We all could use more ways to save money. And why not conserve the earth while doing it? Here are a few ways you can conserve energy — and cut expenses — by being eco-friendly.
<strong>Green your office technology.</strong> Invest in <a href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/2010/09/30/going-green-start-with-your-carbon-foot-%E2%80%9Cprint%E2%80%9D/"><strong>eco-friendly technology such as printers</strong></a> that offer automatic double-sided printing, to save paper, and <a href="http://www.lowes.com/pl_Appliances_4294937007__s?Ns=p_product_quantity_sold|1&Ntt=energy+star&cm_sp=Appliances-_-HP_Area_2_Rot_1-_-20_Off_Whirlpool_Maytag_KitchenAid_Energy_Star_Or_10_Off_Other_Energy_Star_Appliances_Shop&cm_cr=Homepage+1.2-_-Web+Activity-_-Homepage+A2+Activity+10.20.10-_-HomePage_Area2-_-10602_3_HERO_R_SHOPAPPLIANCES&cm_mmc=search_google-_-Appliances-_-Energy%20Star%20General-_-energy%20star%20appliances" target="_blank"><strong>Energy Star appliances</strong></a>, which cut down on energy usage, thus saving on energy bills.
<strong>Use electronic correspondence. </strong><a href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/2010/12/20/how-to-entertaining-on-a-budget/?show=2"><strong>Fancy event invites</strong></a>, letters, documents, and other things that typically involve paperwork could be done without using paper, which cuts down on expenses for printing, ink, mailing, and processing. Services such as <a href="https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/marketingweb?cmd=_home-general&nav=0&kw=AGID_US_GSR1_TM_PPGNGen_EX_Head_KWID_KYWD_ADID_3855259358&mplx=AGID_US_GSR1_TM_PPGNGen_EX_Head_KWID_KYWD_ADID_3855259358&crlp=3855259358&mpch=ads&mplx=3484-98128-2056-93"><strong>PayPal</strong></a> can be used to conserve paper payments or printed checks and still et the job done.</p>
<strong>Lessen your carbon footprint via carpooling or public transportation. </strong>With gas prices hitting highs, who wouldn't want to find ways to trim costs? Usually the cost of public transit or carpooling with a coworker can be a lot less expensive than driving your car to work everyday, which not only means more gas money from your pocket but also adds to your city's air pollution.<strong> </strong></p>
<strong>Green your business or home and take advantage of savings. </strong>Use <a href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/2010/05/06/low-cost-eco-friendly-design-options-for-your-home/"><strong>low-cost eco-friendly design elements </strong></a>such as special filters, insolation or programmable thermostats to conserve<strong> </strong>energy and cut costs.</p>
<strong>Invest in a hybrid or more fuel-efficient car. </strong>Many<a href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/2011/01/04/11-eco-friendly-cars/"><strong> hybrid cars are better on gas and there are some car models</strong></a>, that can mean mileage for your buck every mile, much better than a gas-guzzling model.
<strong>Order or buy only what you can eat at the time. </strong>To order an appetizer, a meal and a drink and then have no room to eat it all, or buying too many groceries only to have them spoil, often adds to the trash and disposal woes of many communities. Instead of ordering the whole pie, how about a slice? Budgeting your meals and buying what you know you'll eat not only saves money but helps to cut down on unnecessary waste.
<strong>Keep silverware and plateware in the office. </strong>Oftentimes we use plastic cutlery and plates with our takeout that doesn't break down well for recycling. Bringing your own silverware or plateware can cut down on waste and you won't have to keep replacing it. You can wash and reuse.
<strong>Bring your own lunch and use recyclable containers.</strong> Making your own instead of ordering a $10 lunch can definitely save pennies, but also, when you make your own lunch in recyclable containers, you help to ensure that plastics won't end up polluting an ocean or river near you.
<strong>Buy second-hand technology or swap with acquaintances or friends. </strong>Okay, don't gasp. Technology can be the most fast-paced and competitive when it comes to change and keeping up with the latest. But if you really don't need the new bells and whistles, why not buy a refurbished cell phone or a used computer? Many are in great condition, are less expensive, and you won't be contributing to the tons of waste created by discarded gadgets.
<strong>Cut the bottled water and Starbucks habit and bring your own to work.</strong> For as much as you're paying for bottled water or coffee, you could bring your own filtered water or favorite brew in your own environmentally-friendly bottle that you can reuse. Not only do you save dollars, but you cut the waste.
<strong>Use beauty, grooming, and cleaning products that offer 2-in-1 or 3-in-1 benefits</strong>, such as all-purpose eco-friendly cleaners, conditioning shampoos, combination beauty bars and other 3-in-1 cosmetics. This cuts costs as well as the amount of packaging, bottling, and chemicals that often contributes to land and air pollution.