These days, everyone is looking for new ways to go green. Environmental awareness has become much more mainstream, so people are recognizing how their actions impact the planet.Unfortunately, some green efforts, like installing solar panels, can cost a lot of money up front.
If on a budget but still wanting to help the earth, try some of these unique ways to cut costs and live a greener lifestyle. You don’t have to sacrifice your wallet just to reduce your carbon footprint.
1. Air-Dry Your Clothes
Everyone has to do laundry regularly, but using your dryer could be what’s making both your electric bill and your carbon footprint bigger than you’d like. Think of all the electricity necessary to heat your dryer and run it continuously. If you do multiple loads of laundry every couple of days, that all adds up.Instead, leave your dryer turned off and hang your clothes to dry on a clothesline. Don’t have a yard? Use hangers to hang everything on a shower rack instead. They’ll dry overnight without electricity.
2. Make DIY Cleaners
To clean things around your home, you probably go through many different cleaning solutions. Commercial cleaning ingredients include many harsh chemicals that aren’t good for the environment after they get washed down the drain. Plus, buying a large jug of dishwasher or laundry detergent can be pretty expensive.Instead, you can make a basic cleaning solutionjust by combining one part water to one part white vinegar. Add a few lemon rinds to increase the acidity for tough cleaning spots like the grout between your shower tiles.
3. Repair Old Clothing
Sometimes, life happens and your clothing becomes well worn. Your jeans might get ripped at the knees or a shirt hem could unravel.Although you might believe that gives you a reason to go shopping, your budget won’t automatically make room for new clothes every time you need them.One way to save money on your clothing is to repair it yourself. You can even fix the holes in your sweatersin just a few minutes. All you need for clothing repairs is a simple sewing kit available at local stores.No sewing experience required! Just thread your needle, make a knot at one end and you’ll be good to go. Fix those holes or sew on patches to make your clothes last a little longer.
Not going shopping also helps the earth. The fashion industry is second only to big oilwhen it comes to industries that pollute the environment. Don’t feed into their destructive business model. Fix clothes yourself, and if you really need something new, buy it secondhand.
4. Turn off Power at Night
Any home is going to have multiple features that use electricity 24/7. Your TV and Wi-Fi router consume small amounts of electricity even when you’re not using them.To make things easier and greener, plug these devices into power strips. It will protect them from power surges in case of a storm, and you’ll have a single switch to turn off every night that will control them both. Every little bit of energy counts when you’re trying to go green and save money at the same time.
5. Inflate Your Tires
The air pressure in your tires will fluctuate with extreme temperatures, so during the summer and winter, you should keep an eye on them.Every time your tire pressure drops even one psi, gas mileage is lowered by 0.2%. As that happens, your car has to consume more gas. There’s no need to rely even more on the fossil fuel industry, which contributes to rising CO2 levels.Instead, reach for your pocket change and get your tires filled up at the nearest gas station. It should take only a buck or two to fix the issue, and your car can get back on track and use fuel efficiently.
6. Buy a Faucet Filter
Some people buy water bottles every week at the grocery store, and that could be for a variety of reasons. You may have city water that tastes bad, or unreliable well water.Still, there’s a better way to handle your water supply. The process of manufacturing plastic water bottles uses 17 million barrels of oileach year. Prevent that fuel from getting burned and released into the atmosphere by buying a faucet filter. You may have to work out your budget to buy one, but you’ll save so much money in the future by not buying bottled water.
7. Take Shorter Showers
Everyone knows that using less water is always a good thing, but when do you use it the most? Cutting down how frequently you use your dishwasher and washing machine is one possibility, but you can take shorter showers also.Water is a precious resource, so you should conserve it as much as possible. If you cut your showers down by just two minutes, you’ll save over 1,000 gallons of watereach year. That’ll also significantly reduce your water bill, which can start to add up if you have a larger family.
8. Start Meatless Mondays
Even if being a vegetarian isn’t your thing, going meatless for just one day a week will help you and the planet.The meat industry has a massive impact on the environment. It hurts the world in many ways, including these:
- Large greenhouse gas emissions
- Land depletion
- Unnecessary antibiotic resistance
Meat also can cost a lot at the grocery store, averaging $4 per pound. If you’re cooking to feed a family, that’s multiple pounds of meat with each meal.Skip meat once a week and enjoy a vegetarian dishinstead. You’ll save money and give the meat industry fewer reasons to devour resources as they do.
Try These Tips
You may not need all these tips, especially if you’re already trying to live a sustainable lifestyle. Some of them may help lower your monthly costs without changing your green efforts. Repairing your damaged clothing and taking shorter showers are cheap and effective ways to take care of your bills and protect the planet at the same time. Try implementing these tips and see how much of a difference they can make in your life.