Going green doesn’t have to cost a fortune or require drastic lifestyle changes. There are many simple, affordable ways to be more eco-friendly in your daily life. Here are some tips for living green on a budget:
Reduce Energy Use
Energy efficiency is key to saving both money and the planet. Here are some easy ways to cut down on home energy use:
Use Energy Efficient Lightbulbs
Replace regular incandescent lightbulbs with LED or CFL bulbs. Though more expensive upfront, they use a fraction of the energy and last much longer, saving money in the long run.
Unplug Devices When Not In Use
Electronics continue drawing energy even when switched off. Unplug them when not in use or get a power strip to cut phantom load.
Adjust the Thermostat
Keep your home cooler in winter and warmer in summer to reduce heating and cooling costs. Wear extra layers indoors and use fans to stay comfortable.
Upgrade Old Appliances
Invest in Energy Star rated appliances when old ones need replacing. Newer models are far more energy efficient.
The less water you use, the less you pay in utility bills. Plus, it takes lots of energy to pump, heat, and treat water. Try these water-saving tactics:
Install Low-Flow Fixtures
Aerators, low-flow showerheads, and other water-efficient fixtures are inexpensive but can drastically cut water use.
Fix Leaks Promptly
Even minor leaks waste gallons of water over time. Do regular checks and fix any you find right away.
Run Full Loads
Only run the washing machine, dishwasher, etc. when completely full to maximize efficiency.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Being mindful about consumption and waste has environmental and financial benefits. Here’s how:
Buy Used Goods
Check out thrift stores, yard sales, and online resellers for everything from clothes to furniture. Go for quality used over new.
Use Reusable Alternatives
Ditch disposables like plastic bags, paper towels, and bottled water in favor of reusables like tote bags, cloth napkins, and refillable bottles.
Recycle and Compost
Recycling and composting give waste new life instead of letting it pile up in landfills. Many cities offer curbside pickup for both.
Your diet impacts the planet in a big way. Adopting greener eating habits can also save money.
Eat Less Meat
Meat production requires far more resources than plant foods. Cut down on meat, especially beef and lamb. Substitute beans, lentils and other protein rich plant foods.
Eat Seasonal Produce
Seasonal fruits and veggies are cheaper and lower impact than out-of-season imports. Shop your local farmer’s market.
Avoid Pre-Packaged Foods
Heavily packaged and processed foods create lots of waste. Buy fresh, bulk ingredients and make meals from scratch.
Grow Your Own Food
Start a backyard veggie garden, join a community garden, or just grow some herbs in pots. It’s inexpensive, rewarding and sustainable.
Make Greener Transportation Choices
Getting around leaves a massive carbon footprint. Try these money-saving green transportation options:
Walk and Bike More
For short trips under 5 km, walking or biking gets you there fossil fuel free. Enjoy the extra exercise too!
Take Public Transit
Buses, trains, and subways run on set schedules with high ridership. Ditch the car and take advantage of public options.
Air travel leaves an enormous carbon footprint. Stay grounded as much as you can and offset flights you do take.
Maintain Your Vehicle
A well-maintained, fuel-efficient vehicle will maximize mileage and minimize emissions. Keep up with tune-ups and use eco-friendly fuels when possible.
Going green really comes down to making small, manageable changes to your lifestyle. When we all do our part, big differences can happen. The planet and your wallet will thank you!