How to Save Money AND help the planet

Don't all of us love to have the money to do the fun things that bring us joy? Not that all fun things require money, mind you, on the contrary! But have you ever wanted to read that awesome-looking new book, eat at that new green restaurant in town or throw a party for friends and family...only to be short a little cash?

Here are few tips:

1. Give your hot water tank a blanket.

There's this neat thing called Reflectix, have you heard of it? Wow. It's basically insulation for your hot water tank...in the form of shiny aluminum foil, but slightly thicker. And just as easy to manipulate. Just roll out the amount needed, wrap your hot water tank, and secure it with a special shiny tape, almost like gift wrapping your tank.

Net result? You'll save a bunch off your heating bills! And by saving energy to heat your water, you help the planet enormously! (Reflectix can also be used to insulate heating ducts.) Buy it in rolls of all different sizes at your local hardware store and go nuts!! Very cool stuff.

2. Grow your hair long OR...shave it all off.

Okay, call me crazy, but what is it with the hair thing? Cutting it off, letting it grow, trying this style, that style...I don't know about you, but I'm a real no-nonsense kind of gal. And a while back, I decided to let my hair grow and go as long as I could without a cut. (About six months.) It was quite liberating! And by conservative estimates, I saved probably close to $100 dollars in those six months! ($30 dollar haircut every two months, plus tip.) Of course, I had a style that didn't grow out, so I looked fine (or at least no one TOLD me I didn't.)

How does this help the planet, you ask? Well, as with all the money saving tips in this issue, the more money you save, the less you have to work for it. The less you have to work for it, the less you have to commute, use your car/gasoline, eat out for lunch/dinner...etc. etc. Get what I mean?

Whether man or woman, let me ask you this. What if you were to decide to let your hair grow and forego haircuts for a period of time? Or, go the other route like my husband Mike and shave it all off, that way you can do it yourself, every time! I don't think Mike's spent a cent on cutting his hair for nearly five years, and of course, he looks fab as always...


Radical? Maybe. But it does save money AND helps the planet. Think about it and maybe it's for you...even if it's just for a few months.

3. Sit on your toilet paper roll.

Giggle. Yes, you can help the planet and save money...by squishing your toilet paper roll before you put it on its holder. How's that? Well, simple really. By flattening your roll, (sitting on it, stepping on it, whatever) you make it harder to take too much toilet paper at once. You know how sometimes you give it too much of a yank, and there you have it, toilet paper all over? No use trying to roll it back up, right? Well, that's wasted paper and money.

By flattening it first, the roll moves slower, and you can take just the right amount. A great money and planet saving tip for ANYONE to try, from die hard environmentalists to newbies, especially if you make a point of buying the toilet paper with recycled paper content in it!

Go on, this is one you can try right now! Go squish your toilet paper rolls, then come back and finish reading. Yay!

4.Speak up.

I'll finish off with a REALLY easy one okay? It promises to save you money AND help the planet...and it's fun too. A true-blue Joy to the Planet tip. And that is...speak up! Meaning...when in doubt, have a conversation. You really want to do something great for the planet? Well, you heard me right. Start talking. Pick any of the ten items on this list and talk about...how cool, how easy, how hard, how crazy...each is.

It's simple really. By having a conversation instead of going to the movies, to the mall, or out for food, you inevitably, inexorably, save money, and probably enjoy yourself more too! Who doesn't like a hearty chest-pounding yack-fest with a friend? At the same time, just talking about how to help the planet is a really low-tech, sure fire way to get people thinking more about these things, and that is a great thing.

Andrea J. Lee is an award-winning author, speaker, entrepreneur and coach.
She is a rabid advocate for the planet who coaches online business owners in
the environmental niche market to be financially successful. For more tips
on how you can help the planet and enjoy life at the same time, visit
www.joytotheplanet.com.

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