Valley man saves big by growing own food and using solar power

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9 p.m. Extra: Green Savers

"One of the biggest benefits from growing your own food is you know where it came from," explains Greg Peterson.

It sounds hard to believe but Peterson actually grows a majority of his food right in his Phoenix home. He has everything from carrots to beets and chickens that provide his eggs.

Peterson is the co-founder of a green organization called the Phoenix Permaculture Guild. He says, "I would say for less than 50 bucks you can plan out a 5 x10 garden, five hours worth of work, it's really simple."

Peterson not only saves money by growing his own food but has made other "Green" decisions around his house to keep his monthly costs down.

He explains, "I have solar panels that make electricity, a set of solar panels that make up to 50% of my electricity on a monthly basis. I have a solar hot water heating system so most of the year my hot water is free and I have an experimental solar air heating system."

Peterson admits, "My electric bill for three months last year in 2008 was less than $13 for the month, so I know I'm saving money."< /p>

When it comes to saving on your water bill, you can harvest rain or gray water.

Gray water is the wastewater collected from things like sinks and showers.

He says, "Really one of the things we look at is placing the gray and rain water out where we want it. We get it away from the house into the fruit trees and it really does a great job."

So whether you're thinking about growing your own food or harvesting that rain water, it will not only help out Mother Nature, but it could also save you money.

We're making an impact," Peterson says. "People are paying attention, people are planting their own gardens and putting in gray water and learning about this stuff."

He says he saves at least $100 a month. If you would like to find out more about the Phoenix Permaculture Guild and its Green classes, . For further details, you can also log on to .