On Monday, April 22, the entire planet will celebrate Earth Day. Forbes says more than one billion people across 192 countries take part in Earth Day, making it the largest day of civic action in the world. The Earth Day Network encourages people to get involved in community cleanups, work to protect endangered species, act on climate change and register to vote. There’s another everyday act you can commit to performing—and it will save you money: recycle.
Make your money go further and reduce your carbon footprint by eliminating waste and reusing items. Here are some ways to go green and save green:
Become a creative clotheshorse. Everyone likes to look good, but you don’t necessarily have to run to the department store or mall to be a fashionista. Check out your local thrift store and see what kinds of gently-used and vintage items are available. If you have clothes that have lost buttons, ripped or need patching, then get them repaired. Find a shoe repair shop to replace soles or heels. If it isn’t worth it to you to have them repaired, could it be altered in some way to be used for something else? Make quilts or blankets out of old t-shirts. Use stained clothing for smocks for painting, woodwork or auto work. Sew bags, shorts or skirts out of jeans with holes in the knees. Just try imagining a new life for your old item.
Drop disposables. Think of all the things we purchase that we later just throw away. Bottles of water, razors, napkins and shopping bags are just a few items that have more lasting, durable and, most importantly, reusable counterparts. Even the coffee you may purchase every day could be placed in your own coffee cup versus a paper version (but for more savings, consider making your coffee at home).
Repurpose regular items. Turn trash into treasure by making a coffee can into a flower pot, a child’s drum or other storage. Make wrapping paper out of paper grocery bags. Create candle holders or night lights out of glass bottles or jars. Make a loofah from by placing tiny leftover soap pieces into a small mesh bag. Organize organic waste into compost for your garden.
Don’t despair; repair. If your car is constantly in the shop getting fixed, it may feel like it would be cheaper to just buy a new car. However, the average monthly payment on a new car loan is $483 or nearly $6,000 per year, according to Edmunds. If you’re paying less than that to keep your old car on the road, than it’s probably best to keep getting it fixed. Is your computer constantly crashing? A newer model may look ideal and many are inexpensive these days. However, slow computers can often be cured by cleaning out old files, defragmenting the hard drive, removing viruses and updating your software. If you’re not sure how, get a computer repair pro to take a look and give you an estimate. Similarly, before throwing out scratched up furniture, see if it can be fixed with scratch cover polish. Or maybe it could be sanded and refinished and look brand new.
Look for more money tips by liking Know What Counts on Facebook and following Know What Counts on Twitter. For an individualized plan to maximize your money, consult your CPA. In Oklahoma, get a free referral and free 30-minute consultation at www.FindYourCPA.com.