5 Green Ways to Use Your Tax Refund
Thursday, 15 April 2010
If you’re one of the lucky ones getting a tax refund this year, here are five ways that you can use your refund to help the environment and fight climate change. 1. Make energy efficiency improvements in your home, such as with Energy Star qualified windows and appliances. An energy efficient replacement can reduce your heating, cooling or electricity bill while reducing your home’s carbon footprint. And you may qualify for a tax credit, such as for 30% of cost up to $1,500 for energy efficient improvements! 2. Buy eco-friendlier goods such as those labeled fair trade, CarbonFree® Certified, or organic. Each represent action taken to make goods more socially or environmentally responsible. 3. Reduce, offset your carbon footprint. Find out what your footprint is by calculating it and take actions to reduce what you can and offset what you can’t by supporting third-party validated carbon reduction projects. 4. If you drive, be sure your vehicle is tuned up and ready to handle the stresses of summer heat or congestion. Take public transit when you can, but if you need to drive, getting a tune-up and having your tires checked and properly inflated (this alone can save 400-700 pounds of CO2 each year) save gas and help keep your vehicle out of the junk yard. 5. With the economy recovering, consider investing in environmentally responsible companies or mutual funds. For companies, see if they have clearly articulated and taken steps to reduce their impact on the environment or improve the sustainability of their operations. You can view their annual or corporate social responsibility reports, or check out a list like Carbonfund.org’s partners who are fighting climate change. For mutual funds, a starting point can be the Social Investment Forum. Learn more on actions you can take to reduce your climate impact here. Good luck this Tax Day, and try using some of your refund, if you get one this year, to help the environment!