10 Ways to Be Eco-Friendly on a Budget
Here are some ways, tips, and strategies on how you can help save the environment on a budget:
1. Buy fruits that are in season
In-season produce is fresher, tastes better, and has more nutritional value. They also require less energy for lighting and refrigeration. Aside from getting more vitamins, minerals, and fiber, you’ll be able to put some extra cash in your wallet since they’re cheaper.
2. Bring your own shopping bag
When you bring your own grocery bag, you’re helping reduce the volume of plastic waste that ends up in landfills. Keep in mind that plastic bags take up to 20 years to break down. If you opt for reusable bags, you save money while protecting marine life since sea creatures can mistake garbage for food.
3. Buy reusable products instead of single-use plastic
Ditch single-use plastic items and go for reusable, easy-to-clean alternatives. These sustainable products have the same functionality as their standard plastic counterpart, not to mention they’re comfortably handy and washable. Some of these eco-friendly products include:
● Reusable straws
● Reusable spoon and fork
● Cloth tote bag
● Stainless steel cups and bottles
● Silicone bowl covers
● Rezip storage bags
● Reusable drink covers
● Beeswax food wrap
● Stainless steel pour-over coffee maker filter
● Stainless steel lunch box
● Reusable bread bag
● On-the-go collapsible coffee cup
● Reusable paper towels
4. Minimize air conditioning
It’s possible to keep your house cool without spending a fortune on electricity bills. One way to do this is by minimizing air conditioning. As a cheaper substitute, consider installing ceiling fans, as they can equally help make your rooms feel cooler.
Also, make sure to seal off any cracks and openings in your windows and doors to allow your thermostat to easily regulate the heat inside. Limiting the use of heat-producing appliances during the day also helps save energy since your air conditioner doesn’t have to kick in more frequently to keep the temperature within the ideal range.
5. Make DIY natural cleaning products
Formulating your own cleaning products might sound a bit complicated, but it’s really simple. The ingredients are easy to find and cost-effective, not to mention gentler on the environment. For instance, in making laundry powder, you’ll only need grated natural soap, borax or washing soda, baking soda, lavender essential oil, and eucalyptus essential oil.
Meanwhile, a paste cleaner only requires baking soda, liquid castile soap, tea tree essential oil, and lemon essential oil. Almost the same ingredients are needed for toilet bowl cleaner, which requires baking soda, white vinegar, and tea tree essential oil.
Note that nearly all cleaning agents have the same components, so if you bought a certain set of ingredients, you may be able to use them in making different types of cleaning products.
6. Invest in a reusable water bottle
Choosing a reusable water bottle is good for the environment and your pocket. Most reusable water containers are made from low-density polypropylene, a non-hazardous material that does not emit harmful gas. Less oil is also needed in producing them, which means they contribute to the preservation of natural resources.
In addition, since they replace all the plastic containers you would have used, they help reduce toxic waste that harms underwater creatures. If an average person drinks four plastic bottles of water per day, one would be saving about 1,460 plastic bottles per year by simply using a tumbler.
7. Don’t jump into the fast fashion bandwagon
Fast fashion is the mass production of low-priced but trendy clothing that quickly make their way from design to retail shops, with new collections being continuously introduced. This is bad for both the environment and your wallet.
Clothes can take as long as 200 years to decompose, so the earth is getting polluted by more and more waste all the time. What’s worse is that most of the used items are neither recycled nor donated – they go to landfills.
You can help solve the problem by going minimalist, buying only a few essentials. These include timeless pieces that outlast any trend like white t-shirts, versatile shoes, and good outerwear. Denim, blazer, and sweatpants are also some of the most enduring items you can include in your outfit rotation. By going for the basics, you can make the most of your wardrobe and, of course, your budget.
8. Air dry your clothes
After the refrigerator and the washer, the dryer uses the most energy. Hanging your clothes under the sun is an energy-efficient alternative because the air and heat are free. It also makes your pieces last longer since the sunlight tends to be gentler on fabrics than a dryer. Just be sure to place the clothesline in a breezy shaded area to prevent the clothes from fading.
9. Stop lining your trash bins with plastic
Rather than lining your trash bins with plastic, consider washing them periodically instead. Plastic bags take 10 to 20 years to break down, and as long as they are in landfills, they continue to damage our natural ecosystems. The simple step of regularly rinsing your garbage containers will go a long way in helping protect the environment (and your budget).
10. Have your own vegetable garden
Whether you plant them in pots or the ground, vegetables and herbs are generally easy to grow. Chinese cabbage, tomato, lettuce, spinach, basil, parsley, and lemongrass are some plants that are easy to cultivate. By making your own garden at home, you can save money while getting up close and personal with nature. You also help reduce waste since harvesting your ingredients means no packaging is necessary.
Protect the Environment and Save Money at the Same Time
Despite the popular belief that sustainable living is expensive, there are ways you can be eco-friendly while on a budget. Opting for reusable containers, making your own natural cleaning products, adopting a minimalist wardrobe, and having your own vegetable garden, among others, can make a big difference in protecting the environment. At the same time, these practices help cut unnecessary costs, allowing you to save more money.
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