5 Sites and Tips on How to Go Green and Save Money

Tina Sieber 26-12-2009

climate changeEarlier this month, the United Nations Climate Change Conference [Broken URL Removed] in Copenhagen failed miserably. Although the attendees attempt to remain positive, it cannot be denied that the key goal was not achieved. Over one week politicians fought over money and responsibilities in dozens of heated discussions. In the end, however, the nations did not sign a treaty to replace the Kyoto protocol, which runs out as soon as 2012.


This is a disaster, not only for the world climate, but for our entire environment. Nothing less than the planet earth is at stake. Frankly, why should we invest in the development of science and new technology, in the building of peace in foreign countries, or in the education of our children, if this planet has no future in the first place? Why not let all hell break loose?

Because there still is a chance and you better put up a fight. Even if politicians cannot yield more than a worthless agreement, every single one of us has the power to make a change. Besides, going green is not just about saving energy and preserving the environment. In fact, it’s also about saving money! Less energy wasted on heating, electricity, gas, or shopping means more money in your pocket.

Whatever your motivation, going green(er) is for a good cause. So give it a chance and see whether any of the tips and resources below give you some $$$ ideas, and eventually also leave you with a rewarding good feeling when you go green and save money.


Obviously, recycling is a key step in going green. You can recycle almost anything, starting with packaging over food, clothes, newspapers, up to electronics. Nowadays you can easily recycle plastic, aluminum, glass, and paper by sorting these things into respective waste bins. In some areas supermarkets take back empty batteries. Finally, many communities collect old furniture and electronics in order to recycle or re-use them.


How can you save or make money through recycling?

MyBoneYard Recycle

This is one of many sites that will take back your electronics. With MyBoneYard Recycle’s pre-paid shipping labels you can get rid of electronics clutter. These sites typically repair, recycle, or re-use items, and give you credits for it.

go green and save money

Azim has reviewed MyBoneYard for the MakeUseOf directory.



This page assists you in finding a recycling center near your US location. It’s a safe and environmental friendly way to dispose of anything from motor oil, metal, plastic, or batteries.

go green and save money

The site also features a great article on the UN Climate Conference 2009: Why Care About Copenhagen?


A temporary solution to recycling, is re-using. Not everything that is old and used must be thrown away and replaced with something new and expensive. You can refurbish many items yourself or re-use them in different ways. Look around for ideas and be creative. Here is a very small selection.



Things you no longer want or need may be very precious to someone else. So don’t simply trash them. Save yourself the hassle and find someone who will happily pick up the item from you. Likewise, you may find something you need offered for free.

go green and save money


This is the Japanese form of wrapping gifts. Rather than using paper that is tossed away after unwrapping, Japanese people traditionally wrap their gifts in a re-usable fabric. You can wrap anything from books to bottles or chocolate in a re-usable fabric.

Browse Care2 (re-use an old coat), Crafting A Green World, and Green Options for more ideas.


Magazine Table [Broken URL Removed]

Here is a green idea on how to re-use old magazines and craft a table from them. It works like a charm.

go green and save

Re-Nest has plenty more green ideas and How Tos. For example 13 Ways To Repurpose Old Clothes [Broken URL Removed], 10 Repairs You Can Do Yourself [Broken URL Removed], or DIY Vinyl Wall Art [Broken URL Removed].

Save Energy

You can save energy in a thousand different ways.

  • Power Strips
    Organize as many electronic devices as possible on power strips that can be turned off. And then do turn them off every night before you go to bed. There are also smart powerstrips that will cut “phantom” energy use of appliances that are actually turned off. You’ll be surprised by how much energy this will save you. There are of course some devices that should be allowed to eat energy all the time, for example your phone.
  • Standby
    Turn off that TV. Really turn it off! Do not put it into standby.
  • Light
    Switch it off when you leave the room, but ONLY if you are going to leave it for more than 15 minutes. Frequent switching on and off will kill the lifetime of your bulb. But intervals of 15 minutes will save you energy worth more than the lifetime it costs you.
  • Energy Efficiency
    If you need to buy new devices, buy only ones that use energy efficiently.
  • Walk, Cycle, use public transport
    If possible, do not take the car. Jump on the bus, use your bike or use your pretty feet and take the stairs. Give those escalators and lifts a well-deserved break!

Re-Nest has an article on 14 Ways to Keep Warm Without Turning the Heat On or Up [Broken URL Removed].

go green and save

Save Water

  • Bathroom
    You can shorten your showers, don’t let the water run while you brush your teeth, stop the toilet flush.
  • Dishes
    If you wash dishes by hand, soak them in a pool of hot soapy water, then scrub them off with soap, and finally rinse them under fresh, cold water. Don’t let the water run the whole time.
  • Car Wash
    Take a bucket full of water, some soap, a sponge, and give yourself a workout.

go green and save


greenWe can only stimulate ideas here, by no means is this article comprehensive.

In case you are not yet saturated with information, check out TreeHuggers list of articles and guides on How to Go Green.

Planet Green has an excellent article on 50 Ways to Never Waste Food Again.

Got questions? It’s likely that someone already asked them and NewScientist answered them. Hence, they released an article on Dumb eco-questions you were afraid to ask. There are no dumb questions, though.

MakeUseOf has previously reported about green matters. Varun introduced Edison, a tool to save energy and go green on Windows. Saikat described How to Save Power with SetPower How to Save Power with SetPower (Computer Power Management Tool) Read More . If you want to find out what your ecological footprint is, what that means in the first place and how to reduce it, check out my article on Use The Internet To Save The World Use The Internet To Save The World Read More .

