Money is tight, and prices are going up on everything (don’t get me started). Here is your guide for how to live green even on a tight budget. This article will share how going green can save you money, and easy money saving tips for eco-minded families.
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How Can Going Green Save You Money
There are a lot of different reasons why you might want to know how to live green.
Doing your part for the environment is the first one that many people think of.
But there is often the added benefit of saving money when you live green.
To see how this works, let’s take a look at the ‘Rs’ of an eco-friendly lifestyle:
Saving money is built right into most of these Rs.
Most of us understand recycle at this point, and that is probably the one that saves the least money (but is still obviously important to do!)
My favorite of the 5 Rs of sustainability doesn’t get enough attention: Refuse.
Refusing to buy everything you get pulled to buy on a whim or from a convincing online ad, saves money and is fantastic for the environment.
Learning to control our impulses, and not giving into the culture of new wardrobes every season is a budget-friendly and environmentally-friendly way to live. Buying less means fewer things to reduce, reuse, recycle, and repurpose.
If you are interested in how to live green, take a look at refusing.
Both your wallet and the environment will be happier.
How to Go Green at Home and Save Money: Make Your Own Green Household Cleaners
If you’re looking for how to live green, a simple way is to stop buying harsh chemical cleaners and make your own homemade cleaning products.
This is better for the environment, your health, and pocketbook. Cleaners cost a lot and it is easy to make your own DIY homemade cleaner. Four simple ingredients will keep your house sparkling.
You probably have them in your house right now: lemon juice, vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and baking soda.
All-Purpose Household Cleaner
Mix vinegar and water together (1 cup of vinegar to a gallon of water), the ratio doesn’t need to be precise. How much vinegar you add depends on how strong smelling you want your cleaner to be.
This homemade cleaning solution is great for bathrooms, tiles, tub rings, toilet bowl, floors, and to wipe down appliances.
Related reading: Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner You’ll Want to Use In Every Room
Eco-Friendly Paste Scrub
Combine one cup lemon juice and 1/2 cup baking soda, works great on hard water deposits. Play with ingredient amounts to get the right consistency for you.
Eco-Friendly Homemade Furniture Polish
Combine one cup of olive oil and a dash of lemon juice together.
How to Live Green: Food and Household Ideas
Join a food co-op or shop at a whole food store. (But definitely not a Whole Foods store if you are on a budget!)
I was a member of an amazing food co-op. I got deep discounts on the food, became part of a community, all for a few short hours of work equity per month. It is well worth it to save money and get affordable access to local food and organic food.
Related reading: How to Save Money on Groceries (Even During the Pandemic)
Many food staples are available in organic bulk options.
Start buying brown rice, steel cut oats, whole wheat flour, couscous, dried fruits, granola, seeds, sugar, and cereal in bulk. You will get a lot more bang for your buck.
Purchase eco-friendly organically made soaps, detergents, and shampoo in bulk.
Cut down use of petroleum based plastic waste, use reusable containers, bring back and refill them.
How to Live Greener: Think About Water
Stop buying individual water. Not all plastic is recyclable.
I am a big fan of tap water. You already pay for it (your water bill), and it is already filtered.
Keep filtered water on hand in your fridge; add a few lemon slices to give it a yummy refreshing flavor.
This is my current favorite water bottle because it reminds me to drink water (I am NOT a natural water drinker!):
How to Live Green at Home: Get back to the Basics
To live greener at home, don’t run unnecessary household appliances.
Wash your dishes by hand and hang your laundry out to dry.
If you need a new appliance only purchase Energy Star rated appliances. They use less energy and are better for the environment.
Related reading: 10 Creative Ways to Save Electricity and Money At Home
How to Live Green as a Consumer
Avoid putting yourself in situations where you can be tempted to buy the hottest/newest “IT” item. Many household items can have a second life. Encourage your family to come up with ways to reuse items that you might otherwise have tossed out.
Visit second-hand shops, donate your good clothing, and pick yourself up a “new” outfit while you are there. Second-hand shops have great deals on great stuff. Many clothing items still have tags on them.
Related reading: 10 Creative Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget
How to Live Greener by Volunteering
Local charities need your help. Give the gift of your time, household items you do not want anymore, and money, if it you can. Items and money are tax deductible.
Get up and get active. Cut down your entertainment expenses, join a local outdoor club and help maintain trails. You will get a workout and save money. Enjoying nature is free!
Related reading: Peloton Alternatives – 7 Affordable Ways to Bike at Home
How to Live Green: Transportation
Don’t drive when you can walk.
If you can walk or ride a bike, do so. You will save gas, lessen your carbon footprint, and keep yourself fit.
Combine errands. Instead of running one errand each day, try to combine them. Make a list, get organized, and only grocery shop once a week. If you run out, make do.
Related reading: Saving Money on Gas: 7 Tips You Need If You Don’t Drive a Tesla