Go Green and Save Money on Earth Day

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This week's Money Saving Monday report coincides with this special day for Mother Earth: the 33rd Annual Earth Day.

WHNT NEWS 19 spoke with Huntsville's Operation Green Team for a few ways you can help out the environment and your wallet at the same time today -- with minimal effort.

"You can reduce, reuse, recycle.  You can make our planet a better place to live because of the small things that you do just in every day life," said Joy McKee, the Director of Operation Green Team of Huntsville.

She said every person can make a difference starting with how you get ready for your day.

"For every minute that you take off in your shower, you save about five gallons of water."

And you save money on your heating and water bills.
But don't stop there.  Here's a trick even children can do.

"Turn off your water when you're brushing your teeth," said McKee.  "And look how much you would save, look how much water you could save."

She explained water conservation is becoming a huge issue for many places.

Speaking of that, here's another tip:  stop buying bottled water.  Critics say it increases our consumption of fossil fuels due to using virgin petroleum to make the plastic, fill the bottles and distribute them.  You can recycle them, but experts say only about 13% of them get recycled.

"If I just recycle one aluminum can, I can then produce enough energy to watch TV for three hours," said McKee.

Turn off that TV as well as the lights, she added, when you leave your room to save energy and money.

Recycle electronics.  Best Buy, for example, will take them and may even give you a store gift card in return.

When driving, turn your engine off when idling for more than 30 seconds.  Engines emit toxins into the environment and for every two minutes, you're using the same amount of fuel it takes to go about a mile.

Cut back on paper towels.  Dish towels and rags are cheaper and reusable.  Paper towels cannot be recycled because the fibers in them are too short to be woven into new paper products.

"We only have a certain amount of natural resources," said McKee. "So if we're going to use them up, what are we going to have for the next generation?"

There are some freebies offered today to sweeten the deal to celebrate Earth Day.

Target will give out free reusable shopping bags.  The company have more than 1.5 million of them to give away nationwide.
Pottery Barn will be giving out free packets of seeds for children to plant at home.

Here's a link for even more freebies today.

Take the pledge on Facebook to be energy efficient on Earth Day and beyond.

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