6 ways going green in your home will save money

It's hard to get a financial break these days, but going green in your home might add a little green to your wallet, too. Energy efficiency not only cuts down your monthly electric bills, but you are also doing your due diligence to help out the environment.

While you might already have energy-efficient appliances in your home, there could be a few other green resources you might be missing. Here are six ways going green in your home will save you money:

"Bring your own coffee and don't choose processed meals for lunch."

1. Cook more home-made meals
It may be the most common tip given to people wanting to save money, but eating out less truly adds up. According to the book "The Cheapskate Next Door," U.S. families spend roughly $4,000 each year on meals from outside their houses, Good Housekeeping reported.

Brown bagging your lunch and cutting out coffee and donuts in the morning is a fast way to save money. Bring your own coffee and don't choose processed meals for lunch. This saves money and the environment by wasting less plastic and paper for your daily food items.

2. Switch to LED light bulbs
Many homes still use incandescent light bulbs to illuminate their house. However, the U.S. Department of Energy is slowly phasing out these bulbs to reduce wasted energy. According to the DOE, residents can save at least 75 percent on their energy bills by switching to LED light bulbs from incandescent bulbs. Additionally, LED bulbs last for years, while an incandescent can last less than six months. LEDs may cost more upfront, but the savings will surely appear on your monthly electricity bill.

3. Plant trees around your home
Trees are a great eco-friendly solution to cooling your home during the hot summer days. Direct heat to the top of your home can drive up your energy costs to power fans, air conditioning units and central air systems.

Planting trees provides shade for your house and could be an investment for the future by increasing the value of your home. According to Trulia, while some residents may not want to fork over a significant amount of money to plant trees, the Arbor Day Foundation has a $10 membership that gives those who sign up 10 free trees.

By commuting through a carpool program, you could save hundreds of dollars a year.
By commuting through a carpool program, you could save hundreds of dollars a year.

4. Carpool to work
Carpooling to work is a fantastic way to add money to your checking account each week. According to Good Housekeeping, the average U.S. resident commutes 16 miles to and from his or her place of work each day. That comes out to approximately seven gallons of gas each week for cars that get roughly 23 miles per gallon. With gas prices starting to finally increase, carpooling could save hundreds of dollars a year.

5. Cut out disposable products
Many people don't realize the slight convenience of disposable products adds up dramatically throughout the year. Additionally, these products are bad for the environment, as they create more trash. Instead, use washable plates and utensils, U.S. News & World Report recommended. Also, use fewer paper towels by using more washable towels. The less plastic items in your home, the greener you'll be to the environment and your bank account.

6. Move to paperless billing
By switching your account to an online bank account, you can save tons on paper, envelopes, stamps and checks. Mobile banking lets you access your account at any point in the day, and all your account information is stored online, thus reducing paper waste.

For more information about smart ways to manage your finances, contact Landmark Bank.

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