How to Use Your Tax Refund to Go Green

12:14 PM

Isn't it fun when by some magical calculation the government decides to give you a big cheque every spring? (On the flip side, my condolences to the folks who actually owe money this year. Yuck!)

For those of us whose amount was in the black this year, I encourage you not to waste the instant sum on something silly. (Silly by definition: any electronics that will end up keeping you indoors more often.)

Here are my suggestions for things that will better your life and the planet, that you can buy with your tax refund:

  • A rain barrel! This glorified garbage can is often pricier than you'd expect, but it's worth every penny. I got one last year for my first official Mother's Day and I love it like a second child. You can hook it up to an existing trough spout, or just let the rain fall in naturally, and it will collect everything up for gardening use. Most have a hose hook up at the bottom so you'll be saving water in no time. This also cuts your water bill every month.
  • Mini-appliances! Things like a 2-person crock pot or an apartment-sized toaster oven can get the job done with less energy than a hefty stove doing all the work. And you don't have to pay top dollar - you can often pick up cool finds at a thrift shop. Just test it in an outlet before you leave to make sure it's still in working order. Less energy = great choice.
  • A bicycle! If you don't own one, it's time. A bike is quick and easy and gets you from A to B without the heavy traffic, the pollution, or the gas expense. When the weather allows, I like to bike for any trip that will take under half an hour each way. On special days, I'll load Oliver up in the front-facer seat and go for a really long ride. If the bike fits, is in good shape and has full tires, you should be able to bike for quite a while without getting tired.

Sure, it's a big bunch of money that you sort of weren't expecting, and that you sort of want to spend on make up or a leather jacket, but Mother Earth likes you a lot and I think you should like her back.. with your tax refund!

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