Welcome Green Monsters! We're your online guide to making conscious choices that help people, animals and the planet.

Deforestation is a HUGE problem that affects every single living being on this planet. It is estimated that about 36 football fields of forest are cleared every minute! The effect of chopping, bulldozing, and burning these forests is felt on a global scale, as this process is responsible for about 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. This process is also largely detrimental to the animals that call these forests home. With every forest clearing, we lose about 135 different species of plants, animals, and insects.

While deforestation may seem like a problem that is just too big for you to make a difference, that is simply not true. By and large, deforestation is driven by consumers. Palm oil and paper production rank among the top drivers of deforestation. So while it is not good that many of the products we buy and use everyday are inadvertently funding deforestation, there is a lot that you can do to help end this disaster.

Making conscious decisions as a consumer is not only beneficial to the planet, but it can save you some serious cash. Here are a few simple ways you can help prevent deforestation, and save yourself 100 bucks. Now doesn’t that make you feel great?

1. Ween yourself off of palm oil!

Palm oil is in virtually every consumer product you can buy. From snack foods to make up and even laundry detergent, palm oil sneaks its way into our lives. Eliminating products that are made with unsustainable palm oil can have a huge positive impact on the planet as well as your wallet.

  • Purchasing 150 fl oz jug of Tide detergent costs around $19.61. By making your own detergent according to this recipe (free of palm oil!), your cost per load equals out to about 15 cents, meaning you can do 96 loads of laundry for only $14.40.
  • According to Style U.K., the cost of the contents of an average woman’s makeup bag equals about $287! Pretty much all of the items you can find in a cosmetics store can be made from items you can find in your pantry – costing around $20 total.
  • There are DIY planet-friendly alternatives to nearly every cleaning product you can buy that contains palm oil. Check out this article for ideas. Replacing a 32 oz of commercial window cleaner with a 32 oz bottle of white vinegar will cut your glass cleaner costs in half, plus save you from being exposed to the nasty chemicals found in traditional cleaners.

2. Replace disposable paper products

According to the World Wildlife Fund, 40 percent of the world’s commercially cut timber is processed for paper. A simple way to help reduce this number is to stop using disposable paper products.

  • According to this article from the Simple Dollar, by switching from paper towels to a cloth dish rag, you can save around $56 per year.
  • Switching your paper lunch bag and disposable utensils to non-disposable sustainable alternatives, you can save around $335 a year!
  • Go paperless! The WWF has an awesome guide to help you reduce paper consumption in the office. In your personal life, switch all paper letters to e-cards. A book of stamps costs about $10, where e-mail is free! It is estimated that if every household in the U.S. made the switch to online banking, 16.5 million trees could be saved, every year! Check out this article to help clear all the unnecessary paper from your life.

3. Be mindful of electricity use

Burning trees to generate electricity is a growing environmental problem. Some electric companies are switching from burning fossil fuels to burning biomass (plant materials), while in theory this is a “cleaner” alternative, there is little transparency as to where biomass materials are sourced. According to the NRDC, some companies are cutting down whole forests to produce biomass, rather than using reclaimed wood that would otherwise end up in a landfill. You can find out if the electric company you use is contributing to this problem by clicking here.

Regardless of whether your electricity comes from biomass or fossil fuels, switching over to clean energy is your best bet to ensure you are not harming the planet and displacing animals in the name of your gadgets. 

If you are not ready to make the renewable switch, simple habits can help cut your energy bill and save some trees in the process.

  • Turning off your computer at night can save you $1.85 a month in electricity costs.
  • Switch to LED lights for your home, they are 80 percent more efficient than standard bulbs and last up to 25 times longer! According to this Earth Easy article, the average household can save up to $267 by making the switch.
  • Using a programmable thermostat can save you $180 a year and help cut your home’s energy use.
  • Purchasing energy-efficient electronics (EnergyStar certified) can help reduce your electric bills by $200 a year!

Wow, who knew saving money and saving the planet could be so simple?! Get out there and start saving people!

Image source: Wagner T. Cassimiro / Flickr

See something, Say something. Bookmark, share and help further build our directory of Animal Rescue Hotlines and let's be prepared to help animals today!

Browse through some recent posts below:

Old MacDonald’s Factory Farm: A Look Into Who’s Behind the World of Big Ag

Old MacDonald's Factory Farm ... A Look Into the World of Big Ag

From a Tourist Ranch to a Spacious Sanctuary: Ben the Bear Celebrates Two Years of Freedom!

