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Many think that to start living a greener lifestyle, you have to be all or nothing, or that it costs a large sum of money they don’t have. I am here to tell you that is untrue. Okay, yes there are certain aspects of living greener that hit your pocketbook hard, but who says you have to start there? Or even ever go there?
There are basic things we can do in our everyday lives that don’t cost us a fortune that help the environment, ourselves and those around us.
1. Use reusable bags/containers. While you could initially have the purchase price of the bags, it costs nothing to bring your own bags when you go shopping to prevent extra plastic waste in the world. Want to nix the purchase price? Make your own bags! There are plenty of ideas on making your own totes from cute sewn bags to upcycled t-shirt bags that don’t require sewing. Both of which could cost you nothing if you use what you already have on hand.
2. Unplug! Who knew that even turned off our appliances still drain the energy. It doesn’t cost anything to unplug appliances and electronics that are not being used, rather it can save upwards of $100 or more annually!
3. Make your own cleaners! For just pennies, you can make all natural cleaners that are not only safe for the environment but also your family as well. Once you have the ingredients needed to make natural cleaners, the savings over purchasing natural cleaners in amazing and well worth the initial investment.
4. Recycle. In some areas it actually cost money to recycle. In other areas, you are rewarded if you do! Regardless, you and the earth both benefit when we are able to recycle as much as physically possible to prevent another piece of trash added to the landfill that continues to grow at staggering rates. It is amazing that recycled plastic water bottles are now made into usable items such as shoes and even super-soft clothing.
5. Reuse. Before you decide to recycle, first analyze if you can practically use the item in another way. Think outside the box! We don’t want to just collect more stuff, but many times there are practical ways you can use items, instead of them having the extra energy to go through the recycle process. Glass containers can be used to store just about anything and are perfect to store dry goods in your pantry. Of course, recycling is the next best option!
6. Compost. What could be considered waste and added into the garbage can be turned into something many gardeners refer to as garden gold. Compost takes leftover organic scraps and turns it into nutrient rich foundation for your garden to thrive and flourish from.
7. Grow a garden. While gardening can have a small expense of seeds upfront, growing your own produce can save your hundreds of dollars in grocery bills. If you try to grow organic and heirloom plant varieties, you can collect seeds from your own garden and reduce the expense the next year.
8. Fix water leaks. A leaky faucet or toilet can waste gallons of water daily. It saves you money in the long run to repair any leaks as soon as they are noticed. Clean water is a precious and costly commodity that many go without.
9. Analyze purchases. We live in such a disposable world. The mentality is to replace for the latest and greatest, to upgrade. Before you make a purchase ask yourself if it is truly a need or a want. Many times if we take a step back and analyze the purchase, we may have something that would be just as suitable. If not, before you make a purchase, see if you could borrow what you need.
10. Switch to cold water and line dry. No, we don’t live in the 30s anymore but our laundry rooms can be the largest energy drain of the entire house. By making a few adjustments we can go greener and save ourselves money in return. Rather than using a hot cycle, try washing in cold water and save the expense of heating all those gallons of water daily. And using natural air to dry your clothing saves energy, gives your clothing a great smell and naturally brightens them with the help from the sun.
There are many other adjustments we can make in our daily lives to go greener. We have to remember that it is all the small changes that add up to equal BIG results!
I personally love to upcycle, take something old and outdated and make it new again. That is exactly what Energizer did with their new EcoAdvanced batteries. They are the longest lasting alkaline battery ever but they are also the first battery on the market to use recycled batteries/materials! Isn’t that awesome? It is a new product found at Walmart in both AA and AAA. Now I don’t have to feel quite so guilty letting the kids use the batteries that are not rechargeable.
You can find more great ideas at BringingInnovation.net.
Okay, I have shared a few ways you can go greener without spending a lot of money, now is your turn! What is one other way you can think of you can go greener without it costing a fortune?
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