Many people adopt eco-friendly practices in an effort to protect and preserve the planet. But going green can be as good for adults’pocketbooks as it is for the planet.

People who start making concerted efforts to go green are often surprised to learn the myriad ways they are suddenly saving money. While finances might not be the primary motivator that compels people to start living more eco-friendly lifestyles, recognizing the many ways that going green can save consumers money might be just what people need to keep them on track in their efforts to help the planet.

On the road. Drivers who alter their driving habits can save money in various ways. Defensive driving has long been touted as the safest way to take to the road, but such an approach to driving also can be financially savvy. Drivers who do not frequently accelerate or stop suddenly can conserve fuel, saving them money at the filling station. In addition, following manufacturer-recommended maintenance guidelines can ensure all vehicle components are operating smoothly. That means the engine does not have to work as hard as it would if a vehicle was poorly maintained, thereby conserving fuel.

Lighting. Household lighting is another area where consumers can protect the planet and save money at the same time. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Star¨-qualified LED lights consume just 20 to 25 percent of the energy used by incandescent bulbs, all the while lasting as much as 25 times longer than incandescents. That saves men and women money on their energy bills. While LED lights are more expensive to purchase than many of the alternatives, their long life expectancy means consumers can expect to see returns on that investment long before the bulbs are no longer functional.

Furnishings. Another way to go green and save money is to forgo new furnishings for used furniture or antiques. Some antiques might prove more expensive than brand new items, but savvy shoppers can likely find older, less costly items for a fraction of the price of brand new furnishings. Buying used furniture or antiques reduces landfill waste and cuts back on manufacturing, packaging and transportation, each of which can take a toll on the planet. Consumers who need new furnishings for their homes also can look for products made of recycled materials, which reduces landfill waste, or items made from eco-friendly materials that grow quickly, thereby reducing the need for pesticides.

Going green is a commendable way to live and safeguard the planet. Adopting such a lifestyle also can be a great way to save money.