Today marks the 46th Annual Earth Day. Starting in 1970, Earth Day is a global celebration meant to support environmental protection. As a banker, I know that not only is being environmentally conscious good for our planet, but it can also be good for your finances as you save money on your energy bills, transportation costs, and daily purchases. To celebrate Earth Day, clean air, land, and water, I challenge you to think of ways you can give back. Here are a few ideas to get started.
- Plant trees to provide shade on the sunny side of your home.
Not only is planting trees good for the environment, but trees strategically planted help conserve energy and reduce your energy bills. You can take it even further and plant trees to shade your air conditioning unit to help keep it cooler in the summer and run more efficiently. Trees also shade patios, decks, and sidewalks, so not only do they beautify, but they can help cool your yard.
- Composting piles save money and help the environment.
A compost pile will save money on fertilizer, soil, and plant foot. You can feel good about cutting down on garbage as well, and may even save more money through waste pickup costs.
- Donate used books, music, and movies to your local library.
Even better, use the library and reduce subscription costs on magazines and newspapers and eliminate the cost for books. We have wonderful local libraries in the Cedar Rapids-Iowa City Corridor that would welcome your donated items. It can be a fun family outing, and you may find some great books or other items to check out while you’re there!
- Donate clothing or household items.
Instead of throwing away clothing or household items, contact a not-for-profit organization and make a donation. Oftentimes, organizations will even come to you to pick up your items and provide a receipt for your taxes.
There’s a wonderful Native American tradition that teaches when you take something from Earth, you are to put something back. In this spirit, you can plant whatever you think your area needs, whether it be native flowers, perennials, annuals, or grass seedlings. This is one tip that won’t save you money, but it will be a wonderful way to give back to Mother Earth.
Let us know other ideas you have on how you can give back this Earth Day in the comments below.
Please visit our blog, HillsHelps.com, next Wednesday for the final of our 5-part series, “Sustainable Savings: Save Money, Save the Planet.”
View the complete 5-Part Sustainable Savings Series:
- Part 1—Sustainable Savings: Easy Water Conservation Tips
- Part 2—Sustainable Savings: Easy Resource Conservation Tips
- Part 3—Sustainable Savings: Easy Energy Conservation Tips
- Part 4—Sustainable Savings: How You Can Give Back on Earth Day
- Part 5—Sustainable Savings: Save Money, Save the Planet