Environmentally friendly products that actually save you money grade 6 electricity


In belated honor of Earth Day and as a show of appreciation for our one and only planet, I wanted to do a little something special. Reducing my negative impact on this planet and saving money are both things that I care very deeply about. So, I thought it would be worthwhile to create a list of environmentally friendly products that also save you money. Many of these products I have used some variation of for years. Others come highly recommended from family or friends. I guarantee you’ll find at least 1 thing you didn’t know about before.

I have added much of this list to my popular money-saving products page, and hope to curate and refresh it over time. I’d also love to see what your suggestions are to add to this list in the comments, and if you have some good numbers and justifications behind a suggestion, there is a good chance I will add it to the list.

• Emerson Programmable Thermostat (with wifi): this is one of the top selling, highest rated, and least expensive wifi enabled programmable thermostats out there. Versus a non-programmable thermostat, it could save you upwards of $180 per year. They also provide a huge convenience factor in that you don’t have to mess with the thermostat every time you go to bed, wake up, go to work, or get back from work. And you can monitor and change temperature in your home if you are traveling.

• P3 Kill A Watt Energy Monitor: this nifty little device that tells you how much energy each of your electrical devices is using. You plug it into the wall and then your device into the monitor to get the readout. The goal in using the device is to figure out how much that electrical item is costing you if you keep it plugged in (on or off). Standby powered appliances ratchet up your energy use. This device will actually tell you exactly how much money and CO2 you are wasting with each device. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to energy use.

• Niagara Energy Saving Power Strip: a surge protector that allows you to control if your TV peripherals are getting electricity. You simply plug your TV into the master control outlet and if your TV is off, it shuts down standby power to the other outlets so they aren’t draining energy while your TV isn’t even on. If it’s on, it turns on standby power. It could save you $67 per year.

• Delta Low Flow Showerhead: a 2.5 gallon-per-minute (gpm) unit can save a family of four $260 per year in heating costs alone vs. an older 5.5 gpm unit. That’s a 640% ROI in one year! Not to mention the huge amount of water savings. The Delta low flow showerhead can switch between 2.5 gpm and a super economical 1.8 gpm, without you feeling like you’re not getting enough water.

• LED Bulbs: at prices that are now below incandescents and CFL’s, and with one-tenth of the energy use of incandescents and less than 50% of the energy use of CFL’s, we’re at the point where every light bulb purchased should be LED. The cost and energy savings will be immediate.

• Bulk Foods: where you buy your food and what food you buy determines the amount of packaging waste that you produce. The average American produces 4.43 lbs. of trash per person per day. Much of that comes from food packaging. So start bringing your own reusable packaging to purchase food in bulk. For stuff you can’t buy in bulk, shopping at Costco or wholesale stores can also help reduce packaging. I.e. a 36 oz. jar of mayo, for example, produces 3X less waste than 3-12 ounce jars.

• Reusable Grocery Bags: plastic bags are a scourge on this planet – many states are starting to ban them altogether. And paper bags are resource intensive. Reusable bags are stronger, bigger, and can last a lifetime. Many grocery stores are now giving discounts per bag used if you bring your own. You’ll quickly make your money back, have a better experience, and reduce your impact.

• Compost Bin (outdoors): if you have a garden and want healthy soil, you need an outdoor compost bin for your food scraps. This will save you money on soil additives and with many municipalities charging for disposal pickup by the bag, a bin will save you from those fees.

• Coffee & Tea: almost needs its own category, doesn’t it? The average worker spends over $1K annually on store-bought coffee. And there is so much waste in coffee and tea production and drinking these days, and a conscious effort here can make a huge impact.

Cold Brew Pitcher: I only drink cold brew these days. I like the taste of cold coffee better, the cold brew process is less acidic (easier on the gut), and it saves money. Pitchers like this have a mesh filter, so you can cut down on the cost of filters. This can also be used for fruit/water infusion, loose leaf tea, and other concoctions. Be sure to throw your grinds in the compost bin!

• Vegetarian Diet: what is the #1 contributor to atmospheric CO2 and man-made global warming? Food production. It takes 16 pounds of grain/soy and 5,214 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of edible beef (the same amount of water one American uses on showers in a year, on average). It takes 78 calories of fossil fuel to produce 1 calorie of protein from beef, while only 2 calories of fuel to produce a calorie from soybeans. By switching a few meals a week (and eventually most meals) to a plant-based diet, you will significantly reduce your personal impact on the environment. Even better, the cost of a vegetarian diet is typically $2-3K cheaper than a meat-based diet per year.

• Toilet bidet: I know this sounds like an unnecessary luxury. Once you get one of these, you will view it as a necessity. A bidet significantly cuts down on toilet paper, which is very resource intensive and pricey these days. And your bum will thank you.

• Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Products: with a little water, lemon, baking soda, white distilled vinegar, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and witch hazel, you can make home-made cleaner combos that will clean just about anything, are 100% safe, cheaper, and probably more effective than the store-bought toxic garbage. Here’s an article on how to make non-toxic cleaners.

The amount of pollution that gas-powered lawn mowers and other yard tools puts out is off the charts. It’s been said that one hour of gas-powered lawn mower use can produce as much pollution as a 100 mile car trip. I’ve covered why you should make the switch to a push reel before. I also endorse a switch to an electric.