If you live on your own, you know that utilities add up...quickly. Going green can cut down on energy and water costs, also benefiting the environment!
The price of produce at Whole Foods and even Giant Eagle can be somewhat of a shock. Shop at the many farmer's markets around Pittsburgh to save money on your fruits and veggies. Don't forget that the vendors in the Strip District are there year-round!
Next Level: Have a yard? Save your squash and cucumber seeds and plant your own vegetables. Have a sunny window? Grown an herb garden. (House plants do wonders for the air in your home!) You might not save enough to buy a new car, but saving on your green ingredients a few times a month certainly adds up!
Paperless billing not only saves you from losing your bills in the stack of mail on your table, but also allows you to set up email reminders so that you never miss a payment (and end up paying late fees!) Plus, you're saving a postage stamp.
Next level: Cut down the costs of paying bills by setting up auto-payments.
Bring Your Own Mug. Buy a cheap, dishwasher-safe travel mug and save a few pennies every time you visit select coffee shops. Same goes for water bottles - carry your own and refuel at water fountains throughout the day.
Next level: Brew your own coffee and compost your coffee grounds. Your new vegetable garden will thank you!
Source: Ryan Hyde, Flickr, CC BY-SA
Only run your washer and dishwasher if they're full. And try not to machine dry them! Turn off the heat dry setting for your dishwasher and leave the door open overnight to air dry your dishes, instead. Buy a drying rack or, if you have a yard, use a clothesline to dry your clothes. This is especially useful for pants, sweatshirts, sweaters, and other thicker items that use up all of the dryer's energy.
Next level: Wash your clothing in cold water. Everybody wins!
Spill a glass of water on the floor? Bathroom sink covered in toothpaste? TV so dusty you can't even see through it? Clean them all a rag instead of a paper towel, then simply throw the rag in with your laundry. You won't even miss paper towels.
Next level: Make your own cleaning products and wave Mr. Clean goodbye.
Unplug your phone charger when you're not charging your phone! And unplug your phone as soon as it reaches 100%.
Next level: Even when electronics are off, they're still using energy. Put your appliances on power strips and turn them off with one switch when you're not using them.
In the summer time, bump up your air conditioning a few degrees. In the winter, layer on the wool socks and heavy sweatshirts and turn down the heat. Trudging through an especially cold afternoon? Bake/Cook something! Standing by the oven will warm you up AND you'll have a home cooked meal! Do the opposite in the summer time - avoid turning on your oven on hot days and prepare a cold meal, like a salad or sandwich, instead.
Next level: Ditch your window unit and go completely AC-free. Ceiling fans will become your new best friend, as they circulate heat most efficiently.
Rotate your tires and keep them filled to the proper level (which is usually listed on the driver's door.) This will keep your car running most efficiently to save on gas money!
Next level: Clean out your car to make your trips a little lighter and a lot more fuel efficient.