The American government’s actions over the last few months certainly have increased concerns for the future of our environment. We have a special guest post today about simple ways you can make a positive impact, which will also help you save money.
You can live a green-friendly lifestyle without making a big financial commitment. While going green is sometimes synonymous with pricey energy systems, there are a number of ways families can do so while on a budget:
1. Walk or Bike
If you want to get your daily exercise in while also being green-friendly, opt for walking or taking your bike when going out. Bad weather or timing may prevent this from happening often, but every time you do it’s one less trip using a vehicle and the emissions that come from it.
2. Use Plastic Containers More Than Once
Zipper-shut bags and other plastic storage devices can be used more than once. Simply rinse them out after use, soaking them if need be. This will cut down on waste while also saving you money.
3. Go Light on the Laundry Detergent
Many people use too much laundry detergent, with an overabundance resulting in potentially less of a clean and a risk to your washer. If using the cap for measuring the amount to use, there’s never a need to fill it more than one-third. This is especially true if you prudently pretreat stains using cold water, stain removers and pretreatment sprays.
4. Reuse Boiled Water
From veggies to pasta, boiled water is a staple in many common family recipes. Oftentimes we toss this excess water down the sink, though the water can be used in the garden to water plants. Some of this boiled water will have additional nutrients from vegetables or other food, giving plants something extra while saving a bit on your water bill.
5. Make the Switch to Fluorescent Lightbulbs
Fluorescent lightbulbs can cut down on electricity costs due to their greater efficiency and durability. For example, compact fluorescent lamps use about 75 percent less energy than their incandescent counterparts. They also last longer, making the need to buy more lightbulbs a very rare occasion.
6. Seek Out Used Items
As appealing as a shiny new version of a product can seem, you can save money and prevent waste by looking for a used version of it first. This especially applies to furniture or clothing, which can be nearly as good as new for a much lower price. Patience is often required, as cheap used versions are rarely available for brand new products, though waiting out the hype can save the environment and your wallet.
7. Use Alternative Energy Sources
By now most everyone knows green energy is good for the environment. If you have green electricity in the form of wind, solar, hydro or geothermal energy, check with your energy provider on a frequent basis to ensure efficient operation and placement in order to get the most bang for your buck.
8. Plan Your Meals
At the beginning of each week, planning your meals can prevent food from going to waste. Ideally, you can map out your meals and then purchase items at the grocery with this plan in mind. The MealPrepSunday sub-reddit contains an abundance of great ideas and recipes, with the posters creating and storing their meals for the week so their meals can be hassle-free.
Planning accordingly when it comes to meals can help save time and money, in addition to ensuring you aren’t taking groceries home only to forget about them and toss them later. On a similar note, cooking in general as opposed to purchasing prepackaged foods and snacks is healthier and often uses less resources than their mass-produced counterparts.
9. Consider Heating and Cooling Alternatives
Heat and AC may be utterly necessary in 20-degree or 100-degree weather, respectively, though if the temperature is just a bit uncomfortable, then consider alternatives. If it’s chilly outside, pull back the shades and let natural sunlight take over, in addition to lighting your fireplace. If it’s hot outside, consider air conditioning alternatives like keeping the shades down, not using the oven, using CFL bulbs and ensuring proper insulation.
These nine methods to live a green-friendly lifestyle are not contingent on any sort of budget. They can be accomplished by anyone, with seemingly little things having a big impact on sustainability.
Thank you for these tips Anum! I’ve written before about how the amount of trash at your curb can be a reflection of your financial habits. Bonus: If you’re looking for a frugal way to exercise that makes a positive impact on the environment, then check out my friend Mr. Groovy’s new hobby.
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