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5 sustainable life hacks that save you money

Date posted:  8/1/17 12:00:00 PM Want to save money and help the planet? Look no further than these five sustainable life hacks.

Want to save money and help the planet? Look no further than these five sustainable life hacks:

1. Switch to LED lights

Unscrew inefficient incandescent light bulbs and replace them with longer-lasting, energy-efficient LED bulbs.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LEDs last about three to 25 times longer and use 25-80 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs.

How do LED bulbs impact your wallet? Well, according to The Simple Dollar, the total cost of one LED bulb over 25,000 hours at $0.13 per kilowatt-hour is $30, while an incandescent bulb will run you about $180—and that's just for one bulb. Switching over each bulb to an LED may save you hundreds of dollars per year.

Whether you are a renter or homeowner, you save money by using LEDs as they do not need to be replaced as often as incandescent bulbs.

2. Turn off electronics

By leaving electronics plugged in around the clock, you may be adding nearly 10 percent of energy usage to your monthly utility bill, the DOE stated.

Unplug electronics you do not use often, whether it be TVs, cellphone chargers or small appliances. Take this one step further by plugging electronics into power strips so you can turn off many devices at once to cut down energy consumption more conveniently.

3. Moderate temperatures

When you come home, set the thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit in the warmer months as recommended by the DOE. In the cooler months, aim to keep the temperature around 68 degree. These cost-effective temperatures ​provide a comfortable middle ground.

Before leaving for work, turn the thermostat up by 7-10 degrees in the summer, and down by 7-10 degrees in the winter. Otherwise, you will be wasting money and energy by cooling or heating your home when no one is there. If you have pets, check with your vet about any temperature concerns.

4. Drink filtered or tap water

Consuming water is a necessity, but try to avoid bottled water.

Buying bottled water in bulk will cost you hundreds of dollars each year. However, if you drink tap water or buy a filter, you will drastically decrease that cost.

You will also be doing your part to cut pollution by drinking less bottled water. Plastic bottles, according to the U.S. National Park Service, take about 450 years to biodegrade. Worse, plastic produces toxic fumes when burned.

5. Cut back on driving

Reducing the amount of time you spend behind the wheel will also save money as you will use less gasoline. With the average cost of gasoline around $2.30, according to AAA, filling up your take two or three times per month can put a dent in your wallet. You will also reduce the amount of carbon dioxide your car emits if you drive less.

Instead, walk, bike or take public transportation. Not only are these commuting options cheaper, but they are also environmentally friendly (and beneficial for your personal health). Between making the switch to LEDs, cutting out bottled water and walking more, there are many ways to save money through eco-friendly solutions.