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Save Money, Live Green

Written by Nickel - 7 Comments

Here’s a list of five tips for saving money by saving energy (and thereby saving the planet). Pretty standard stuff (except for the last one), but this is a topic that’s near and dear to my heart (as evidenced by my recent posts on reducing our electrical usage), so I’m covering it anyway.

(1) Switch to compact fluorescent (CF) light bulbs. Been there and done that – I’ve been swapping out the bulbs in our new house to reduce both electrical consumption and the attendant heat load that incandescent bulbs produce. It’s a win-win proposition.

(2) Before buying an appliance, consult the FTC’s Appliance Energy Database. Buying smart (i.e., selecting an energy efficient appliance) can save you a good bit of money, and your decision will pay dividends for years to come.

(3) Fix the fridge. If you can close the refrigerator door on a dollar bill and then easily pull it out, you need a tighter seal. The economics of this one are actually somewhat questionable, as the estimated cost savings is only around $15/year.

(4) Drive nicer. Jackrabbit starts and jamming on your brakes can reduce your gas mileage by 5 percent around town and 33 percent at highway speeds. Also keep an eye on the speed limit, as speeding can reduce you gas mileage.

(5) Buy a Human Power Generator MkIII. This one is only for the hard-core energy savers amongst you… It’s a stationary bike/generator. Not only can it save money off your electric bill, but it can also save money on a gym membership. To be honest, this sort of thing might be one of the best motivators out there for me when it comes to exercise… It’s like a game — see how low of an electric bill you can get by generating your own power.

[Source: CNN/Money]

Published on June 20th, 2006 - 7 Comments
Filed under: Automotive, Energy

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

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7 Responses to “Save Money, Live Green”

  1. 1
    udandi Says:

    Off topic, but I’m curious why you don’t cite where you got these tips? I realize from reading the article before at CNN Money that you added some of your own thoughts, but I was curious!

  2. 2
    nickel Says:

    Crap! If you look through my archives, you’ll see that I cite where I get stuff like that at the bottom of my articles. But I was in a hurry when I wrote this one and forgot to properly attribute it. Consider it fixed — thanks for setting me straight.

  3. 3
    udandi Says:

    Cool! I thought you normally cited (something many bloggers don’t), but was curious why you didn’t this time :)

  4. 4
    claire Says:

    Wow, I want one of those human power generators! I’m not mathematical enough to figure out how long it would take me to recoup the costs, but I bet it would be a looooong time. So I wouldn’t really consider this a money-saving item, but more like a toy. Still, it’s a toy I’d love to own.

  5. 5
    Brad Says:

    Do you know where I can purchase a bike that will generate electric for household item?

  6. 6
    gail Says:

    Hello All,

    Maybe try not to leave all the lights on in your house/apt. Especially when you aren’t in the room. That’s one I noticed my friends do alot.

    The energy saver bulbs are a health hazard. Down the raod you will spend ore money on your medical bills, psychotherapy, etc… or lose your job due to deteriating mental capacity. Mercury inside the energy saver light bulbs become vapors and seep out. See the link for the Mercury vapor movie. There are many samples online that show the gaseous state of mercury above room temp. Mercury interferes with neurotransmitters causing symptoms like forgetfulness, absent-mindedness, Alzheimer’s Dz, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Please see books like those by Hal Huggins DDS, and scientific research like those published in Toxicology Journals.

    I applaud everyone’s efforts to save money and save our planet. Let’s continue to Go Green! Just protect yourself and your families along the way.

    Thank You.

  7. 7
    gail Says:

    The links I offered, seem to be missing. Let me try again:

    This is a mercury vapor movie:

    This is a pdf from Oxford Journals, Toxicological Science on Mercury and Human health:


    Also, one other thing I noticed in my local stores, the chemical abbreviation for mercury “Hg” is very hard to see, but is engraved on all the Energy saver Bulbs. Only a few companies had Warning labels.

    Take care.

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