The "Going Green" movement can cost you an arm and a leg. You want to live an environmentally friendly lifestyle, but you also need to live on a budget. I understand! Making the switch is pricey, so you need some practical advice to make going green fit into your budget.
Here are some tips:
1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
The saying is to reduce, reuse and recycle, and it is a great place to start when you want to go green. Reduce what you purchase. Think about your purchase before you make it. Reuse items instead of purchasing things. Can you find another purpose for that item you want to toss out? If you have to toss it out, recycle it if that's possible!
Related: Gardening With Kids: How to Start Seeds in Recycled Egg Cartons
2. Switch to Reusable Containers
Reusable containers reduce your waste. Instead of buying bottled water, buy a reusable bottle and refill at home. Don't purchase coffee while you're out. Make it at home and use a thermos. You can even bring food containers to restaurants for your leftovers. Once you start thinking about it, you can substitute a lot of wasteful items with reusables.
3. Try Reusable Grocery Bags
Reusable grocery bags are cheap, and most stores are encouraging their use. You need less reusable bags than you need plastic bags, which means fewer trips back to the car. Make sure you leave the bags in your car. Otherwise, you'll forget them as I do. We have dozens of bags because I forget them, but you can find plenty of uses for them!
4. Use Beeswax Food Wrap Instead of Plastic Wrap
Instead of buying a roll of plastic food wrap that will end up in the landfill, buy reusable beeswax food wrap, which will last you over a year. LilyBee Wrap, for example, is made with 100% cotton cloth and a mixture of locally sourced beeswax, tree resin, and coconut oil. It's naturally anti-bacterial and can be washed after every use. You can use it to cover salad bowls, soups, fruits, veggies, and to wrap sandwiches.
5. Use Less Water
Take shorter showers, purchase a low-flow showerhead, and don't leave your faucet running while you brush your teeth. Make sure those laundry loads are full! Collect rainwater for watering your garden and flowers.
6. Use Less Electricity
Reducing your electricity usage also reduces your bill, and who doesn't love that? Work on unplugging appliances and electronics that you aren't actively using. Unplug chargers, microwaves, and computers. You can purchase a smart surge protector that stops power when items aren't in use.
7. Make Your Products at Home
Instead of buying those fancy lotions and soaps, learn how to make them at home. Getting the ingredients will cost less than buying them at the store, and you can make sure the ingredients are safe.
8. Start a Compost
Many items that you put in your trashcan could be put into compost. Starting a compost is a great idea, even if you don't have a garden. If you do have a garden, a compost bin provides valuable vitamins and nutrients for your plants. You can put your fruit and veggie scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags, newspapers, grass clippings, shredded leaves, eggshells and more!
Related: Is Composting in the Winter Possible?
9. Ditch the Paper Towels
Paper towels may be convenient, but you purchase something to toss it out. That seems silly. Instead, purchase a set or two of rags at the store, which should cost you less than $8. Use these to clean up spills and wipe down your countertop.