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Going green is more than just a fad. When taken seriously, small changes can have a big impact on the global environment. Saving water, polluting less, and creating fewer emissions all add up to prolonging the health of our world.

Fortunately, going green can also be good for your wallet. Saving money can go hand-in-hand with doing better for the environment.

Here are some ideas for going green while also saving money and investing.

How to Invest in a Green Future

There is no doubt that “going green” and exercising a bit of frugality are all the rage in the current economic and social conditions. As a society we have for years been guilty of consummate consumption with little concern how our actions impacted the environment or our financial future.

Sadly it has taken the current state of the economy to open some people’s eyes to the fact that we must change the way we live and how we spend our money. Of course not all people have been racking up debt, neglecting their savings and forgetting the fact that future generations must live on this planet.

Whether you have been practicing financial and environmentally responsible efforts for years or are just now awakening to the need to change your ways, we can all benefit from the following tips that could help your money grow and save the planet.

Alternative Energy Companies

For long term investments look into alternative energy companies. The price of fuel is has been slowly creeping up and no one will quickly forget how high it can go after paying $5 or more for a gallon of gas in the not so recent past. Investing in companies that are working on alternative energy sources will likely not pay off in the short term but may prove profitable within the next ten years.

Green Stocks

If you want your money to work toward your environmental goals invest in green stocks. You may be interested in specific renewable energy industries, sustainable companies or clean technology. By investing in a cause you believe in you show your are supporting companies that are acting in environmentally friendly ways.

Green Startup Companies

Support green start up companies. As previously stated everyone is going green and many new businesses have jumped on the bandwagon to provide products or services that will have a positive (or at least less negative) impact on the environment. As will all investments you will have to carefully research start up companies to determine the level of risk associated with these investments.

Alternative Transportation

Consider investing in various alternative transportation options. Again, as consumers worry over the price of gasoline and diesel fuels in addition to concerns with air pollution, many companies that provide alternative transportation may increase in value.

Socially Responsible Investing

Socially responsible investing should not limit your ability to make your money grow. If you are unsure where to invest your money, consider seeking professional guidance from an investment advisor. An experienced advisor can help you implement an investment strategy that will not only match your social responsibility but also maximize your financial return.

These are just a few tips that can help you do your part for the environment and secure your financial future. Keep in mind that returns may not be as large as mainstream investments however knowing that you are investing for the greater good can provide personal satisfaction.

How to Save Money with Solar Energy

Solar thermal energy has been harnessed for quite some time now, with records of solar collectors going back more than one hundred years. As with many alternative energy solutions, various oil crises have increased interest in the power of solar energy which not only has absolutely zero carbon emissions but can also be customized to work in many different environments.

How Solar Panels Work

Domestic solar thermal systems come in a few different forms, although in the west they are usually made of a solar collector mounted onto the roof, with a thin dark cover to reduce heat loss, which is connected to a coil containing a water and glycol solution – or, antifreeze.

The solution is heated by the sunlight and circulated into a cylinder in the home, where the conducted heat warms water for the house. Kits for solar thermal collectors usually include the collectors, a roof-mounting system, and pump station. There are also an expansion vessel, control panel, pipe connections, solar fluid and a hot water twin-coil cylinder.

Why Solar Energy?

There are a number of benefits to installing a solar thermal water heating system in your home, both for your wallet and for the environment. Aside from having zero carbon emissions, a system can save a household on average 70% each year on water heating costs.

If you have a conventional boiler or hot water system, it should be able to be modified for use with a solar panel system – if not, you made need install a dedicated cylinder containing a solar heating coil.

The cost of purchase and installation can be anywhere between $5000 and $8500, depending on the type of roof you have, but the savings will be obvious within the first year.

Is Solar Energy For Me?

Solar thermal collectors can be installed on most roofs, as long as they face between south east and south west – the more south, the better the energy harnessed. Although they are most easily fitted onto sloping roofs with an angle between 20° and 60°, they can even be applied to flat roofs with the help of a framework holding it at an angle, or hung from a wall.

