Inside: It is not that hard to maintain an eco-friendly lifestyle. You might think it costs a lot of money but you will save costs in the long-run. Let’ look at five affordable ways to be eco-friendly. *Note there are affiliate links in this post. If you click I might make a commission but at no added cost to you. I only recommend products I use and/or trust.
It is easier to maintain an eco-friendly lifestyle than you think. One of the biggest reasons that people don’t jump on the eco-friendly bandwagon sooner, is the idea that it costs too much money to do so. This couldn’t be further from the truth. For example, plastic baggies cost less than their reusable counterparts upfront. But, reusable storage can be washed many times over compared to their plastic counterparts. You buy them much less often and end up saving money. Although some things may cost more money up front, the long-term benefits will have you saving a bundle. Here are 5 affordable ways that you can maintain an eco-friendly lifestyle, no matter what your budget is.
Grow Your Own Food to Maintain an Eco-Friendly Lifestyle
Instead of making daily trips to the grocery store, try starting a garden to grow your own fruits and veggies. If you are in a colder climate, start your plants indoors to give them a good head start. Even many dollar stores have seedling starter kits that you can reuse. Amazon also sells some pretty sturdy seed starting options as well. Not only will you save some of your hard-earned cash, you ensure that your food is not full of pesticides and other toxins, that are sometimes found in grocery store produce.
If you want to grow your own food and protect the Earth’s biodiversity, try growing some heirloom varieties. Heirloom plants have not been genetically modified, they are passed down from generation to generation and result from natural pollination (they are not selectively bred). Read more about that option here. Take a look at what vegetables and/or fruits you buy most often at the store and start there. You can always add more over time. It’s a great way to stay active outside and save on gas money as well. Better yet, make it a learning experience if you have kids. Growing a productive, healthy garden is a science and kids can learn a lot from the experience as well as get some much needed fresh air. At the end of the season, don’t forget to collect some seeds from your successful plants. You’ll get a head start on your garden next season.
DIY Cleaners to be Eco-Friendly
Instead of buying toxic commercial cleaners at the store, try using what you have at home. There are plenty of DIY recipes online that you can use to create your own, minus the bad stuff. Most of the necessary ingredients are probably already in your possession – vinegar, baking soda, lemon, water, etc. I use vinegar in a spray bottle to clean my mirrors and glass show doors as well as the inside of my shower. It’s cheap, it’s easy and you can still clean and sanitize your home with the best of them. There is one product I have on order that I am anxious to try. I have promoted TruEarth laundry strips in earlier posts in this series. They now have a concentrated anti-microbial cleaner that also comes in strips. You pop one in a spay bottle, add warm water and shake until the strip dissolves. Voila you have a antimicrobial cleanser 99.9% effective in plastic free packaging. Making your own cleaners or using eco-friendly products is much healthier. You save yourself some money in the process and plastic waste that often comes with store-bought products.
Thrift Shop to be Eco-Friendly
Checking out the secondhand shops are a great way to save money and bring new life to items that other people have discarded. My middle son and his girlfriend are avid thrift shoppers. It is an especially great option for poor college students. I admit when my mum was able, she and I would walk to the thrift shop down from her house. We would always come home with a bag full of goodies. Thrift shopping is great for the environment. Lots of people only wear some of their clothes only a few times and then donate them. It is so good to keep clothes out of the landfill. It is a great form of recycling. And a great way to save money. By thrift shopping, you reduce the amount of time, energy, raw materials and processing that it takes to create something brand new. You’ll be able to find everything from electronics to kitchen appliances to clothing and shoes – it’s a gold mine that will save you big bucks and you’re doing your part to make sure resources don’t have to be used unnecessarily.
Change Up Your Daily Habits
You can easily be more eco-friendly by changing up some of your daily habits – and it doesn’t cost a thing. We often overlook the simple ways we can impact the environment and conserve energy just by turning off the lights when we leave a room or adjusting the heat/air conditioning a couple degrees. Install a programmable thermostat so the temperature is lower at night while you’re sleeping and when you are at school and/or work. How often do you leave the water running while you’re doing dishes or throw items away in the trash instead of the recycling bin? Reduce the amount of your food waste by buying more wisely and composting when you can. Take a look at your overall day and see where you can make small changes in your routine. In the long run it will make a big difference and save you some money in the process.
Instead of spending more money on items that are just going to make their way to the landfill, find alternatives that you can re-use over and over again. Instead of plastic water bottles that get trashed after one use, try a glass water bottle that you can take with you wherever you go. Invest in a travel mug or thermos for coffee to reduce the amount of waste and energy necessary for reheating over and over again. Instead of throwing old t-shirts away, cut them up and make them into cleaning rags. Buy reusable storage bags instead of Ziploc baggies. Get creative and see what you can repurpose and reuse in your own home – it’s a small way to make a big impact on the environment and your bank account.Instead of spending more money on items that are just going to make their way to the landfill, find alternatives that you can re-use over and over again. Click To Tweet
There are so many ways to go green without breaking the budget. With a little creativity and a few simple changes to your normal routine, you’ll be living an eco-friendly lifestyle in no time. Want to read more about living your best eco-friendly lifestyle? Check out these other articles in the series: