Free To Choose Network entertains, educates and inspires with its compelling stories of people from around the world improving their lives through freedom and hard work.
If you could choose between saving yourself money and saving the environment, which would you choose? The good news is one doesn't cancel out the other.
Saving your family money doesn't have to come at the expense of the environment. In fact, money-saving tricks are often better for your budget and the world around you. Everybody wins.
Here's a look at nine brilliant yet easy-to-implement "green" DIYs that can save you big bucks.
Close your closet doors
This one is so simple it's ridiculous. Closing your closet doors can reduce the square footage you need to heat or cool, saving you about $50 a year on your utility bills.
Recycle, upcycle and freecycle
"Old" is the new "new." Instead of sending old appliances, furniture, electronics and household items off to the dump, pass them on — or, if you're looking for an item yourself, consider going secondhand. Offer up your goods to friends and family or ask for what you need, or check thrift stores and websites like www.freecycle.org, which connects people to things for free.
Give your dishwasher a break
Tired of all those sippy cups filling up your dishwasher? Institute a one-cup-a-day policy to reduce the number of dishes that pile up and cut down on the number of times you have to run (and unload) the dishwasher. You'll not only save on your utility bill, you'll significantly reduce your water usage each day. If you really want to give your dishwasher the day off, fill the sink with soapy water and let your kids do the work.
You may think it takes a lot of water to grow an apple tree or even a head of broccoli, but do you know how much water it takes to raise a cow? The fact is it actually requires a lot more money to raise livestock than produce. Skipping animal products conserves thousands of gallons of water each year, not to mention saving you hundreds on your grocery bill annually.
Turn off the oven
Using your oven and range in the summer not only uses a lot of power during months when energy costs are at a premium, but they heat your house. Make the most of your slow cooker during the warmer months. It takes less power and doesn't heat the entire room. Or avoid the heat all together and serve up a slew of crunchy, delicious salads for dinner. Exploring the world of raw cooking can not only teach you energy-efficient and environmentally friendly ways to cook, but you'll be fueling your body with the best of what nature has to offer.
Of all the things you frequently throw away, there are plenty of simple ways to swap them out for reusable ones. Get each child his own lunchbox instead of using paper bags and use leftover containers instead of plastic zip baggies. Use dish towels instead of paper towels and wash rags with cleaner instead of disposable cleaning wipes. And use rechargeable batteries instead of disposable ones. Not only will you save money overall by thinking reusable, you're saving space in the landfill and reducing your footprint.
Beyond the benefits of saving money, lessening our impact on the environment isn't just good for your family, it's good for families all over the world. Check out these videos from Free To Choose Network to educate your family about the various ways you and your family can save money and help the environment.
Lindsay is a Certified Assertiveness Coach and spiritual teacher helping women solve their own problems, meet their own needs, and follow their inner guidance by listening to the lessons their emotions teach. Learn more at www.LindsayMaxfield.com.