Money in Your Pocket?

by Handsome Matt

My good friend Ben Heili asked an important question regarding the post “do something.”

How does this come about?

Now the rubber has to meet the road. The gauntlet has been thrown down in challenge and I’m happy to meet it.

Simple things to change the world:

Use fluorescent bulbs: They equal $30 a year in savings, and last on average about three years. Companies like Phillips are even working towards making them even more efficient (click here). And hardware stores typically have recycling facilities available to take care of these bulbs.

Buy Ceiling Fans: A bit pricer I know, but ceiling fans in rooms account for up to four degrees cooling in a room at a fraction of the cost of air conditioning. This means that you need to spend less months and days of the year with your A/C running, which equates to less energy used, smaller bills, AND more money in your pocket.

Start Using Glassware: Glass is one of the easiest materials to reuse and recycle. It melts down,or can be sanitized and used again. Basically if you’re buying beer, buy glass bottles instead of cans. Added bonus: You look more sophisticated drinking beer from a bottle instead of a can.

  • corollary to this: Go one step further and drink draft beer! The glassware is washed and reused, and the kegs are washed and reused. The only downside is you appear like a “beer snob” from time to time

Drink tap water: America has the cleanest water in the world. There is no reason beyond unnecessary and neurotic fears to drink bottled water. And think of it this way, a few pennies to quench your thirst or a few bucks?

Zeroscape (or xeriscape) Your Lawn: Want to be the landscaping bees knees? Then do this: plant drought resistant, slow growing native species in your yard instead of grass. It will look nice no matter what the weather, you’ll never need to cut or trim it beyond once every few years, and you won’t waste water on grass. Added bonus: Hot Saturdays can be spent doing something important like grilling out, napping, or having a few cold ones instead of mowing the lawn.

Buy local grown, local manufactured: Until we can change zoning laws to allow homes and businesses to be within walking distance, the best way to lower car emissions is to buy locally grown or produced items. They travel less distance, and tend to be fresher. Some of the produce is also organic, just a little extra “feel good” for ya!

Turn off your computer at night: You’re not using it, so why is it wasting your money? Besides, it’s good to let those delicate, heat sensitive chips cool down. Plus due to the nature of Windows, lots of programs leave bits of phantom code running even after they’ve been turned off. Shutting down your computer erases those bits of code, making your system run faster and better.

Notice I made no suggestions of turning down the heat or to stop driving. Nobody really wants to turn down the heat, and due to how American cities are laid out we really can’t stop driving, yet. These ideas will be addressed in our long term goals and ideals.

Check it yourself:

ODNR On Glass Recycling

Time Article on Local Grown Food

Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project

Computing Unplugged on Turning Off Your Computer

Microsoft on Turning Off Your Computer