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Going green with your banking and life

Spotlight On Finance

— You should also consider donating quality clothing, appliances and furniture to the Salvation Army or Goodwill. Ask for a receipt. You can include the fair market value of your donation as a deduction on your taxes.

Abraham Lincoln said: “"I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him." In the effort to go green and be a more eco-friendly society, we can all do a little more so that our “place” in the world is better off tomorrow than it is today. And it doesn’t have to be painful. In fact, small changes add up to make a big impact—environmentally . . . and financially.

Hugh Donlon is president of KeyBank’s Capital Region. He may be reached at either 518-257-8618 or hugh_donlon@keybank.com.

Tips on going green—in your home, with your life

Going green financially, whether by taking your banking activity online or leveraging tax deductions, more often than not translates to going green in your home through reduced consumption of goods and services. However, there are many other ways to decrease your carbon footprint as well, especially when it comes to what you do at home and in your daily activities.

Here are seven lifestyle changes and ways to make your life a little greener that come from Key.com or other articles written by colleagues at Key:

  • Consider purchasing a reusable container for your water and another for your coffee. This will cut your paper and plastic and paper consumption considerably. And just because you don’t brew your own coffee doesn’t mean you can’t use your new travel mug; many coffee shops will fill them with their coffee for you. Some even offer discounts if you bring your own mug.
  • Bring reusable bags with you to the grocery store. Not only will you cut back on plastic, you could also make a few cents per bag you use.
  • Eat local and support local growers by dining in town and visiting local farmers markets. You will enjoy fresh foods and reduce gas emissions.
  • Leave your car at home for a day. If possible, walk to work. If work is too far away, try working from home at least one day a week. According to the EPA, leaving your car at home twice a week can cut greenhouse gas emissions by 1,600 pounds per year.
  • Don’t be a water waster. Stop letting the faucet run while you brush your teeth and wash dishes. Wash larger loads of laundry. And water your lawn in the morning or at night when the temperature is cooler.
  • Recycling isn’t only for paper, plastic and cardboard. Take your old or broken electronics to your local electronic recycling center and try e-cycling instead of throwing them in the trash.
  • Conserve energy at home by switching out traditional light bulbs with energy efficient light bulbs and by unplugging anything that glows. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 75 percent of all electricity consumed in the home is standby power used to keep electronics running when those TVs, DVRs, computers, monitors and stereos are “off.”

Going green can be easy. It takes simple changes in behavior that become habit and define a new normal. And you don’t have to do it alone. It’s easier and far more impactful if you include your spouse, partner, and/or children. Together you can have fun learning about creative ways to go green that work for you.

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