How To Make Your Money Greener
I recently finished reading Forty Signs of Rain a fictional novel about what can happen as a result of global warming and the decay of our atmosphere. I also recently read a article on ChristianPF.com asking Was Jesus a tightwad? Both of these really made me think about ways I can make a difference.
Here’s a few tips for making greener financial decisions:
Take advantage of fuel efficiency and energy related tax credits
While I am no tax expert, there are a number of federal and state level tax credits for making greener changes to your home and or automobiles. For example, if you decide to install a solar energy system in your home there is a $2,000 federal tax credit and here in N.C. a $10, 500 tax credit. If you purchase a hybrid car, there is a $3,000 dollar federal tax credit.
I don’t recommend you go purchase these items just for the tax credit, but if you have the money and are going to make these changes/purchases anyway than you should take advantage of the available credits.
Stop the Paper
Do you still receive paper statements or bills? Why? Go online or call anyone you do business with that sends you a paper monthly statement or bill and ask to go electronic instead. You will reduce your mail, save trees, and reduce the amount of paper in your home. Not to mention the emissions reduction from not having to have all that paper transported and delivered.
I am surprised at the number of people who still drive to the bank and/or brokerage center. All banks and brokerages offer online services, so just logon and do everything from your computer. Use the ATM for deposits and withdrawals. They are open 24×7 and frequently your deposits will be credited immediately. Yes you can even deposit cash. ATM’s require far less overhead than a branch.
Support Green Companies
Work with companies that have made green commitments or support green initiatives. Many banks and other financial institutions have made commitments to do things to help the environment. For example, reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Check into the banks, brokerages, and mutual fund companies you are working with, and support green companies. Not only does this help the environment, but it will help you, as forward thinking “green” companies are considered sustainable.
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Do you feel it’s important to be green? What things have you done recently to make your money greener? Have other ideas, we would love to hear them!