When people think of creating eco-friendly homes or lifestyles, they often fear that they’re not only going to be inconvenient, but expensive as well.
Items like hybrid cars, celebrity-endorsed products, and organic food and produce only serve to reinforce this stereotype. However, with the waste of the past and the direction our Earth continues to go, more people than ever are working to make their lifestyles more environmentally friendly.
Thankfully, being eco-friendly doesn’t mean you have to break the bank or overhaul your life. There are lots of small, inexpensive changes you can make that might just save you money as well. Here are seven ways to be eco-friendly and save money.
1. Be Wary of Excess Energy Suckers
One easy way to be more environmentally friendly and save yourself money is to rid your home of energy vampires. Most people don’t think twice about it when they leave their lamps, cell phone chargers, or computers constantly plugged in. However, what you may not realize is that even if you’re not using those items, they’re still sucking up power.
Of course the easiest way to fix this is to simply unplug items in your home that you’re not using. An even quicker fix? Utilize a power strip and plug your electronics into that instead, so all you have to do is hit the off switch.
2. Invest in a Smart Thermostat
This might cost more initially, but you’d be surprised by how much it can save you in the long run. There’s no need to keep your home to your preferences when you’re not there. In fact, you’re really just using up more money and energy to do so. Instead, invest in a smart thermostat, like a Nest, that can be controlled to your temperature preferences while you’re home and then adjust to a more energy and wallet friendly temperature when you’re gone.
Most people find that using a smart thermostat saves them up to ten percent in their cooling and heating bills.
3. Find Other Ways of Transportation
Although having your own car has its perks, it’s unfortunately one purchase that not only harms the environment, but consistently costs you money. If you’re open to giving up your car, there’s an array of alternate transportation methods that will lower your carbon footprint and save you big in the end.
Consider opting for a bus pass to get you around your town. Or if you live in a bigger city, walking and biking are often feasible options. That being said, if you can’t stand the thought of never having a car, another great route is to get together with friends and co-workers and set up a carpool. That way you all take one car and ultimately save on gas and contribute to the environment.You can go green to help the environment and your wallet! Click To Tweet
4. Eat Less Meat
For some this option might not seem possible, but this isn’t to say you can’t ever eat meat, just reduce your intake. Meat is expensive, and the production of it produces a hefty amount of carbon emissions, which ultimately destroy the environment. Instead of relying on a mostly carnivorous diet, try to incorporate meat-less meals into your cooking routine a couple of times a week. You’ll save on your grocery costs and might just find your new favorite!
5. Try to Reduce Your Imprint with Minimalism
As humans we inherently accumulate things and often find it hard to get rid of them, even the things we don’t necessarily need anymore. Hence, everyone’s increasing movement of minimalism and the effort to reduce your carbon footprint.
Minimalists opt to live a lifestyle with fewer things in their lives. They declutter and recycle those items they no longer need and that only serve to take up space. The way to embrace minimalism is to simply get rid of unnecessary items and from there on out only purchase what you really need. Resell items you can, like DVDs, books, and electronics, and donate old clothes.
By becoming a minimalist, you’ll make money on the things you sell, save money on the random items you stop purchasing, and help decrease your carbon footprint. Not to mention the fact, that you’ll likely feel more at ease and organized without all the clutter.
6. Use Eco-Friendly Products
So many of the beauty and household cleaning products we use are chocked full of chemicals. You might not have thought about it before, but all the harsh and toxic chemicals used to make those items have to end up somewhere during their life, and it’s often in our environment. Next time you need detergent, soap, shampoo or glass cleaner, opt to look for greener options. While some eco-friendly options can be more expensive, you’d be surprised at the variety of options that will actually save you money. Not only will you save money and keep harmful chemicals out of your ecosystem, but you might just find that natural products are better for you as well.
7. Recycle Your Old Stuff
This habit goes along with embracing minimalism, by forcing you to actually do something with your old stuff besides just setting it out for the dumpster. Instead of letting all those books sit there and accumulate, opt to sell them on sites like Amazon, or donate them to your local schools and libraries. Moreover, if you have old furniture you’re no longer using, look for ways to repurpose it into new things or find people to sell or donate it to. Moving forward, don’t simply toss everything in your home, but search for useful ways to repurpose them or ways someone else might be able to use your old items.
Changing your habits to be more environmentally friendly doesn’t have to cost you a fortune or make your life harder. Opt to implement some of these small changes into your life; you’ll likely find that you not only become more eco-friendly, but that it saves your budget as well.
Have you tried any of these tips? Did you find that switching saved you money?