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Coloradans like to think of ourselves as tree huggers. We protect our outdoor playgrounds and dutifully bring reusable bags to the store. Some of us even compost. Then again, many of us still take gas guzzlers to the ski hill every winter weekend. Clearly, even self-proclaimed environmentalists need a little help to do the right thing—and there are few better incentives than cash. So to help you honor Earth Day, April 22, we’ve rounded up a few ways you can save some green by going green.
Rejects to Riches
Dumping your old fridge in a land- fill can contribute to groundwater contamination and ozone depletion. Still need a reason to recycle that hunk of junk? Xcel Energy will pay you $50 to do so—and they’ll pick it up for free.
Cha-Ching: Up to $100
Denver Water will give residents up to a century note to replace their old commodes with WaterSense-certified toilets, which suck down just 1.1 gallons or less per flush (half a gallon less than the federal standard) and start at $100. Don’t worry if you pay more because you’ll make up the difference after a few flushes: These efficient johns save the average family $140 or more on their annual utility bill. As for performance, each WaterSense john complies with rigorous standards, including ensuring “test media” isn’t left behind.
No Gas, More Cash
Gas-powered lawnmowers can produce as much air pollution in an hour as driving 100 miles does. That’s why the Regional Air Quality Council of Colorado will give you a $150 voucher for a new electric mower if you drop your old cutter off at an approved recycler.
Go—and Fund Me
Cha-Ching: $300 to $1,400
Cycling to work is good for the environment. It’s also good for back sweat. Stay dry by joining the more than 4,700 Coloradans who have taken advantage of Denver’s e-bike rebate vouchers, which range from $300 to $1,400, depending on your income level and new whip.
Gold into Green
Cha-Ching: $4,000 to $5,500
According to Energy Sage, an online marketplace for solar energy installations, Denverites can expect to pay between $13,557 and $18,342 for solar panels. If the federal government’s 30 percent tax credit on the purchase isn’t enough to sway you, consider this: You earn credits on your utility bill whenever your system generates more energy than you use.