Saving Green While Being Green

It seems we are all still dealing with the lingering after-effects of the recent economic downturn. The economy and related markets are still unstable, employment has yet to fully recover, and everybody is still looking for ways to save money and reduce costs. You may well find that there are areas you haven’t even considered before that will not only cut costs, but will also be more environmentally friendly.

Eliminate Cleaning Wipes

Have you ever considered how many cleaning wipes you use on a daily basis? Anti-bacterial wipes for the kitchen and bathroom, pre-moistened dusting cloths, facial cleansing cloths, make-up removal cloths, and even disposable mop wipes. Almost anything that can be cleaned now has a disposable cleaning wipe available, and we love them because they are convenient and easy to use. With them costing considerably more than regular cleaning products, they should be an obvious sacrifice when you are looking for ways to cut costs. Return to using reusable cloths, and rags, along with regular cleaning products, and you could easily save over $200 a year.

Cut Back on Paper Towels

The average family uses 1.5 rolls of paper towels per week, and when you multiply the cost of a roll by the weeks in a year, you quickly realize just how much you are spending. Keep the paper towels for when they are really needed, and start using wash cloths, rags and reusable handy-wipes for everything else. This is excellent for the environment, and much easier on your wallet.

Reduce Plastic Bag Dependency

The average household can use a lot of plastic bags – freezer bags, storage bags, snack bags – and almost all of it is use once, then discard. Look for great deals on storage containers, and they can replace the storage bags, snack bags and even the freezer bags. Ditch the sandwich bags and brown paper bags, and invest in a reusable lunch bag. Empty yogurt and cottage-cheese containers can also be reused for storing certain items, and excluding the initial cost of the reusable plastic containers, you could save over $80 each year.

Buy a Toilet Brush

Not the disposable kind, but the one your mother or grandmother had, that can be reused almost indefinitely. The disposable brushes are convenient to use, although they are certainly not good for the environment, or your wallet.

Brew Your own Coffee

Another convenience item, picked up on the way to work, during the work day, and maybe again before going home. Each visit to your favorite coffee shop will cost you at least $1.50, and much more if you opt for a bigger cup or fancier brew. Start buying your own beans, grind them at home, and brew your own cup for a lot less. If you really cannot do without your favorite coffee shop beverage, invest in your own reusable mug. This might get you a small discount from your coffee shop, and it is great for the environment.

Update Your Printer

In a home-office environment printers are not only used very frequently, they also consume large amounts of energy. If you are still using an old printer you should definitely consider replacing it with an ENERGY STAR™ rated printer. This will not only reduce energy use considerably, it could also result in less ink being used. Newer printers also make it easier to use duplex printing, allowing you to print on both sides of a page. If possible you should also consider having the old cartridges refilled, which again will impact positively on your budget and the environment.

Work From Home

Depending on the size and type of business you own, working from a home-based office could be a viable option. A home-based office is not only convenient, it can result in considerable savings, and is very Eco-friendly. The cost savings will come from rent, fuel, vehicle maintenance, dry-cleaning, even lunches, and the longer your normal commute the greater the saving. Traveling less places less strain on your vehicle, but also results in lower carbon emissions, and that alone is a worthwhile consideration.

Most of these are small changes, though that is all it takes sometimes to bring about big savings to your budget and the environment; and these changes will usually not have any significant impact on your lifestyle.

About Out of the Office Virtual Assistance:

logo1bAt Out of the Office, we are committed to providing earth-friendly administration and offer ideas and ways to increase your productivity, decrease your workload, and work more efficiently. We nurture a successful business relationship, while continuing to grow as your business partner. We are focused on streamlining your administration, social media planning and execution, and offering creative solutions for your business success.

Image credit: OpenClipartVectors | CCO Public Domain