4.22.19

Be kind to Mother Earth (and your savings!)

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Earth Day

Earth Day is the perfect time for simple changes that protect natural resources and save you money.

What’s good for Mother Earth is often good for your bank account, too! Here are three ways to reduce your use of natural resources that will also cut down on your expenses.

Break the paper towel habit

Paper towels require resources beyond the trees used for pulp. The environmental costs include fuel for the equipment used to cut and transport the trees; the energy and water used in the production of paper towels; the plastic for packaging; and the fuel to transport them to consumers. After all that, used paper towels end up in landfills!

Why call out paper towels? The U.S. spends more on paper towels than any other country in the world. On average, in 2017, we spent $17.50 per capita each year. Multiply that by four people and it adds up to $70 per year. If you use more than average, the cost is even greater.

To reduce use of paper towels, try these alternatives:

  • Use cloth dinner napkins.
  • Buy cleaning cloths that can be laundered.
  • Instead of tossing old kitchen towels, cut them into cleaning rags.
  • Stash your paper towel roll where you don’t see it and keep a supply of cleaning cloths visible and accessible in a jar or basket.

Conserve to reduce water bills

Water from municipal systems must undergo treatment that requires energy and disinfecting chemicals before reaching your home. If your water is supplied by a well, the pump uses electricity and draws water from the aquifer. In both cases, waste water must be treated.

Here are ways to cut down on water use and out-of-pocket expenses:

  • Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth.
  • Fix leaky faucets and toilets. A leaky toilet can waste 20 gallons of water a day!
  • Modify your routine if you let the water run while continually while washing dishes. Consider a double-basin sink or using two dishing washing tubs—one for cleaning and one for rinsing.
  • When replacing faucets, showerheads and toilets, choose low-flow options.
  • Choose a high-efficiency model when it’s time to replace your washing machine.

Compost to cut down on fertilizer costs

Composting at home has two benefits: it keeps plant-based food waste out of landfills and it supplies organic matter that can be used to fertilize flowers, vegetables and trees.

You’ll realize cost savings by reducing or eliminating the need for commercial fertilizers.

Composting can be done at any home, even apartments. A kitchen bin with an odor filter may be all you need to break down food scraps like eggshells and vegetable peels. If you have yard, try a compost heap or bin; here’s a quick guide for easy composting.

Show planet earth some love this Earth Day and save some money, too!

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