Earth Day was established to bring environmental issues onto the world stage. The efforts by those involved led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts. Colleges and universities introduced environmental education programs and states created agencies charged with protecting environmental and natural resources.
But you don't have to wait until Earth Day to show your love for the third planet from the sun! And you don’t need to make a grand gesture, either, to lessen your environmental footprint. There are some simple changes you can implement into your daily routines that can have a big impact on the environment, with little to no impact on your budget. In fact, you’ll likely save money.
Here are three easy ways you can make a difference.
Opting to receive statements electronically means there’s less need to cut down trees to make paper. Trees help fight climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. Rockland Trust, and many other financial institutions, offer paperless statements. Ours are available for three years, so there’s no need to print and file them.
It might seem obvious, but spending time outdoors is not only good for your mental health, but it’s also beneficial for the environment and your wallet. When feasible, consider walking or biking instead of driving to get some fresh air, release less fossil fuels and save money on gas and other car fees.
The other wonderful benefit of outdoor activities is that they’re often free or much cheaper than indoor alternatives! For instance, try meeting up with friends for a coffee walk or a bike ride instead of going out for dinner and drinks. While some outdoor sports or activities are fun but expensive (skiing, we’re looking at you), others are free or very affordable – like going to the beach, hiking or having a picnic in the park.
It’s more environmentally friendly to drink from your own reusable water bottle than to buy bottled water, even if you recycle the disposables. Buying a water filter is a one-time cost that gives you access to unlimited clean water without the plastic.
When grocery shopping, bring your own reusable bags (even though this can be a hard step to remember!) and save leftovers in washable containers instead of single-use bags. Speaking of leftovers, do your best to buy only the amount of food that your family can reasonably eat before it goes bad to save money and reduce waste.
If you have the property and time to grow your own food, you’ll substantially cut down on grocery costs and eat fresh. Even if you don’t have the yard space for a whole garden, consider an herb garden on a sunny windowsill!
To that point, farmers markets can be more expensive than regular grocery stores, but usually offer locally-grown ingredients that travel less to get to your home – reducing their environmental impact.
Energy-efficient updates to your home can further enhance your sustainability efforts. A few small ways to minimize your energy usage are to set your thermostat a few degrees warmer in the summer or cooler in the winter, wash your clothes in cold water and run the dishwasher only when it's completely full.
On a larger scale, you could install a new furnace, replace doors and windows or add insulation. All of these projects come with upfront costs, but are likely to reduce the amount of energy your home uses and decrease your energy bills in the long run. It’s worth noting that for many homeowners, home equity is a cost-efficient way to pay for these projects.
It’s possible to be environmentally friendly without breaking the bank. For more personal finance and lifestyle tips, check out the other resources on our Learning Center or stop in to your local Rockland Trust branch today.
Get the latest financial tips and advice by signing up to receive our emails.
Rockland Trust Online Banking gives you a variety of services that help you use and manage your accounts, whenever and wherever you want.
* indicates a required field.
Rockland Trust makes it easy to manage all of your accounts with our simple online portals.
Rockland Trust gives you a variety of services that help you use and manage your accounts, whenever and wherever you want.
* indicates a required field.