Save Money by Going Green-Kiplinger

Kip Tips


Save Money by Going Green

Cameron Huddleston

Think being environmentally friendly is expensive? Think again.



As I write this, my daughter's preschool class is marching in honor of Earth Day at the park a few blocks away with signs like "We Compost" and "We Have a Rain Barrel." Environmental awareness is a big part of the curriculum at her Montessori school. They also recycle and plant vegetables that they eat at snack time.

Their environmental efforts also save the school money. They water plants with water from the rain barrel rather than turning on a hose and running up the water bill. Several seed packets and a few tomato plants produce plenty of veggies at a fraction of the cost of buying them at the grocery store. And I'm encouraged to pack my daughter's lunch in reusable plastic containers rather than sandwich bags -- which saves me money.

Sure, some green products are more expensive than their non-environmentally friendly counterparts. But going green doesn't have to break your budget. In fact, it can be quite budget friendly, as you can see from my daughter's school.

For example, if you leave your car in the garage and bike to work instead, you can save money. To see how much, use our tool.

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You can save hundreds of dollars a year in household energy bills, thousands of gallons of water and thousands of pounds of carbon-dioxide emissions with some smart moves and a small investment in energy-efficient products. See 13 Ways to Trim Energy Use and 16 Ways to Stop Wasting Water for ideas.

You can get a tax credit through 2010 for certain energy-efficient home improvements, such as installing new windows and doors, certain insulation projects, roofs and high-efficiency water heaters. And through 2016 you can get a credit for 30% of the cost -- with no limit -- of geothermal heat pumps, solar panels, solar water heaters, small wind-energy systems and fuel cells. See Slash Your Utility Bills: Power Up on Your Own for details.

Coupon Sherpa -- one of our favorite sources of paperless coupons -- also has a great Eco Frugal Life Guide with loads of tips on decreasing your carbon footprint while lowering your bills.



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