Living on a 12 by 22 foot chain is no life at all for a black bear. In the wild, these astounding creatures can be up to seven feet tall and weigh up to 800 pounds. The black bear is incredibly adaptable and can be found in 40 of the 50 states in the U.S. But, despite their versatility, black bears should never be found in a concrete enclosure, chained down as a tourist attraction. This, sadly, was the life of Ben the bear who lived for six years at Jambbas Ranch Tours, a private ranch attraction in North Carolina. All alone in his paltry cement prison, Ben's only form of interaction can in the shape of tourists outfitted with cameras and a wallet full of cash. His caretakers fed him dog food and for entertainment, Ben was given a bowling ball and a few sad stumps of wood. After years of the monotony, Ben began to exhibit stereotypic behavior, pacing back and forth in his tiny enclosure. Pacing and other pointless, repetitive behaviors are symptoms of zoochosis, the form of mental illness that animals kept in captivity develop overtime in response to the stress of being held indefinitely. Walking back and forth on the hard concrete caused serious damage to the bear's footpads and it was clear that this was hardly a proper environment for a wild bear. Thankfully, some compassionate visitors alerted PETA and the Animal Legal Defense Fund to Ben's suffering and soon these two organizations filed a suit for his release. All evidence pointed to the conclusion that Ben was not being properly cared for and he was released to Performing Animal Welfare Society's (PAWS) ARK Sanctuary in California. Ben the BearPETA First Steps to Freedom With the help of FedEx (yes that FedEx) Ben and his new team of caretakers were on their way from North Carolina to California. The flight crew dubbed the plane "Bear Force One" for the epic journey. PETA writes that when Ben arrived at the sanctuary, it was likely the first time his paws had ever felt grass. Probably a great comfort after years of hard concrete. Within minutes, Ben was running through his new, spacious, 1.5-acre playground, going for a dip in the pool and exploring to his hearts content. Check out this video of Ben's first day at the sanctuary! It's amazing to see how quickly he adapts to his natural environment after six long years of living in a concrete prison cell. Quite the testament to the resiliency of animals. Ben's habitat is part of theBob Barker Bear Habitat, which was specifically designed for bears. The habitat includes trees, grass, natural vegetation and a large pool, much more suited to the needs of an adult black bear. Ben was given proper food for the first time and allowed to interact with the sanctuary's other black bears, Sampson and Cinnamon. Ben the Bear Ben spent his first week at the sanctuary foraging for food and learning what it means to be a wild bear again. Ben the BearPAWS According to PAWS, the USDA suspended Jambbas Ranch Tour's exhibitors license in January of 2014. The license cannot be restored until the facility is in full compliance of the Animal Welfare Act's regulations. We can't really say that we hope this happens any time soon ... Ben the BearPAWS Following the suspension of Jambbas' license, Ben celebrated two happy years at ARK sanctuary! Although Ben's story has a happy ending, he is a constant reminder of the suffering that many other bears are currently being forced to endure for the sake of human entertainment. Ben the BearPAWS Every bear should get to experience the SWEET taste of freedom! Ben the Bear What You Can Do For Other Bears Tourist attractions that feature live animals are rarely focused on anything other than profit. Although some attractions boast their dedication to conservation, and claim their profits go towards helping other, non-captive species, it is important that you do all your research before buying a ticket. Are the animals kept on chains that greatly limit their movement? Are they being fed a proper diet? Were these animals captured from the wild? Just like a zoo or a circus, roadside tourist attractions perpetuate the idea that animals are here for our entertainment, and wrongly send the message that animals "enjoy" performing for an audience. When you understand the basic needs and behaviors of wild animals, it becomes readily apparent that living on a chain in a small enclosure without mental stimulation or companionship goes against anything natural. Unlike cats or dogs, wild animals have not evolved to live with humans and forcing them to do so is only to their detriment. Education is the first step in ending the abuse of animal tourist attractions. Share Ben's story with your friends and be sure to report any animal abuse or neglect you might encounter. Without the help of the kind people who reported Ben's sad condition to PETA and ALDF, he might not have been rescued. Remember, animals can't speak, so it is our duty to speak up for them! To learn more about PAWS and the other bears living at the Bob Barker Bear Sanctuary, click here.

‘Looks Can Kill’ – Dangers of Adopting a Dog for Novelty

“Looks Can Kill” – Dangers of Adopting a Dog for Novelty

10 Scary Facts About Meat and the Environment

10 Scary Facts About Meat and The Environment

Disclosure: One Green Planet accepts advertising, sponsorship, affiliate links and other forms of compensation, which may or may not influence the advertising content, topics or articles written on this site. Click here for more information.

4 comments on “How to Save $100 and Save the Planet from Deforestation”

Sign on with:
Click to add comment
Eileen Cain
6 Months Ago

How can we actually stop all those wasteful paper ads that come in the mail? I have looked before and cannot seem to find a way to make them stop. That is such a horrible waste of paper everyone always throws them in the trash in the mail room which is even more a waste if it isn't recycled.

19 Apr 2014

I have called who i could on the mail, and asked to be on the do not mail list. The rest i shred and toss in a bucket of water till its full (3days) and make pulp and strain, squeeze out the water, and dry them in the sun. Then use these brisket in the wood stove to light my wood. with comcast its impossible so i mail it back to them. Bad

Terree Rola
6 Months Ago

More like a win-win-win: if you also eliminate partially hydrogenated palm oil from your diet, you can lower your cholesterol. http://lowfatcooking.about.com/od/faqs/f/hydrogenated.htm

Momina Mona
6 Months Ago

Excellent article tY !


Subscribe to our Newsletter

Follow us on

Do Not Show This Again


Submit to OneGreenPlanet

Terms & Conditions ×