As the new year begins to re-enter the working world, and the great feeling of renewal found during the holidays begins to wear off, many will be giving their new year’s resolutions little more than a passing thought. Whether it be to lose weight or drink more water, new year’s resolutions typically don’t see the light of day past February. Drastic changes are like that. Too often, we try to make major changes in our lives that buck old habits and find that those old habits can be pretty stubborn.
One new year’s resolution that tends to hold resolver’s interest throughout the year is that of saving money. Hand in hand with this is making a commitment to living more of a green life. Because small changes can lead to big outcomes in both areas, these are often the resolutions that you’ll not only stick with, but that you’ll save money with throughout the year.
I Resolve to Use My Own Cup At the Coffee Shop
Green savings: Less Waste
Cash Savings: As much as $50 per year
Coffee shops don’t care what cup you use, and in some cases, will even give you a small discount on your drink if you do use your own cup. For instance, Starbucks offers customers a .10 cent discount on their order for a re-usable cup. This saves the customer money, saves the coffee shop money, and reduces waste.
I Resolve to Drive the Speed Limit
Green Savings: Lower Carbon emissions, Less fuel use
Cash savings: $500 per year
Conservatively, most Americans have a 1/2 hour commute to work, and a 1/2 hour commute from work. While ten miles per hour over the speed limit may get you there around five minutes early, that 70-mile per hour drive will cost you. On average, your vehicle costs you .50 cents more per gallon of fuel for every five miles per hour over the speed limit. This will generally cost you approximately two dollars per day, just to drive at 70 miles per hour. Multiply that by the number of days you work, and you begin to see that keeping to the speed limit really does pay off.
I Resolve to Wear Sweaters When I’m at Home
Green Savings: Lower electric and gas usage
Cash Savings: 5% or more on your home heating bill
For every one-degree drop in the temperature of your home, you will see a 1% decrease in your monthly energy bill. If you’ve become accustomed to your house at 73 degrees in the winter, put on a sweater and you’ll be able to comfortably turn the thermostat down as low as 68 degrees. If you’re of a hardy constitution, you could even dip the thermostat further. Just keep in mind that the temperature must be held the same for at least 8 hours to see any real savings.
U.S. Department of Energy: Gas Mileage Tips – Driving more Efficiently
Care 2 Make a Difference: 10 Tips for the Thermostat: Your Key To Savings
Starbucks: Being a Responsible Company