Sunday, May 26, 2013

PODE!: 3 Easy Ways to Save Money by Going Green

Plant a tree. Switch your light bulbs. Use less water. In this day and age, there's a lot of information out there on how to use only what you need. And while going green for the sake of the environment is important, there's another compelling reason to change your habits: your wallet.

Project: Overcome Domestic Entropy is all about the little things you can do to save the planet and saving money in the process. By taking these simple steps, you could potentially save up to P40,000 a year.

I learned this from when I lived with a flatmate who had to have her cuppa in the morning. Some days, espresso is an essential to get your motor running before starting your day, but it can be expensive. Really expensive. Otherwise Starbucks wouldn't have grown to be as big as it is right now. By brewing your coffee at home, not only do you get more bang for your buck, you don't have to wait in line in the mornings for it, either.

Start small and invest in a coffee press (they start at around P750), and buy your coffee beans at your favorite coffee shop. Most of them would be more than happy to grind up the beans for you, too, just tell them what kind of equipment you use at home.

After you're done with your coffee, fry out the coffee grounds on a cookie sheet and use them to deodorize your fridge or freezer, or rub them on your hands to get rid of food prep smells.

I used to think that washing my clothes in hot water made them cleaner, since the heat would act as a sort of disinfectant. But if you want to keep your favorite red dress as bright as the day you bought it, you may want to try setting your wash cycle on cold, as it does lengthen the life of your clothes. As a bonus, it'll also save you a bit more on the electricity bill.

Save a pail or two of the wash water from the last cycle and use it to clean the bathroom to be more practical about your water consumption.

My dad used to do this a lot, and I'm glad to have gotten my love for horticulture from him. Instead of spending a load of money on tomatoes, potatoes, herbs, and the lot, why not try growing your own if you have space in your garden? They aren't particularly complicated to grow, and for every peso you buy in seeds you get back at least three times what you put out - as long as it's done right.

If you live in a smaller space, like a condo or a row house, you can still save money by growing an herb garden instead.

If you're not the type to use carrot tops, kamote tops, and leaves of the root veg you plant into a green smoothie, you can always use them for mulch for your next gardening project.

So when mucking around Manila, keep these tips in mind the next time you go out for a coffee run, or stick your clothes in the washing machine, or spend P150 on a pack of organic basil. Mother Earth will thank you for it, and your wallet will, too.

Just mucking around Manila,
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