Guest Post: 3 Ways to Save Money and the Environment

I’ll be honest with you: I am not a hardcore environmentalist. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t care about decreasing my carbon footprint and making sustainable choices in my daily life. Fortunately, there are lots of ways that you can minimize your environmental impact without drastically altering your lifestyle. What’s more, many companies will reward you for taking environmentally friendly actions, like going paperless or using reusable coffee tumblers.

So what are you waiting for? Take these simple steps to save the environment (and a little money, too).

1. Use eco-friendly lights and appliances: Energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances not only last longer so that you don’t have to buy them as often, but the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report that they also reduce your overall monthly electricity bill by 10 to 30 percent. Besides saving on your bills, many utility companies, like ConEdison, will give you a rebate when you purchase an energy efficient appliance.

2. Go paperless: With the market saturation of digital products today, going paperless has never been easier. Bills, statements, notices, and offers can be viewed on almost any handheld device or computer and paying bills electronically is safer and more efficient than it has ever been. Manilla.com is a free online and mobile service that aggregates all of your bills and statements into a central place, displays all of your account balances and due dates, and sends automatic reminders when your bills are due so that you never have another late fee again. Most importantly, using a service like Manilla will help you avoid those administrative fees some companies charge to process your paper.

3. Recycle old cell phones: I recently switched from a Blackberry to the new iPhone 5 and was excited to learn that I could earn up to $300 cash back for recycling my phone with my wireless provider, Sprint. Sprint’s Buyback Program rewards customers for making smart ecological choices and properly disposes or restores your device, preventing toxins from entering the waste stream and putting a little money back in your pocket.

 It’s nice to live in a world where you are rewarded for making good choices. For more ways to save money and the environment, visit the Manilla Blog.

Caroline Wright is the customer support associate for Manilla.com, a free service that helps consumers manage all of their bills and accounts in one place online or via the Manilla mobile apps. To learn more about how you can live well on a budget, visit the Manilla Blog