Celebrate Earth Day by Changing Your Ways and Saving Some Cash

Earth Day is this Friday, April 22 and this global event has raised awareness of many environmental issues including deforestation and global warming. By “living green” you can raise the awareness of the importance of saving natural recourses and protecting the earth to those around you and you can also saving money!

In honor of Earth Day here is a list of 14 things you and your family can do to help make Earth Day every day:

1.      Have your kids make their friends’ birthday cards and bring the gift in decorated paper bags or a cool reusable bag. Kids love getting a handmade card — as do adults.

2.      Bring your own bags when you go grocery shopping.

3.      Rip out some lawn and create a garden bed and grow your own food this summer.  Your kids will also eat more veggies if they grow them themselves.

4.      Join a Freecycle group to receive and donate specific items that would otherwise be thrown away.

5.      Ditch those dreaded sandwich bags and get some washable containers or bags. I like ReUsies.

6.      Cut down on car trips and run your errands on your bike or on foot. Rusty on two wheels?

7.      Donate your gently used books and magazines to library groups at the Library. Many groups will resell your donations and the sales will support programs including story times for kids.

8.      Look for an environmental service project you can do with your children such as removing trash and non-native plants and planting trees. Volunteer Match is a great website that helps volunteers connect with local projects.

9.      Get some chickens and have fresh, free eggs daily. Get support and ideas at the Urban Chicken Blog and from your local 4-H group.

10.  Need wood chips for your garden or some firewood? Arborists often will be happy to provide it to you for free. They can also help you select and plant trees to provide privacy and shade and even years of fresh fruit. Find a certified arborist in your area through the International Society of Arboriculture.

11.  Dump your bottled-water costs. Buy snazzy metal water bottles for everyone in the family and a personal filter for your kitchen faucet, and you could save hundreds of dollars. Whole Foods has a great assortment of kid-pleasing water bottles.

12.  Replace your old light bulbs with LED bulbs. They last 15 times longer and use 75 percent less energy. Find stores with bulbs here.

13.  Expand your hand-me-down circle. Organize a clothing swap for your co-op preschool or a group of friends. Everyone brings gently used and clean kids’ clothes to your garage; parents take as many items as they donated. The rest goes to charity. You can also swap toys and books.

14.  Replace your shower-heads with low-flow models. Low-flow shower-heads can save you up to 15 percent of water-heating costs and reduce your water usage by as much as 20,000 gallons a year.

What are your favorite ways to save your family money by “going green?” Tell us in the comments.