REACH is a webzine devoted to helping people live more consciously, offering articles and tips on health, community, the environment, and personal productivity and growth.

Three Simple Eco-Friendly Tips that Offer Quick Cash

Bottle Your Own Water

Even if you’re using Brita or PUR pitchers or have filters on your kitchen faucets, you’re probably still buying a lot of bottled water each week—for travel, workouts, kid’s lunches, etc. You’d be amazed at how much you can save by pouring your filtered water into a safe stainless steel container. These are great because they are unbreakable, they don’t leach the way plastic does, and they don’t leave behind residues that can interact with what you are drinking. Aquasana sells some great water purification products, bottles, and totes that keep things cool and easier to transport, but there are many companies now selling these products. http://www.aquasana.com/.

Unplug

Stroll through the rooms in your house one evening and take an inventory of all the lamps and appliances and electronics that are plugged in but rarely used. Unless it is a high-usage item or you are entertaining guests, there’s really no reason to be stacking up the outlets. Another possibility is to plug all nearby lamps and appliances into a power strip or surge suppressor. When you’re not using anything, simply turn the power strip off. This gives you get the benefits of unplugging everything without actually having to do so. Even digital displays on audio equipment, microwaves, cell phones, etc. are draining power and adding to your bills. Flick them off before you go to bed and especially before you leave on vacation or for a business trip. You have the added peace of mind of knowing you haven’t left the coffee pot on!

Cycle and Save . . . Lower Your Gas Bill and Weight at the Same Time

You may enjoy the convenience of driving your car, but have you looked closely at what those yearly parking garage bills are costing you? If you live in an urban area, the subway fees (not to mention the psychological costs of overcrowded trains, safety threats, and rude passengers) can make you wonder if the negligible savings are actually worth it. And what about those 10 extra pounds per decade you’re facing? Get on top of it by resisting the easy route. More and more cities are becoming “bike friendly,” with specified bike paths and accessible storage racks. Cycling is great for the environment and saves money, but it’s also good for your health, and may end up actually saving you some time because you’re also getting in your workout for the day! You might consider proposing to your employer that employees who cycle receive a bonus (call it a special assessment) on travel costs. If your business is willing to send you to a gym on their dime, why can’t they offset your eco-friendly and health-friendly travel costs?