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Home Forums General Discussion Tips on “Going Green” and Saving Money

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    Hello all,

    I’ve found this site to be absolutely the best on the Internet for useful environmental living advice. I was wondering if anyone had any tips and tricks about going green and saving money. And what investments pay off in the shorter term (five yrs or less – 1 year?)


    Learn to fix things. The best way to do this is to just start fixing things that are already broken.

    Too many things are thrown out because the owner did not know how to fix it and it was cheaper to by a new one that to have it fixed professionally. I see all these shows on TV now where people are “greenafying” their homes by doing a full demo to a perfectly good home and replacing everything thing with brand new “green” products. Soooo much waste! Often the greenest thing you can do is extend the life of what you already have or revive something that someone else has already discarded. It’s also a great way to save money.

    Fixing things and selling them is also a way to make money (not just save it) and keep things out of landfills. It’s not gonna get you suburban green points like having a bank of solar panels, but taking the time to get some basic repair skill will help the environment and save you money for a lifetime.


    having no or less children is the most effective method, the unborn do not pollute


    Not having children doesn’t really cut expenses. Having them increases expenses, yes, but not having them is just going to not increase your expenses. The same goes for polution.

    Growing some of your own food is a good way to save money and live tremendously green. Its also an investment that pays off quickly (save you money on food bills) and in the long term because a vegetable garden will increase the value of your home. If you don’t have a yard, a community garden is a good option, also, you can grow just about anything in pots. You could also say growing your own food cuts health care costs, since food you grow is healthier than most of the stuff you buy.

    Driving less is another good one that pays off right away and in the long term. You save innitially on gas, and in the long term the value of your car stays higher because you put less miles on it, and you do less maintanence. Also, if you replace driving with biking or walking, you increase your health and lower health bills. You can’t beat that with a stick! When you do drive, drive the speed limit. For every 5 mph you go above 60, its like spending 20 cents more a gallon on gas. That means if you drive 75, you might as well be paying 60 cents more a gallon than you currently are!


    children pollute and so do their offspring…. 2 produce 4 produce 8 produce 16 ….. etc. etc… soon you get 6 billion !


    And then there’s the obvious:

    Changing you’re regular light bulbs to flourescents;

    Turning off the lights when you’re not in the room!

    Using a top of the sink or drip down water filter vs. bottled water (about $.3/gal.+ no plastic production or waste vs. the cost of buying, shipping and storing bottled water);

    if you do some research on line, there are some relatively inexpensive ways to convert your regular water heater system to a solar powered one, thereby reducing that part of your power bill;

    and then the little trick of adjusting your thermostat a few degrees higher in summer, and lower in winter;

    MAXIMIZE YOUR INSULATION<<I would venture to guess that this would be the single most significant thing a lot of people with older homes could do to reduce their HVAC costs;

    If your area is dry and hot, a swamp cooler is a great alternative to air conditioning. It basically runs on a fan and a pump vs. a condensing unit and blower fan, and it adds moisture to the air, to boot. I love ours!

    Check your power supply provider’s web site. A lot of energy providers give energy effeciency audits for free as a service to their cusomers to help them locate big energy wasters in their homes;

    And spend the extra money when replacing non-functional appliances. There are new products (washers, dryers, counter top ovens like, that use significantly less energy to do better work in less time;

    Use the sun whenever possible, like to dry clothes, especially towels and linnens, or even try solar baking! is a great resourse for cheep ways to bake with the sun;

    Plant a garden and some fruit trees or make a green house, then use orgnic composte that you make yourself as the fertilizer, and don’t forget to use your own reclaimed and rain water to water it. This is more of a long term, low cost solution, but very rewarding. The Humanure Handbook is a great resourse for this. Sorry I don’t have a link!

    And maybe most important, try not to think of it in dollars and cents so much. Yes, you will save money by going green. But I think the bigger point is that we create a sustainable world, one person, home, community at a time. And time is of the essence!

    It irks me, too, about much waste is produced in those retrofits. We can do better. But adding solar panels and wind mills to a home won’t do that.

    As far as the less or no babies thing, I tend to agree. Wasn’t it just in the 80’s when we had 5 billion people on the planet? When was it 4 billion? And now we’ve already exceeded 6 billion??? We need to just replace ourselves, or even slow down a bit. And adopt our orphans. At least until we learn how to compost our waste rather than flushing it down our drinking water supply.

    Hope I’ve given you some ideas you hadn’t thought of before! :)


    Water Filters enable you to use tap water instead of that pesky bottled water. is a great source for cheap water filters.


    I am finding tons of information about indoor pollution. I am amazed at just how polluted our homes really are. Does anyone have information to share? One of my favorite sites is

    I learned a lot at this site. May be it will help others here.

    Nick Rosen

    Before you purchase anything look at the packaging. Too much packaging materials or plastic? Think before you purchase it. Do you really need it or is there another brand without all that packaging?

    Puchase reusable shopping bags and refuse to take the plastic ones. Check these out

    If you do add to the population, give up the disposable diapers and buy the cloth ones…..they are better for the baby too.

    Like it was said above, grow your own garden, then preserve your harvest. I can, dry and store much produce. I stock up what we need for the winter. Canning is my favorite thing to do. Then you have all your food in glass containers instead of plastic (which in my opinion is horrible to use for anything with food…..smell it.), and if you do have power outages (which I NEVER have, as I generate my own power) the food won’t be lost as it would if it was in a freezer. Last longer too.

    Within 5 years my husband and I have the goal of not using any fuels that we have to pay for such as gas, kerosene, propane, etc. This year we started by puchasing the Neuton electric lawn mower, which is wonderful. He loves it! No toxic smells to inhale. Makes that job much more pleasant.



    I dont think anyone should be advocating having less children. Lets be real. There’s tonnes of room on this planet to support lots more people. I’m all for looking after the planet, but lets filter the propaganda from the truth here yeah?

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