Go green, go easy on your wallet

Bringing your own bag to buy groceries will save you money as you don't have to pay for single-use plastic bags at the store. - Filepic

Adopting a sustainable lifestyle and being financially literate are crucial to saving the environment.

Many Selangor residents have come to realise that going green can lead to much-needed savings — extra money that comes in handy in times of crises, such as this ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Most people think that living a green lifestyle is expensive but they just need to be a little savvy and shop smart to save the planet and spend less at the same time.

The pandemic was a tipping point for the Selangor government to improve the Smart Selangor Parking app, allowing users to pay digitally for parking across much of the state.

Additionally, the state’s business arm, Smart Selangor Delivery Unit, plans to go fully cashless for parking come January next year.

Until March this year, 1.5 million users had embraced the idea of paying for parking electronically, resulting in 634,994kg of paper saved from being turned into parking coupons.

Two weeks ago, Global Money Week 2021, an annual awareness campaign aimed at inspiring people to learn about money matters and sustainable livelihoods, saw more people opting for green living.

Everything that we do affects the planet, from how we choose to pay our bills to the appliances we buy and use.

These days, more people are opting to go cashless by making payments or paying bills online or via e-wallets.

With fewer trips made to run these errands outside the home, less fuel is used, reducing the pollutants released into the environment.

Similarly, bringing your own bag to buy groceries saves you money as you don’t have to pay for single-use plastic bags at the store.

Here are a few more ways you can save money and help the planet simultaneously:

> Take the Smart Selangor bus, a free bus service for Malaysian citizens. You will save on fuel, wear and tear on your vehicle and at the same time, enjoy the ride. An added bonus: walking to the bus stop is a form of exercise and you will become more familiar with your area.

> Switch to LED lights, as the casing and LED fluorescent tubes and bulbs are reasonably priced now. Using LED lights can save energy costs. They also have a longer lifespan.

> Turn off and unplug appliances at home as these items still use energy when kept plugged in. Use power strips with switches for each socket so that devices can be turned off separately when not needed.

> Keep a tiffin carrier in the car boot so you can take away food in these containers instead of the clamshell packaging the shop may use. You can also choose not to accept the plastic cutlery and plastic bags they offer for your takeaway. Some eateries charge a small fee for providing these plastic items while others give a discount for bringing your own containers.

> Get a reusable water bottle and fill it with filtered water from your home or a water dispenser at the office. Plastic bottles harm the environment when not disposed of properly.

> Use rainwater collected from a rainwater harvesting system or a regular pail to wash the porch. Avoid wasting tap water and reduce your water bill in one go.

Additionally, Petaling Jaya City Council gives a rebate on assessment fee for those who adopt green measures.

It would be good if other councils offered some tax relief too.

This will send a positive message that going green can lead to paying lower taxes, which again, means saving money in the long run.

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