Let’s face it: you’re in college, and you’re probably broke. Chances are you’ve eaten microwaveable noodles sometime in the past month and you’ve never missed an opportunity to do your laundry at mom and dad’s.
We’re here to help you save some money by telling you a little secret…being sustainable can actually save you money. That’s right. You you can actually improve your finances by taking steps to improve the environment. It’s a win-win! Don’t believe us? Check out these 10 ways to save money while saving the planet.
- Make your own meals. Avoid purchasing pre-prepared foods with lots of packaging (which likely goes to landfills). By making your own food you know exactly what is in it and where it came from (buy local, in-season foods when you can!). No more mystery meat for you!
- Reuse. Why buy textbooks, furniture or anything else when you don’t have to? Buy used! You will be saving money and keeping items out of landfills at the same time.
- Travel wisely. The average American spends over $,2000 each year on gas but you don’t have to. Take advantage of NC State’s Wolfline and ride around town for free. If you miss the bus, ride your bike or carpool with friends.
- Say goodbye to bottled water. Did you know the amount of oil used to produce plastic water bottles in the U.S. alone is enough to fueling 1 million cars? Picking a reusable water bottle filled with tap water will save both money and natural resources.
- Switch your light bulbs. You can save $70 a year on your energy bill by replacing incandescent light bulbs with Energy Star qualified LED or CFL bulbs, according to the EPA. They use 75 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 to 25 times longer.
- Use the dishwasher. Provided you are using your dishwasher efficiently (make sure it’s full before you run it), dishwashers use less water than washing dishes by hand. Save money on your water bill and let the dishwasher do all the work for you!
- Buy in bulk. Americans generate 80 million tons of waste every year from product packaging and containers. Buying in the grocery store’s bulk aisle is great for both the environment and your wallet! By not paying for all that individual packaging, you get more bang for your buck.
- Make your own beauty products. Tired of spending money on expensive beauty products? Create your own cleansers, shampoo, lip balms and body scrubs using cheap, natural ingredients that you probably already have sitting in your cabinet. It’s a lot better than what you might be using!
- Hit the switch. Turning off your lights, tv and other electronic devices when you leave your room saves money on your electric bill and saves energy. See the difference.
The only question now is what you’re going to do with all the money you save!