20 Easy Ways to Save Money by Going Green

Here is a list of ways to live a greener lifestyle, plus some resources to help you go green right here in Morristown, Morris Township and Morris Plains.

If you aren’t ready to throw some solar panels on the roof and ditch your power company, but would like to save some money by living a greener life, here are 20 tips to help you get started.

Around the house:

1. Buy food, including spices and flour, in bulk. You’ll save money and reduce the amount of packaging that goes in the trash. BJ's or Costco offer bulk food options.

2. Make sure your thermostat is set properly. Lowering the default settings during the summer and at night could save you almost $200 a year, according to Energy Star. More tips at energystar.gov.

3. Insulate your hot water heater. To see if you need to insulate, touch your heater. If it is warm to the touch, it needs additional insulation. You will lower your water heating costs with this single step.

Get active:

4. Cut down on car trips and run your errands on your bike or on foot. If you need bike advice, talk to the people at Marty's Reliable Cycle of Morristown.

5. Rip up some lawn and plant a vegetable and flower garden. You will save a ton of money on food, and delight your children as they watch things grow over the summer. Need help getting started? Check in with the Rutgers Master Gardeners for tips.

6. If your zoning permits, get some chickens and have fresh, free eggs every day. Get support and ideas at urbanchickens.net.

Get creative:

7. Expand your hand-me-down circle. Organize a clothing swap for your co-op, preschool or a group of friends. Have everyone bring gently used and clean kids’ clothes to your garage; parents can take as many items as they donate. The rest goes to charity.

8. Have your kids make their friends’ birthday cards and wrapping paper. Paper bags are easily transformed with pastel crayons or markers, and kids love getting a handmade card—as do adults.

9. Organize a Halloween costume swap in September. This can be a great service project for a Girl Scout troop. Reserve a room at the Morristown & Morris Township Library and publicize to your local PTA group or preschool. Green Halloween is a great resource for ideas on how to get started.

10. Check out Swap.com, a “valet service” that collects your unwanted clothes, gear, media, toys and décor and sells them on its site. You set the prices and you can take your windfall in cash or stuff.

11. Use cloth napkins whenever possible, even in school lunches. You can find great cloth napkins at affordable prices at Target in Morris Plains.


12. When stuck in line at the bank drive-through or school pickup line, turn off your engine. Get other driving tips for tree huggers on the Car Talk website.

13. Ditch those dreaded sandwich bags and get some washable containers or bags. I love ReUsies, washable cloth sandwich and snack bags made in Seattle.

14. Save up to 30 percent on your monthly heating bills by having a home energy audit done by a professional. Ask if your local utility will cover some of the cost.

15. Give and accept hand-me-downs.


16. Replace your old light bulbs with LED bulbs. They last 15 times longer and use 75 percent less energy. Find stores with bulbs at energystar.gov.

17. Got an older house? Install double pane windows and you’ll see immediate savings on your heating bill.

18. Ditch the dryer and use a clothesline when the weather permits. You can purchase a clothesline online at Amazon.com.

19. Dump your bottled water costs. Buy snazzy metal water bottles for everyone in the family and a personal filter for your kitchen faucet, and you could save hundreds of dollars a year.

20. Replace your shower heads with low-flow models. Low-flow shower heads can save you up to 15 percent of water heating costs.

TELL US: How did you go green?

Linda DeLap February 27, 2013 at 02:31 AM
Great article! In the winter I humidify the house and dry the laundry at the same time by hanging it on drying racks next to the radiators. Clothes might dry even faster in a house with forced air heating.
Don Kuhn February 28, 2013 at 09:55 PM
Like the tips! Another is to recycle -- donate usable building materials and household furnishings (furniture, plumbing, kitchen cabinets, etc.) to the Morris Habitat ReStore in Randolph. It's also a great place to get some super buys.
The Woman's Club of Morristown March 02, 2013 at 04:46 PM
In an effort to continue our commitment to promoting recycling, The Woman’s Club of Morristown collects the following items: manufacturer coupons, soda tabs, art supplies, yogurt containers, oatmeal containers, hangers, material, yarn, ribbons, bric-a-brac, suitcases, eye glasses, greeting cards (new and used), used stamps, blankets, sheets, towels, lightly used bras, ink cartridges, calendars, bubble wrap, carpet squares. Please email ess@wcomt.org for more information.


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