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Posts Tagged ‘cheap’

Summer is coming and if you live in Wisconsin like me, you’ve already experienced some summer heat this spring. Here are several tips for how to stay cool this summer while staying green and without going broke.

1) Keep your shades closed. Thermal curtains or light-blocking curtains are relatively inexpensive and can be bought at Shopko. These curtains will keep the light and/or heat out in the summer, reducing your need to artificially cool your home.

A storm took out one of our trees last summer and unfortunately, it was the tree on the west side of the house that produced nice shade for our home. So, now on warmer days, the sun beats in through our living room windows in the evening, heating up the whole lower level of the house. To make up for the loss of shade and natural cooling feature of our tree, I recently bought some curtains to block out the light:

2) Use fans. Fans still use electricity, but they use less energy than air conditioners. When possible, use fans rather than central air or an air conditioning unit to cool your home. On the especially hot and humid days when you do need to artificially cool your home, keep your thermostat set higher (in the mid-70s) and turn on some fans to cool you down.

3) Keep the cool air in! Caulk around windows and use weather-stripping on doors to keep the cool air in and the heat out. Also, add insulation with a high “R” rating to your attic. This is initially an expensive purchase, but will pay off in energy savings all year every year.

For more tips on how to keep your home cool without breaking the bank this summer, visit the All You blog.

How do you cool your home in green ways? Has much money have you saved?

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Many college students are eco-minded individuals who want to lead sustainable lives. But the challenge to live sustainably can be daunting, especially for those on limited incomes.

As a college student myself, I have been faced with this challenge for the past four years. Let me share some tips with you for how I made sustainable choices that also saved me money. Couponing.about.com has some great additional ideas that I will also share.

1) Buy used textbooks whenever possible. Used textbooks can be found at your campus bookstore, Amazon, Ebay or Half Price Books. Also check out Facebook to see if there is a specific page set up by students at your university to buy and sell textbooks from their classmates.

Renting is also another viable, green option.

And be sure to sell your books back to your campus bookstore or to Amazon at the end of the semester if you don’t intend to use the book again.

2) Walk to campus if you can. Save yourself the money for an on-campus parking permit (which typically runs about $100 per semester) and give yourself the exercise you need by walking to campus. If you’re like me and don’t live close enough to campus to walk, park your car in a parking zone on a city street off campus and walk a couple of blocks to campus.

3) Buy basic clothing rather than what’s trendy. It will cost you less, and you can wear it for more than one season. You can find lots of great stuff at secondhand stores such as Goodwill, such as these two shirts:

4) Shop Craigslist or Goodwill for furniture and other household items needed for your dorm, apartment or house.

5) Another blog, called Just Ask Asa, suggests using reusable plates, cups and shopping bags, rather than disposable paper and plastic ones, to reduce waste and to save money in the long run.

These are some of the ways I and many others have tried to live a frugal and green life in college.

How have you saved money while living green in college or as a young adult?

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