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4 Ways to Save the Planet While Saving Money

Taking steps to be more earth-friendly is a worthwhile endeavor for anyone. But it’s even sweeter when it comes with financial benefits too. Check out these easy ways to make it happen.

Switch to reusable grocery bags. According to the EPA, Americans use more than 380 billion plastic bags and wraps each year, requiring 12 million barrels of oil to manufacture.* And when they’re not disposed of appropriately, they become an even bigger environmental hazard – littering parks and waterways, and endangering wildlife that mistake the bags for food sources. Not only are they more environmentally friendly, some stores now offer rewards (like discounts at some Target and Kroger stores) to customers who opt for reusable bags. So you can feel good about being Earth-friendly AND bank-account friendly.

Recycle your electronics. Dumping your old smart phone, tablet or computer not only has a negative environmental impact (think of all those heavy metals), you may also be cheating yourself out of some moolah. Wireless carriers and some larger retailers (like Amazon and Best Buy) have electronic buyback programs that will help responsibly recycle your device while paying you cash. So before you trash it, check out your options.

Shine a new light on it. For what the average household spends on electricity for lighting each year, you could buy about 60 venti frappuccinos. And the worst part? About 90 percent of the energy cost for incandescent bulbs is actually wasted – burned up as heat. On the flip side, compact fluorescent bulbs are about 75 percent more efficient, reducing the average electrical cost to around $66 per year. And they last longer, so you won’t have to replace them as often. Cha-ching!

Cut back on your paper consumption. Paper pollution is a significant environmental challenge, accounting for about 35 percent of total solid waste for the average U.S. city. But there are some pretty simple things you can do to make a difference in this arena and – bonus! – they can benefit your wallet too. Here’s an easy one to start with: Switch to e-statements instead of having your bank statement mailed to you each month. The process is easy, saves paper and even better: You’ll qualify to receive great rewards when you sign up for a free Kasasa account – like 4% Cash Back on Debit Card Purchases* each month. Get the ball rolling. Kasasa Cash Back

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*U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Source: Southwest Strategic Marketing, LLC © 2015 Harland Clarke Digital®