Happy Earth Day! 5 Easy (and Free!) Ways to Protect the Environment

Income and Investments
How would you like to save some serious cash, get healthy, and do some good for the earth?
Sounds awesome, right?
With Earth Day here, I want to show you that you can make a difference and build your finances. Don’t believe me? Here are 5 ways you can save lots of green by going green!

Start a garden.

One dream we had when we were house hunting was to have a family garden and grow some of our own food. We had a container garden back at our townhouse and even though it was tiny, we loved picking tomatoes and peppers right outside our front door.
The great news is that pretty much everybody can have a garden (even if you think you have a black thumb).
The key is knowing your garden spot and your skill level. Container gardens are a fantastic way to start as you have a lot of control with the soil. If you’ve never gardened before go with easy to maintain plants like herbs and peppers.
If you really want to expand, set aside a spot in your front or back yard and prep this week after work. You can then grab some seedlings and plant them this weekend. If you are more ambitious, you can start with seeds indoors and then transplant them when they are stronger and can resist pests.
Gardens are not only a fun way to relax, but they can save you some good money. Instead of buying bags of mixed greens every week, you can pick exactly what you need minutes before you eat. (Plus you avoid food waste that can come with those big bags!)

Reuse your kitchen scraps.

Want to make your veggie garden to really shine? Want some fantastic organic material to feed your plants and build up your soil?
Create your own rich compost by saving your kitchen scraps (minus dairy and meat) and start a compost pile or bin outside in the backyard. You can have a micro one in an apartment right under your sink!
When you mix the scraps with coffee grinds, you can develop some fantastic material. For those worried, a healthy compost pile will have a nice earthy smell as it breaks down. Big savings here as organic fertilizer and soil builders can set you back a pretty penny at the store.

Recycle

Speaking of kitchen scraps, since you’re already going green with compost, reduce your trash even further by recycling. Stash away those bottles, cartons, and amazon boxes (I know you have them) for recycling instead of tossing them into the garbage bin.
It was a chore at first, but it’s now became second-nature to us. Now our garbage bins take almost three weeks to fill.

Skip the gym, go outdoors

Gyms can be a wonderful place to get in shape (especially in the winter), but it’s not the only place. You can get some vitamin D and a solid workout by switching locations.
Enjoy the beautify of a sunny day and get to know your area by biking, walking, or jogging around your neighborhood.
Pass on the monthly gym membership and still have some accountability by corralling your friends to train together for an event like a 5k or play some games on the weekends. During college, a few friends and I got together to play racquetball for a few hours on Friday.

Watch your water

And you know I have to finish off with a mention about gardens again.
Instead of dragging out the hose to water your plants (and getting a big bill from your city), make good use of the rain. If your town allows it, install a rain barrel to collect the water.
When you need to use it, go ahead, knowing that it’s good for the environment and you’re saving some cash.
Bet you didn’t know that your garden could almost become a savings account.

Thoughts on saving money and the earth

There you have it, a few of my favorite ways to help the environment and reduce our expenses.
I’d love to hear from you – how do you like to save money while still being green?

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