“Each one of us matters, has a role to play, and makes a difference. Each one of us must take responsibility for our own lives, and above all, show respect and love for living things around us, especially each other.” – Jane Goodall
To live green doesn’t mean people have to buy expensive hybrid cars or install solar panels at home. With some smart steps, anyone can practice living green on a budget. I started this post a few weeks ago, but it feels like a decade. Life is different now. Covid-19 hit and the world is a different place. People are losing their family members, their jobs, everything. Living green is still very important to me, but budgeting has become more important in 2020. I’m still going to hit publish in the hopes that it helps some of you go green on a budget. Some of these tips aren’t applicable right now, but when this is over and I’m hopeful this ends soon, they will be very useful.
Earth Day is in a few days, I’m still celebrating. I’m up for any celebrations right now, no matter how big or small. The kids and I are going to clean up the forest behind our house and plant seeds for pollinators.
Green living is a noble lifestyle goal, but many people are discouraged from going green because of the high prices associated with green products. With just a tweak here and there in your daily habits, you don’t need to go beyond your regular household budget to adopt a green life. Here are some ideas to get you started living green on a budget.
Use Your Car Less
Hybrid cars can get you 50 miles to a gallon, but they are about 51% more expensive than regular cars. For the green consumer on a budget, the practical choice is to keep the old car but park it in the garage more. The less gas used, the more savings consumers put in their pocket and the lesser the strain they put on the planet.
Consider taking public transportation to work, walking to the park, or going on your bike to the local market. Plan trips with a group, perhaps your neighbors or friends. Organize a grocery or shopping day and take a single car.
Don’t Use What You Don’t Need
Turn off the lights and appliances when not in use, and don’t leave the tap running when brushing your teeth or rinsing the dishes. When using the dishwasher or washing machine, don’t start the machine unless it’s fully loaded.
Re-use and Recycle
Invest in a reusable grocery bag. Use it instead of using the store’s paper or plastic bags. Canvas bags or cotton net bags are not only eco-friendly, but they also make great fashion statements. My grocery store also gives you a discount for bringing your own bags. Instead of buying craft supplies, reuse what you have at home.
Buy Foods in Season and in Bulk
Fruits and vegetables in season are a lot cheaper. Consider buying dry goods in bulk as this will give more savings, energy, and money in the long run.
Use Natural Cleaners
Forget those expensive household cleaning products. They harm the environment and put the health of household members at risk as well. Who needs toxic commercial cleaners when white vinegar can be used to remove stains, baking soda can deodorize a bathroom, and ketchup can remove tarnish from solid brass or copper. I wrote an entire post on green natural cleansers, and vinegar is so inexpensive.
Choose Air Dry
If households hang clothes on a clothesline instead of spinning the clothes dryer, they will be saving 66 billion kilowatt-hours of power. The same goes for the dishwasher; instead of turning on the machine’s heat dry cycle, just leave the plates to dry on the dish rack.
Use Cold Water to Wash Clothes
Coldwater not only leaves clothes cleaner but also saves more energy. It also prevents clothes from wearing and tearing easily.
Support Local Farmers
Buy foods from local farmer’s markets to help cut on environmental effects and costs of shipping. With local farmers, you can haggle for the price of foods and get fresher produce, too.
As you see, you don’t need to stretch your budget to live a green life. All you need are simple, eco-friendly habits to reduce carbon footprint and save money, too.