5 Green Ways to Save Money in Winter

Image by armigeress (via Flickr)
Image by armigeress (via Flickr)

We are only a month and a half into 2010 and already countries around the globe are getting hit with some of the harshest winter weather conditions seen in years. In the U.S. alone, 49 of the 50 states had snow on the ground as of last Friday (Hawaii being the only hold-out) and the East Coast has been getting buried by harsh blizzards and record-setting snowfall. So, in this brutal winter weather I figured I’d share some simple green ways you can save money.

1) Let nature help you exercise: With Washington D.C. getting over 30 inches of snow in a 30-hour time period, getting outside for a walk or going to the gym, probably weren’t on the top of people’s lists.

However, if you are in an area getting a lot of snow, wait until the snow fall settles a little and get out and start shoveling. It’s a great way to get exercise AND clean up your driveway, stairs, deck, etc.

Note: I’m not saying it’s the most exciting way to exercise, but since you probably have to dig your way out anyway, you might as well get your exercise in the fresh outdoors. It’ll keep you warm and doesn’t cost much of anything.

2) Reduce home oil costs: The U.S. Dept of Energy has determined that home oil is about 16% more effective at heating homes than natural gas. So if you have one of the over 8 million homes in the U.S. that are heated through the use of home heating oil every year, you already have made a green choice.

However, home oil costs can add up quickly, especially in winter (due to increased pricing and use). In order to save money, you would be wise to check out an effective catalyst that can lower your home oil costs and increase oil combustion up to 8%.

Check out this cost saving calculator to determine how much you could save on home oil costs.

3) Increase home energy efficiency: If you live in an area where cold winters are the norm, then you probably have figured out or been told various tips and tricks to winterize your home.

Another tool you can use to get specific information for YOUR home, is via the EPA’s Residential Energy Awareness program. Just enter some details about your home and changes you are planning on making and the program will use local utility and climate information to show you how much you could save in money, energy and environmental pollutants.

4) Cut down on water waste: You may not think of saving water as a way to save money in the winter, but it is. When the weather gets cold, one refreshing way to warm up is get in a hot shower. But, as you know, a hot shower can take quite a bit of time to heat up.

You always have the option of starting off in a cold shower and letting it warm up though. I know…not exactly what you want to do on a freezing cold day, but cold showers actually have many health benefits.

If you don’t think you can handle that, check out getting a showerhead adaptor with ShowerStart technology. The adaptor can be used with almost any showerhead and is designed to turn your running water down to a trickle once it heats up (until you get in the shower, of course).

While it doesn’t prevent all water from being wasted, it does prevent your hot water from being wasted. There are also many other water conservation tips that can help you save water throughout your home.

5) Set your car up for improved fuel economy: Fuel economy is key no matter where you live, but when you live in cold weather climates your fuel economy can drop significantly during the winter months.

You can help save yourself money and lower your winter emissions by following some simple cold weather tips: a) don’t warm your vehicle up too much before you start driving, b) when running errands go to your furthest destination first and work your way back, c) if possible, keep your vehicle in a garage,  d) don’t run your engine to clear snow/ice off your windows, use an ice-scraper or other tool, e) allow more time for driving during bad weather and f) keep your vehicle properly maintained.

However, one thing I don’t recommend is trying this method of scraping ice off your windshield:

Probably the simplest green tip to save you money in winter is don’t leave anything to chance. If you take the time and ensure you are prepared for bad weather, whether it be in your home or on the road, you will be better off. What’s your favorite green tip to save money in winter?


  1. Cold shower? LOL!! But seriously, great tips and I am always game to get out and shovel snow for my exercise. Sadly, all of our winter weather seems to have migrated to the East Coast. Central Oregon has had spring weather since January….

  2. Hi Nan – thanks…me too!

    Hi Steph….I know, right?! But it’s supposed to be good for you now and again. Yeah, I know what you mean on that one – weather down here definitely feels like spring right now. Possibly some rain coming this weekend.


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