The eco-friendly life often gets a bad rep for being costly and time-consuming. In fact, this false reputation is a factor in why more people don't find ways to help the environment! The good news is there are tons of eco-friendly ways to save money. Use our 7 tips to reduce your environmental impact and you'll also reduce your monthly budget.
Our 7 eco-friendly ways to save money are great starting points for beginners. Trying these tips and tricks around your home will reduce carbon footprint and save a few dollars. Check them out below!
Change the Way You Look at Water
Brita water pitcher with filter available on Amazon
Did you know that Americans spend 16 billion dollars on bottled water a year? That's a huge amount! Furthermore, brands like Dasani, Aquafina, and Nestle just filter water from a communal source. You could easily filter at home and cut down the cost of cases! Buy a filtration pitcher or even a tap filter for your sink, as well as a reusable water bottle. Besides cutting costs, reusable water bottles reduce the amount of plastic going into landfills and oceans.
Take Disposable Plastic Out of Your DictionaryIn our opinion, this is the most important of our eco-friendly ways to save money. Disposable plastic cutlery, plates, bowls, cups... the list goes on. While we love not having to wash dishes, these plastic replacements overwhelm landfills and threaten natural environments. That's not to mention convenience costs at checkout! Commit to washing up after meals instead of using plastic flatware and cutlery, and use cloth napkins instead of paper or try disposables that are biodegradable like palm leaf plates and wooden cutlery.
Don't Expend Too Much Energy
Photo by Steven Garcia
Learning to consciously consider your homes energy output will majorly cut down on your bills, as well as reduce emissions. You can go big or small by investing in solar panels for your roof, shopping Energy-Star appliances or just unplugging electronics that aren't in use. At minimum, use a simple electricity monitor to check which devices are consuming phantom power and shut them off. You can also use a green surge protector to automatically shut off devices that don't need to be on 24/7. Making sure your windows are sealed when the AC is running or waiting for a full load to run the washer are great ways to save as well.
Be Car ConsciousThere are a lot of perks to being environmentally-conscious with your vehicle. One of our most practical eco-friendly tips for saving money, many aspects of your car ride can receive an eco-makeover. Try carpooling with friends or coworkers whenever possible to reduce your carbon emission and keep your gas cost low. Another easy tip to try is making sure to remove any unnecessary weight from your car. If your trunk is full of junk, clear it out! Got a top-rack you never use? Take it off. A lighter car needs less gas to operate and will go longer distances between each pump.
Be A Fixer, Not a QuitterWe totally get it. Sometimes fixing a busted appliance or item doesn't seem worth the effort of repairs. However, by looking up a few Youtube videos or helpful sites you can save a ton of money. Replacement appliances are usually way more expensive to buy than replacement parts. Plus your cast-off appliances will likely wind up rusting in a landfill for decades. Reduce that carbon footprint by educating yourself on basic repairs and you will be amazed at what you can do!
Take Up Gardening
Photo by Svetlana Tofigi
One of our favorite tricks on this list is to take up gardening to reduce your grocery bill and your exposure to pesticides. Simple herb gardens of rosemary, basil, dill and more are easy to plant and maintain. Everybody wins when you plant your own garden, as you get fresh herbs, veggies and more to add to your meals. The environment sees less plastic bags and packaging floating in the ocean or churning through trash centers. Plus, gardening has valuable stress-relieving properties.
Compost Your Leftovers
A lot of people balk at the idea of a compost bucket. After all, the trash begins to smell after a few days when food begins to rot. We understand why folks might be shy about this one. The good news is compost containers are often air-tight and have odor blocking properties. If you can't stand the idea of keeping a bucket around, you still have options! In urban areas, there are several companies that will arrange for a pickup of your compost bucket every few days and transfer it to a community garden. You can also choose what you compost- things like coffee grounds and banana peels don't emit a strong odor and make great fertilizer. For a double-whammy, use some of that compost in the garden you planted after reading our above tip!
These 7 eco-friendly ways to save money are wonderful to get you started, and don't even cover all the cost-effective ways to live an environmentally friendly lifestyle! Try some of the tips here, or comment with your favorite trick you've learned on your own journey below!