For Those On A Budget, Going Green Can Save You Some Green
Increasing inflation has led to a steady increase in the cost of living, including groceries, food, gas, energy, and even housing.
As budgets get tighter, there seems to be more hesitance towards going sustainable or eco-friendly as the lifestyle is often considered more expensive in products and practice.
While it is true that aspects of being eco-friendly are more expensive than those that aren't, this doesn't have to be the case.
A sustainable or eco-friendly lifestyle encourages you to take small steps and do what you can over trying to be and buy all things sustainable and eco-friendly at once.
And in fact, many green lifestyle changes are as easy on your budget as on the environment.
As EcoBlvd is leading the planet towards a path of renewal on the #Root2Renew, we want to ensure that while taking the greener route, you can save some green along the way!
Here is a list of our 7 favorite simple yet effective sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle habits that you can adopt to help the planet and save money in the process.
1. Invest in Reusable Alternatives
The long-term cost of single-use items is higher when you add up all those individual purchases and the waste of single-use packaging. These items contribute to one of the largest waste streams when considering the number of napkins, tissues, paper towels, bottled water, razors, and tampons we use daily.
The good news is that all of these items are available as reusable options. Reducing "single-use" waste is now easier than ever with innovative new products and materials.
The following four staples are perfect to have in your cabinet:
Reusable Shopping Bags
Although most stores are starting to get rid of plastic bags, those that still carry them charge customers five to ten cents per bag, with the average cost of plastic bags per week being five dollars.
Swapping a reusable bag or tote is easier than ever as many stores, brands, and even workplaces offer their version for a relatively low price. On top of saving you money from buying bags every time you get groceries or goods, a reusable bag prevents nearly 200 plastic bags from entering the environment.
Use Beeswax Wrap Over Saran Wrap
Instead of wasting time and money on garbage stuffing saran wrap, you can use these wraps made from beeswax, cotton, and tree oil that keep your food fresher and can be used again and again, saving you time and money in the long run!
Replace Paper Towels With Reusable Towels
While paper towels are convenient when taking care of spills, we often buy them in bulk and realize, to our dismay, that we always seem to go through them incredibly quickly.
You will be able to reduce paper waste by using bamboo-based towels and money by not having to buy new ones since you will not have to replace them as often.
Reusable Mop & Sweep Pads
Using reusable mop and sweep pads can keep your floors cleaner and preserve their beauty. They are made of microfibers that capture dust and dirt. In addition to fitting most mop heads, these pads absorb liquid and cost significantly less than their disposable alternatives.
2. Purchase Second-Hand or Thrifted Goods
Recently, thrifting has become a popular trend because it offers a sustainable benefit that helps you save money.
There's always something to discover at thrift shops, and you can get cool items for a bargain. No matter what it is, you can make good use of something donated, whether it is furniture, a CD, book, or a vintage piece.
The Salvation Army, Savers, Goodwill, and more are great places to find unique outfit essentials while helping the environment.
There are also plenty of apps for second-hand goods from fashion to furniture, including Depop, Poshmark, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and Offer Up.
Thrifting or buying second-hand prevents items from going to landfills, reduces carbon and chemical pollution from manufacturing, and reduces water usage.
It is also important to note that when you buy lightly used goods from thrift shops, you also support local charities, some of which are environmental charities.
You'll feel better about yourself by giving your gently used items a new home and making your wallet happy.
3. If Buying New, Go With Quality
You might not consider this fitting on a list about saving money, but investing in a high-quality product that will last you for years will save you money compared to purchasing a cheap version of that product every year.
Although high-quality items are usually more expensive, there are a few things to remember:
In the long run, if you invest in quality up front, you will save yourself a lot of money - whether it's choosing aluminum over plastic, cotton over blends of polyester, solid wood furniture over plywood, etc.
There is only one drawback, buying high-quality requires disposable income, so you shouldn't worry if that's not an option for you at this time.
Taking steps and maximizing what you have is the key!
4. Cook & Meal Prep At Home
Almost everyone knows that cooking at home has its benefits. You can use healthier ingredients, set portions appropriately, avoid food allergies, and ultimately save money than ordering restaurant delivery or a meal kit service.
On average, it costs almost five times more to order delivery from a restaurant than to cook at home. Even if you use a meal kit service as a quicker alternative to home-cooked meals, they're still almost three times as expensive as cooking at home.
Using sustainably sourced ingredients, you can reduce your environmental impact by cooking at home, especially if you eat a plant-rich diet. You can purchase produce from your local farmer's market, meat from your local grocery store, spices from your favorite online store, and a drizzle of imported olive oil from your favorite online store. By controlling portion sizes, you waste less food and reduce package waste.
5. Be Energy Wise
There is no need to purchase energy-efficient products to reduce energy consumption in your home and save money on energy.
Conserving energy can be as simple as turning off lights and appliances when not in use. You can also use less energy-intensive appliances by hanging your clothes instead of putting them in the dryer or washing your dishes by hand.
During the winter, lowering the heat on your thermostat and using less air conditioning in the summer are the behavior adjustments that will save you the most money on utility bills. In an average home, heating and cooling account for nearly half of the monthly utility bill. Therefore, reducing the intensity and frequency of heating and cooling will save the most money.
The most efficient way to use electricity in your home is to determine where the energy is going and which appliances use the most energy.
As a result of energy conservation, you will save money if energy prices rise in the future.
6. Cut Down On Commuting
Buying and maintaining a car is one of the most expensive purchases. Consider upfront costs, running costs, insurance, registration, repairs, and vehicle maintenance. It's easy to see why a car can be a money pit and how constant commuting affects the environment.
Even though you may not be able to give up your car completely, there are many cost-effective ways to reduce your driving.
There are several budget-friendly and eco-friendly ways to commute, such as public transportation, carpooling, ridesharing, walking, or cycling, along with a hybrid work situation that reduces commute time. As a result, these alternatives lead to fewer congested roads and traffic, reduced air pollution, and more accessible rides for everyone!
You can make a big difference to your monthly budget and carbon footprint by replacing a few car trips with these alternatives weekly.
7. Do It Yourself
Do-it-yourself (DIY) projects can be a great way to save money and be sustainable by reusing materials or just by not having to pay for a service.
Due to a seemingly endless selection of instructional videos and blog posts, the Internet makes projects of all types and complexity seem accessible.
There is no reason not to try DIY, especially if you already have the necessary skills and it is something you will enjoy, so long as it won't stress you out or cost too much money or time.
With DIY tasks such as washing your car, cutting your hair, upcycling, and even repairing appliances, you'd be creating something you'll be proud of while saving money compared to what you would have paid for a professional service!
Much like minimalism's goal of reducing possessions and saving money, a sustainable lifestyle reduces the consumption of goods and resources.
We hope these tips for saving money by living sustainably have inspired you to make eco-friendly lifestyle changes.
By following this path, you will not only be able to achieve steady, sustainable progress but also save money.
Whether you adopt one habit or all, we hope you will join us on the #Root2Renew!