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Happy World Environment Day! Learn 6 Frugal Ways to Go Green

by on June 5, 2012

By Samantha Savory

Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972, World Environment Day started with the purpose to promote caring for the earth, water, ozone layer and climate change. Today marks the 40th anniversary for the international green-themed day which is celebrated in many ways around the world including everything from hosting tree planting events to green concerts and bike marathons.

This year’s World Environment Day theme is Green Economy: Does it include you? What does that mean? That means how can you get involved and help promote environmentally friendly actions! We know that our PowerUsers main goal is to reduce spending and manage your finances better, but what if you could do that AND help make the environment a healthier place? Today’s blog post is dedicated to just that – learn how you can change your day-to-day habits that will help reduce climate change without costing you money with these 6 frugal & Eco-friendly tips:

1. Skip the paper and plastic eating utensils – By using paper and plastic plates and eating utensils, you are not only spending more when it comes to your grocery budget but you are also adding to your personal carbon footprint. Instead, opt for reusable plates and utensils. It will save you money and will help reduce waste in land mills across the globe.

2. Use cloth re-usable bags for shopping –Los Angeles is one of a few California municipalities that has agreed to ban plastic bags.  After realizing that L.A. alone went through an estimated 2.7 billion plastic grocery bags per year, people started to take notice to the environmental affects human shopping habits are having on earth.  Take a note from L.A., Malibu, San Jose, Long Beach and Berkeley — whether you are shopping at the mall or the grocery store, instead of getting disposable plastic bags at the end of every purchase, bring a cloth bag to carry your new purchased items.  They usually range in price from 99 cents to $2.00 and all you have to do is keep them in the trunk of your car so every time you go shopping, you can easily access them. The less plastic bags floating around the earth, the less harm sea creatures and other animals have to face.

3. Donate old clothes – You are always doing better than someone, even if you do not know that person.  If you are in the process of doing your spring/summer wardrobe cleaning, donate your old clothes to your local Salvation Army or good will.  This way, you will be helping others less fortunate, reducing the waste you put in the trash and may even make a buck or two.

4. Use LED Bulbs in your home – This will not only help you save electricity and eliminate waste but it will reduce your electricity bill each month! Energy efficient light bulbs like compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs and LED bulbs are the best eco-friendly options and they last several months longer than your standard light bulb.

5.  Skip the bottled water – Instead use a water filter to purify your water and purchase a re-usable water bottle to take with you on the go.

6.  Recycle old electronics – The average American gets a new cell phone every 18 to 24 months, making old phones the leader when it comes to waste and pollution that is harming the environment. Our cell phones contain hazardous materials like lead, mercury, cadmium, brominated flame retardants and arsenic.  To help prevent this waste and to save money, check online or your local electronic retail chain to see if you can resell you phone.  If that doesn’t work, donate it to Call2Recycle, a national non-profit organization that offers Eco-friendly drop boxes for you to deposit your phone to. In return, the phones will be recycled and re-used.

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