What do you do to live green and save money?

Image credits: azrainman, aussiegall, snapr, agthabrown

Related topics: Green Technology, Recycling.

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  1. Rick@Rickety
    December 28, 2009 at 6:30 am

    I recycle. My trash goes to the Layton burn plant where it is turned into steam to heat Hill Air Force Base. The more trash I produce the warmer my military friends are in the winter. :)

    I save money driving a NGV at 93 cents a gallon. Cheaper, faster, and more convenient than public transport.

    Don't you all be worrying, the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare.

  2. Ali Qayyum
    December 28, 2009 at 12:11 am

    these sites sound kool, i must try these. thanks for sharing with us

  3. mchlbk
    December 27, 2009 at 8:48 am

    First of all the planet isn't threatened by global warming. Parts of human civilization might be at risk, that's all.

    Second, in my (totally unqualified) opinion the evidence to support the claim that CO2 causes global warming - or even that global warming is indeed taking place - is weak.

    However: We (the democracies of the world) should not base our freedom on dictators and unfriendly nations. Ideally each country should be able to produce it's own energy.

    Supporting renewable energy is all about security. It might cost a little at first but I bet there'll be huge savings on long term defence costs as a result.

  4. Jim
    December 27, 2009 at 8:20 am


    Watch Monckton's speech and make sure you download the slide show too.

    BTW the Antarctic Ice is growing.

    Prove 95% of scientists believe in AGW .

    You do realize the earth has been warmer and cooler in its day right? You know we are just a blip in time.

    Why are other planets in our solar system also having warming?

    So many inconvenient questions.

  5. Rick
    December 27, 2009 at 12:39 am

    The majority or plurality of scientists so often cited (with no hard numbers as to where a number like '95%' comes from, for example. '95%' of meteorologists? Geologists? Are biologists and chemists included?

    How about 'Climategate'. Look it up. The scientists that were talking about 'global warming' were getting their info from one clearing house for the info, and that institute has been shown to, at the very least, hold back information that could have harmed their thesis and, at the worst, fabricated and doctored information to suit their purposes. The issue is not 'decided', unless you mean that it has been decided for you by someone else.

    I think man made global warming is a useful lie with one of its goals to aid oppressive carbon taxes (water vapor is more of a 'greenhouse gas' than the stuff you breathe out, look it up). I also think that it is deplorable to waste natural resources, especially clean water, and I hope everyone will buy at resale shops, co-ops, local businesses (if they can afford it with the dollar that is inflated to the point of popping, thanks bailouts) and that everyone will consider growing an organic garden. Just because the bad guys are twisting the facts to suit their desired and profitable ends doesn't mean that the truth is the exact opposite of their lies.

    • Tina
      December 27, 2009 at 1:59 am

      @Sheldon, Rick, and further critics

      There is no short answer to this discussion. In the end it all boils down to this: I wish you were right.

  6. Serai
    December 26, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    When I wash dishes, I have a large, deep square Tupperware container under the faucet. I soak the dishes in hot soapy water in one sink, then rinse in the adjoining sink. The container catches the water. When the container's full, I shut off the water and rinse the rest by dipping them. Then after I'm done, I take the container outside and water my plants with it. So the water gets re-used right there. (Soapy water is actually very good for plants, as the phosphates encourage growth.)

    Also, Sheldon? Please grow up. 95% of reputable scientists are agreed on this. Why do you think both the Arctic and Antarctic ice caps are shrinking, shallow islands in several oceans are disappearing, seasonal storms are getting more violent, etc.? You'll be standing on your roof with the flood waters up to your ears, and you'll still be sneering. Good luck with that!

  7. Sheldon Swartz
    December 26, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    Let's see.. we had the Killer Bees scare in the 1960s, tye Ice Age scare in the 1970s, and now, people who chose to believe myths believe in Global Warming... but you know, there's lots of money on the line. People are making big bucks fo every alleged crisis created. Always has been, always will be. What fools we mortals be!

  8. Jim
    December 26, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    Ok so don't post what I said. You go right along with this lie.

  9. Bill
    December 26, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Copenhagen's failure is the best news in some time. No country ever obeys a treaty anyway. Just look at the long history of ignored treaties. Copenhagen's real goal was to extort money from the bankrupt US government (taxpayers).

    • Jim
      December 26, 2009 at 4:07 pm

      You are right on Bill.

      Do research people. The AGW theory is based on distortions by people who stand to make money and obtain power. The head of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Kumar Pachauri is a trained railroad engineer . Yes railroad engineer. He has financial interests that are bettered by the AGW lie.

      1. See: [Broken Link Removed]

      2. Watch Lord Monckton and make sure to down load the file that is made available very shortly after the video starts.
      He rips the lies apart. If you have an open mind.

  10. Rich_Roast
    December 26, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Quick note on Furoshiki; what is still practised in Japan was commonplace in medieval Europe when paper was too expensive to be used up on something as frivolous as wrapping gifts. On that note, medieval practices, dictated as much as anything by a lack rather than a glut of resources, are a great area to research for ideas on green, economic living, from eating seasonally to reusing practically everything. Just don't take it to extremes (e.g., as tempting as it sounds to turn human waste into fuel, it's just not practical!)

    • Tina
      December 27, 2009 at 1:16 am

      Thanks for the additional information, Rich!

    • Serai
      December 26, 2009 at 11:44 pm

      Sounds interesting. Do you have any links?