The average area of the solar thermal collectors are almost two and a half meters squared, although in houses with more occupants significantly may be need. Installing a solar system onto your house is a worthwhile investment as it means that the home is protected against heating price fluctuation; something which is likely to become more and more important.

Solar Panel Maintenance

Solar panels have traditionally been difficult to maintain, but companies like Grant have introduced systems with self-cleaning glass, and a manual bleed screw which allows for quick air removal.

They will need semi-regular maintenance, preferably a check-up once a year but at least every five as this is roughly the amount of time the antifreeze will last before needing a top-up or replacing. This cost is usually  less than $200, and every ten years or so the pumps will need replacing for a mere $150.

Even under the most grey of skies, there is enough sun to heat the water in a house using a solar thermal heating system, although a back-up boiler is recommended for desolate winters and for heating the house itself, for which the solar energy simply won’t cut it.

While there may be an initial cost and adjustment period, the long-term benefits far exceed any start-up problems.

Use Water Efficiently to Save Money on Your Energy Bills 

The devastation caused by high winds is causing terrible trouble – it was so unexpected we were all caught out!! You may be one of the people who are suffering the worst of these storms, and it is not just the wind….floods are also a consequence of all this high wind battering our coastline.

So it is definitely time to make sure you take every precaution you can to keep warm and dry and save money to be able to do this in your home for the rest of this winter. If you are one of the many unfortunate people affected by flooding you will be more than aware of the importance of mismanaged water…..and yet our normal everyday use of water is often mismanaged too which also can cost us money.

The BBC reports that many people have been evacuated from their homes…this is a terrible thing to happen and so unusual for the UK – it seems we have to expect anything from the weather now! Many homes are without power and still in their homes in cold winter temperatures.

How can anyone prepare for this?

I have also suddenly noticed window frames rattling with wind oozing through the frames…. draught excluder would definitely be a help here. Living in an old barn I just presumed that this would be the norm and I would have to put up with it but it certainly does not help with the heating bills. Fixing this is only a start. There are lots of ways to save money on heating – keeping out draughts is just one.

Managing Your Water Usage

Hot water is more important than you imagine….just trying to be without it for even 24 hours! This is the first thing I am aware of when the power supply gets cut off. However keeping your water hot can be very expensive and there are ways to save money on this.

Using less water, especially hot water will save money as getting water to your tap costs a lot.

Here are a few tips for using less water.

Washing Machine

If you have one always make sure the dishwasher is full before you switch it on – always make sure your washing machine is too and try to use the shortest washing cycle with the lowest temperature.

Remember – ‘IF ITS NOT DIRTY WASH AT 30’!

Fill Your Sink

Are you one of those people who wash odd items by just running the hot tap? Well – if you are perhaps you might change your habits when you know that just by filling your washing bowl/sink twice a day instead to wash all those odd items at once, could save you around $35.00 on an annual gas bill or if you have metered water you could save about $30.00 a year. Additionally save something on energy cost by always washing/rinsing vegetables in cold water.

Turn Off the Water Between Brushing

If you have a water meter always turn off the tap whenever you wash your teeth or shave and always use cold water if you can instead of hot. A running tap will put out 6 liters of water a minute so think of all the wasted water there.

Heat Only What You Need

If you decide to have a cup of tea only fill your kettle with the ‘mugs worth’ of water..no sense in heating up more than you need as kettles use a lot of electricity.

Fix the Drip

Never put up with dripping taps – just because they may be outside in the garden perhaps and you can’t hear them they will still waste water.

Replace Old Appliances

When you decide to replace old water using appliances, look for all the energy saving labels. These can help you to save money on energy and water e.g. the Waterwise Marque. Also check out the website about recommended products before you go shopping and look for that Energy Saving Recommended label.

Changing your habits is always a difficult challenge. To save some money this winter and afford keeping warm means we all must look at ways to do this. Being more frugal with our use of water is one step towards this.

Save Money by Investing in Energy Saving Kitchen Appliances

According to official latest data, $1 in every $4 is wasted on poor insulation. Research carried out in the United States shows that kitchen appliances are responsible for 41% of electricity consumption.

