MANILA - In just a few days we’ll be celebrating Earth Day – when we pay tribute to Planet Earth and promote efforts to protect and preserve our resources.
Unfortunately, years of wanton environmental destruction have caused untold damage on the planet. To avert further deterioration, we all have to do our bit, especially by decreasing our own personal carbon footprints.
Thankfully, exercising environmentally-friendly practices is not at all hard to do. There are many things we can change in our lives so that we can help save Mother Earth. The best part is that most of these habits will also be good for your wallet.
Here are eight things you can do to have an earth-friendly lifestyle.
1. Walk, bike, or take public transportation. By walking when you can and taking public transportation instead of driving your own car, you can help lower carbon emissions. At the same time, you contribute to unclogging the streets of traffic. Consider these major benefits: it drastically brings down your transportation costs (imagine how much you would spend on gas and parking versus the money you would pay for a fare across town), gives you much-needed physical activity which is good for your health, and sometimes even gets you to your destination faster.
2. Sign up for electronic statements. Bills, bills and more bills. They come to us all, every day, every week or every month. Imagine the number of trees being cut around the world just so consumers everywhere get their statements. We suggest you try electronic statements and see the convenience of getting your bills faster. More and more companies are now also charging a cost to deliver paper statements, so you can end up saving not just the tree, but your cash too.
3. Pay your bills, shop and even do your banking online or through your mobile phone. Going online for your various needs is not only convenient, it is also environment-friendly, think of more trees you’re saving! Settling bills through your bank’s bills payment feature, for instance, saves you the trouble of having to go physically to a bank or payment center, which is time-consuming and which entails having to pay for transportation, parking, and the like.
4. Bring your own mug or reusable bag. This takes some getting used to, but once you’ve established the habit, it will become second nature. The nice thing about bringing your own mug to your favorite coffee shop is that you are often given an outright discount for doing so, ranging from P2.00 to P10.00 per beverage purchased. Think of the savings from your daily caffeine fix. Bringing your own reusable bag also saves you from having to shell out money for packaging at many groceries and department stores.
5. Watch your power consumption. Be disciplined about turning off appliances that are not being used, such as the TV when no one is watching or the PC when no one is using it. Cut down the number of hours you use the air-conditioner. Iron your clothes all at the same time, instead of doing it one item at a time. Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs and always pay attention to the energy efficiency ratio of all appliances you purchase. Doing all these will help lower your monthly electricity bill, which also translates to savings.
6. Consume less. One of the best ways for you to embrace an environment-friendly lifestyle is to have a mindset of consuming less. Each time you buy something, think if you really need this item, and how it will be disposed of in the years to come. By checking our buying habits and practices, we can consume less and contribute to saving Mother Earth from further environmental degradation.
7. Recycle. Before you throw out anything, think of how these can be recycled. Used notebooks and papers, for instance, may still be used as scratch paper. Old newspapers can be used to wrap vegetables and fruits. Old bed sheets and towels may be turned into rags. Alternatively, hold a garage sale to give other people a chance to reuse your old items. This way, you do your bit for Mother Earth while being able to save money at the same time.
You don’t have to do all seven but taking on one or two of these earth-friendly habits will go a long way to ensure savings in the present and a better planet for the future.
Grow Your Money is an editorial partnership between News.abs-cbn.com and Citi Philippines to promote financial education and provide helpful information to Filipinos on how to better manage their personal finances.
Visit www.citibank.com.ph for more information.