ATS EcoSolutions  Environmental and Economic
Our nviromental practices work for a better planet.

Economy and You

At ATS, we understand that living an environmentally-aware life can sometimes cost more up front than living an otherwise conventional life. Making eco-friendly choices sometimes requires that you invest before you see returns.

Yet, in today's struggling economy with gas prices at record highs, it can be difficult to find the money to live more responsibly. In our desire to help you live more green lives, we also want to help you become financially stable so that you can weather any unforeseen financial or environmental challenges. Here we've gathered some basic tips on leading sustainable, yet financially viable lives.

Reduce your spending

Of course, one of the best ways to become financially healthy is to reduce your overall spending. We've got some simple ways to cut money outflows:

spacerThink twice before buying that fancy coffee or delicious snack. More than likely, you can
       make a similar food or drink at home for much less money.
spacerReduce frills from household bills. Check your phone, Internet, or TV bills for extras
       you don't need, like special channels or call waiting, and opt for lower-cost options -
       is the highest Internet download speed really necessary?
spacerIf you've got high-interest loans or credit cards, you're essentially spending money on
       bank fees and interest. This "spending" can be reduced by paying down these debts.
       Set aside money every month to reduce these financial burdens so that you can live
       interest-free.

Put Money Away

Saving money for unforeseen expenses or future goals is key to realizing your financial dreams. Whether you want to take an exotic vacation, buy a more efficient vehicle, or renovate your home, you'll need extra funds over and above your regular budget. Move toward your dreams by putting some funds away for the future:

spacerOpen a savings account and deposit a little money into it every month. Set a goal for
       how much you want to save before you withdraw it.
spacerInvest in companies that practice good corporate responsibility. Like ATS, these
       companies are working to contribute to a more just, sustainable society. They become
       stronger as individuals invest in their business.
spacerContribute to your 401(k)s and claim credit for child and dependent care expenses on
       your yearly tax return. These and other options will reduce the total taxes you pay and
       ensure you've got money for your future retirement. Consult a financial advisor for
       other tax-saving ideas.

Smart Tips for Managing Credit

  • 1. If your creditors allow you to make payments online, take advantage of it. That way, you don't have to worry about your payments getting lost or delayed in the mail.
  • 2. Write your due dates on your calendar (paper or computer) so you don't forget about them.
  • 3. Leave your credit cards at home in a safe place when you don't plan on using them. This reduces the likelihood of them getting lost or stolen.
  • 4. Always check your monthly statements for errors and unauthorized charges. Contact your creditor immediately if you notice any.
  • 5. Many creditors close accounts that have not been used in several months. This can hurt your credit score. Try to make a small purchase on every card each month, but never charge more than you can afford to repay.
  • 6. Having one or two store credit cards is not necessarily bad, but avoid saying yes every time a cashier asks you if you want to apply for one. You may get a discount on that day's purchase, but store cards tend to come with extremely high interest rates.
  • 7. Avoid getting cash advances on your credit cards. The interest rate is typically higher than the one for purchases, and there usually is no grace period.
  • 8. Think twice before agreeing to co-sign on a credit card or loan for a friend or family member. Even if you are not making the purchases or borrowing the funds, late or missed payments may show up on your credit report.
  • 9. If you are having trouble making your payments, talk to your creditors. They may allow you to skip or make lower payments for a few months.
  • 10.Think carefully before transferring a balance to a credit card with an introductory teaser rate. What is the interest rate once it expires? What is the balance transfer fee? If they are high, it may not be worth it.

Save Money and the Environment

In many cases, choosing the eco-friendly path can actually save rather than cost you money, in the long- and short-term. There are loads of ideas for things you can do every day that'll not only save you money, but green-up your life, too. And don't forget, many eco-friendly choices come with tax rebates and incentives from the government, so be sure to cash in on the savings there, too.

This sampling of ideas should give you a glimpse into the eco-possibilities:

spacerChanging out your incandescent (regular) light bulbs for compact fluorescents (CFLs)
       or LEDs (light-emitting diodes) can save you a lot of money every year. Consider that
       a CFL can save you $50 over the lifetime of the bulb, lasting eight to 10 times longer
       than conventional bulbs. LEDs last 10 times longer than even CFLs and
       use even less energy.
spacerGrow your own fruit and veggies. This'll not only save you money on your food bills, you'll
       also cut the amount of fuel you use to get to and from the grocery store. And if you
       think of gardening as a form of exercise, you may save money by going to the gym
       less often, too.
spacerInstead of throwing away an old appliance or electronic device, have it repaired. This
       can often cost less, and will mean fewer things heading to the landfill.
spacerBelieve it or not, old and new houses alike suffer from air and water leaks galore. By
       simply sealing air leaks, you can save anywhere from $100 to $600 every year in energy
       consumption. Leaky pipes, toilets, and faucets account for 14 percent of US household
       water consumption sealing these leaks can save you even more.
spacerGet a top to bottom view of your home's energy waste by conducting a home energy
       audit. you'll receive very practical ideas customized to your home on how to save energy
       and money every month, and you'll often receive a rebate for the audit expenses and any
       improvements you make as a result.
spacerPurchase ENERGY STAR products. These devices save between 10 and 50 percent in
       energy and reduce paper and water consumption, too.
spacerInstall timers throughout your home on devices that use water and energy, including
       sprinkler systems, heating and cooling appliances, water heaters, lights, and more.
      Simple devices that often cost less than $10 each can save you bundles every year.
spacerUse fans throughout your house these consume 60 percent less energy than air
       conditioners.
spacerTurn down the temperature of your water heater by 10 percent to cut energy
       consumption for that appliance by 3-5 percent.
spacerDual flush toilets use on average 17,000 gallons less water every year than older toilet
       models. Think of the water bill savings!
spacerFaucet aerators, which typically cost between 50 cents and $10 each, save gallons
       and gallons of water in your sinks and will often pay for themselves in under two
       months.
spacerWhen printing, use both sides of the paper rather than choosing single-sided printing.
      you'll save nearly 50 percent in paper consumption. Save even more with paper by
       using old envelopes and once-used paper as scrap for lists and notes to
       family members.

If you've got a comment or a question about financially stable, yet environmentally-sound lifestyle choices, we'd love to hear it! Use the form located Here.