So, the little things that make a big difference. If you want to cut down on electricity bills here are a few ideas for your kitchen.


Slow-cookers are a great way to save. Even though you have to leave it all day, a slow cooker only uses as much electricity as a light bulb. It is also perfect if you have a large family, as it makes bulk cooking easy. In addition, you can leave the meal to cook all day, while you are gone. You will come back home to a mouthwatering homemade meal at a low cost.

Energy Saving Tumble-Dryers

There are both gas-powered tumble dryers (which will help you save more) and electricity ones. Since these are made to be quick and efficient they will definitely help you cut down on electricity.

Having a separate tumble dryer from the washing machine might sound like an inconvenience. However, you can load your washing machine twice and wash two loads of dirty laundry. When you are done, you can put both in the dryer and dry them in a single cycle.

Ceiling Fans

It might not be usual for a ceiling fan to be placed in the kitchen, but this is actually a good air conditioner replacement. I am sure you know ceiling fans are used to cool down a room. But, did you know that when set up to the right motion, ceiling fans also help warm it up. You can use the hot air in the kitchen (because when you cook there is a lot of it) and you can use it for warming up the room.


Contemporary dishwashers are fast, efficient and quiet. They use less energy and need less time to complete a cycle. An energy efficient dishwasher also saves you time and accommodates more dirty dishes and other pieces. Now you won’t need to load it twice a day. The adjustable shelves will help you fill in every dirty piece you have.

In conclusion, there are many different things you can try which will help you achieve the desired budget. It also saves on electricity without compromising the quality of life at home. Having some of these appliances is more than just saving a few pennies. It is about living an eco-friendly and a considerate life.

BONUS: 10 Money Saving Vacation Tips to be a ‘Green’ Tourist

Save money and go green while on vacation! There are some simple rules you can follow which not only make you into a ‘green’ tourist but also will be money saving.

1. Explore Local Culture

Specifically, as far being environmentally aware goes, wherever you travel, home or abroad it is always important to show people that you are interested in their culture and local wildlife and countryside. In this way the fact that it matters to you will perhaps make it matter more to them too.

2. Visit Free and Natural Preserves

Rather than visiting expensive zoos and safari wildlife parks, opt for nature reserves and sites of scientific interest (S.S.I.’s). Look for National trust sites and RSPB sanctuaries.

3. Find Souvenirs

If you are vacationing near a beach, pick up shells from the shoreline instead of buying sea shells or coral. Always check that their original occupants are no longer still there first!

4. Never Buy Protected Goods

If you are abroad never buy anything ivory or made from endangered wood species. Nobody wants the thought of animals being killed or rain forests being devastated just so they can have an ornament on their shelf.

5. Look for Local Gifts

If you buy souvenirs try and get locally manufactured items which are environmentally friendly.

6. Think About Packaging

Be thoughtful about waste. Packaging is often difficult to dispose of in other countries where waste disposal is not as efficient as ours. Remove unnecessary wrappings before you go. It may also save money on weight in your baggage allowance (it all helps!).

7. Learn the Language

Try to learn a few words of the local language before you go on holiday. Try to use these when you shop or go out for food, as it shows people you really are interested in their culture.

8. Enjoy the Experience

Tell local people about how much you like visiting their area and how much you enjoy seeing the wildlife and experiencing their culture. Do not be afraid to get out your camera and photograph not just buildings and scenes and your family but the local wildlife and birds etc. Going out exploring and taking time to enjoy the area yourself saves money on set up entertainment, tourist trips and spending money in the tourist trap shops!

9. Eat Local

Always try local foods and drinks when you can. Not only does this help support the local community, but it reduces emissions from trucking supplies into the area.

10. Cycle or Walk

Rather than driving try and use public transport or cycle if you can. As well as being ‘green’ and saving you money using public transport can be in itself an entertaining experience in many countries. The first time I took my children to London all they wanted to do was travel around and learn to negotiate the underground!!

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