During the current economic crisis, you probably won't be looking at many large scale green changes such as buying a hybrid car, installing solar panels, or replacing all your old appliances with Energy Star ones. However you can make significant green changes that will actually save you money.
1. Bring your lunch in reusable packaging. Packing a lunch at home is always cheaper than eating out. You will also reduce the amount of waste you generate in the form of Styrofoam containers, plastic cutlery, paper napkins, etc. By packing your lunch in a reusable container you also save the money you would spend on sandwich baggies while reducing your waste.
2. Plan your week's meals before going shopping. By planning ahead you can research what's on sale, check for coupons, plan meals that will use up items in your pantry, and avoid waste from items that you buy and don't use up by planning multiple meals that will use the ingredients. You will also spend less at the store if you make a list and only buy items on the list to avoid impulse buys.
3. Become a smart shopper. Shopping online will save you money on gas and may help you stick to your gift list better. Buying in bulk will save you money and reduce the amount of packaging you dispose of, just make sure not to overbuy or buy an item just because it seems like a good deal. Buying items used from thrift stores, ebay, or craigslist keeps items out of landfills and reduces the production of new items while saving you money in the process.
4. Over the past few months when gas prices were at an all time high, many people changed their driving habits in order to save money. As frustrating as high gas prices are, they are actually good for the environment as people reduce their driving. Now that gas prices are thankfully lower, keep in place the changes you made and save even more money.