Cost-conscious and eco-conscious home owners no longer have to pick one cause over the other; as water and energy prices continue to climb and green technology normalizes and drops in price, it’s actually a practical and feasible choice to limit your use of valuable resources- as it should be. That said, there are a lot of “green” appliances that basically shuffle around waste, using more of one resource to save on another, and there are even more that take years to pay for themselves, if ever. Here’s a brief guide on what truly helps a home owner save the planet, as well as some extra cash.

bucketUse a Bucket         

Yes, there are a plethora of tech savvy green devices now on the market for any energy- or water-conscious buyer, but it’s not always necessary to throw money at the newest gadget to make a big difference in your resource use. There are plenty of situations where using a simple bucket, for example, can save you from wasting gallons of water a day. When you turn on the shower during cold winter months, keep a bucket in your shower to collect all the freezing cold water that you would otherwise let drain while you wait for the shower to heat up. This water can be used to water plants, clean surfaces or even wash your dishes. The kitchen sink is another great spot for a bucket; instead of constantly running water to clean your pots and pans, simply let the bucket fill once with soapy water and use quick squirts from the tap to rinse. This can save you up to a gallon per washing spree, which means 30 gallons a month.

Invest in a Low-Flow Toiletlow flow

Although plenty of new water-saving devices are sort of silly, the low-flow toilet makes total sense. Toilets are the major water drain for most American households, using up to 3-5 gallons per flush in older models. Less than a gallon is necessary to get the job done, so purchasing a low-flow saves up to 10,000 gallons of water a year. Although the current price of water is extremely low ($2/1000 gallons), as overpopulation continues and environmentalist causes attract more and more attention, that price is bound to rise. Get low-flow toilets before demand is high and start saving money now.

water meterInstall a Water Meter

Just being consciously reminded of your water use can have a huge effect on your determination to save money and resources. A water meter helps you to understand exactly how much of a dent your daily showers, dish washing cycles, laundry and plant watering each make in your bill.

Plan Your Landscaping Accordinglymulch

More than half of home owners’ water use is attributed to landscaping and lawn maintenance. Let the lawns of the past go and instead opt into mulching your garden. Mulch slows water evaporation and discourages weed growth, allowing for less water to be used to water the same plants.