Your tax return has been prepared and you are now expecting the refund cheque soon, so what can you spend your tax refund on? What about purchasing green, eco-friendly products to save you money now and that will also be a good investment for the future?

1. Solar Panels; being in Australia, where we have an abundance of sunny weather, an array of solar panels is an excellent choice. A small 1.5 kW system can be bought for a price ranging from $2,000 to $6,000. The system would save about $500 in electricity per year. So in about 4 years the cheaper system would be returning a profit.

2. Composting and Worm Farms; are reasonably cheap and are a must if you are interested in gardening and reducing the waste that is going into landfill.

3. Energy efficiency; yes, that means replacing old incandescent light globes with LED lights, which are many times cheaper than they used to be now. Buying a power energy meter also allows you to see how much power is being used by an electrical item. Perhaps also think about replacing that old 70’s wall air conditioner with a modern inverter split system.

4. Green Investments; that’s right, buying shares that are part of ASX CleanTech sector. There are about 75 shares that belong to this group, one of the best known is Sims Metal because of their recycling of metal products, or you can buy shares in Infigen Energy that own wind farms in Australia and the USA.

5. Rain Water Tanks; this option is getting more popular as the price of water increases, in South Australia water has tripled in the last 3 to 4 years. Having a tank that is plumbed into the toilets and laundry will save a reasonable amount over a period of time. A reasonable size tank and a plumber to connect can cost several thousand dollars, and the return on investment may take several years.

Whatever you decide to do with your refund is entirely up to you, but these suggestions may help our earth and also your budget.

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