar, the total cost‡ of one LED bulb over 25,000 hours at $0.13 per kilowatt-hour is $30, while an incandescent bulb will run you about $180—and that’s just for one bulb. Switching over each bulb to an LED may save you hundreds of dollars per year. Because they do not need to be replaced as often as incandescent bulbs, you can save money by using LEDs.

  1. Turn off and unplug your tech

By leaving electronics plugged in around the clock, you could be adding nearly 10 percent of energy usage‡ to your monthly utility bill, notes the DOE. Unplug electronics you do not use often, whether it’s TVs, cellphone chargers or small appliances. Take this one step further by plugging electronics into power strips so you can turn off many devices at once to cut down energy consumption more conveniently.

  1. Energy tips for your home office

As many of us our adjusting to our new home office, here are some tips‡ to keep your energy bill low while working at home:

  • Use natural light – Chances are your home office has more natural light than your corporate office or cubicle, so when the sun is out, turn off the lights, open the curtains and let the sun shine through.
  • Optimize your computer – Check your computer’s “sleep” settings to make sure your computer is in energy savings mode when you take breaks throughout the day and power down completely when you are finished at night.
  1. Drink green

Consuming water is a necessity, but try to avoid bottled water, which uses resources and creates waste. Drinking tap water or water filtered in an at-home system, can drastically decrease waste output and the cost of purchasing drinks to-go. Plastic bottles, according to the Michigan Water Stewardship Program, take about 450 years to biodegrade‡. Worse, plastic produces toxic fumes if they’re burned. It’s better for you, your wallet and the planet to drink from reusable containers.

  1. Spend less time in your car

Because many of us are practicing social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s likely you are already practicing this tip, Reducing the amount of time you spend behind the wheel can help you save money and use less gasoline. Less driving can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide your car emits. In the future, when we start retuning to more normal activities, you can try to use public transit, biking or walking, rather than relying on your car for every trip. Not only are these commuting options cheaper, but they are also environmentally friendly (and beneficial for your personal health).

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