As the new year begins, many people will be making New Year’s resolutions. Common goals may include weight loss, dieting, and saving money. However, the beginning of this year is the perfect time to begin living a more environmentally-friendly life as well.
With so much harm being done to the Earth every day, it’s important that everyone tries their best to live as eco-friendly as possible. And while many people think that going green is hard to do, it can be as simple as being one of the 48% of people looking at homes who cite “energy-efficiency” as their most desired feature. However, there are tons of other ways you can go green in the new year.
For starters, along with recycling, you can try to buy more environmentally-friendly packaging. Whether it’s food, toiletries, or other products, you should try to choose items that have waste-free packaging when possible. You can even do something as simple as bringing reusable bags to the grocery store with you so you don’t have to be given plastic bags. Additionally, you could choose post-consumer recyclable paper products instead of styrofoam or plastic containers.
Reduce Electricity Usage
Reducing the amount of electricity you and your family use at home can be another easy way to go green. You can start off by turning the heat down when no one’s home or ensuring you only turn lights on when necessary. In fact, you can set your lights to timers, not only allowing your home to look beautiful all the time, but also ensuring lights get turned off when they don’t need to be in use.
Reduce Water Usage
Another thing you can easily do at home is reduce your water use. By doing simple things like turning off the water while you’re brushing your teeth, only doing full loads of laundry, and taking showers rather than baths, you can easily minimize the amount of water you waste.
Buy From Responsible Brands
According to Safia Minney, founder of ethical fashion brand People Tree, it’s important to think about where you’re spending your paycheck. By choosing to spend your money on brands that are actively working towards a sustainable future, you can go green while still getting to go on a shopping spree.
“Buy from ethical pioneers, because it becomes easier for big companies to follow once the market has been made, the standards set and the supply chain developed,” said Minney.
Of course, there are bigger goals you can work towards achieving too. Whether it’s composting, switching over to environmentally-friendly, non-toxic cleaning products, or eliminating waste completely, any step towards a green future is a good step.
Saving Money & Going Green Too
Perhaps many people don’t initially make the switch to greener living because they are concerned about the environment. It may be that many are actually seeking to live a more simplistic and frugal life because they have limited resources and a limited budget. Or perhaps they always knew that going green and living frugal were practically synonymous. Either way going green can really save you some green in the long run. Being kinder to the planet can also mean being kinder to your wallet and who wouldn’t want that?!
So how exactly can green living equate to cost savings? Here are some of the many ways:
Grow Your Own Food
To avoid pesticides and to eat locally many green living enthusiasts have turned to growing their own food. Our economy at the moment is not looking so good and food prices are going through the roof. Eating food from your own garden will go along way towards easing your budget woes.
Reusing Means You Don’t Have To Buy New
Green people everywhere know that landfill waste is a serious problem so they seek to use reusable and recycled or recyclable items. This means they might use their stainless steel water bottles and filtered tap water instead of expensive bottled waters. They might also shop at yard sales and thrift stores to buy second hand items instead of buying brand new. They often like to use book swap services and clothing swap services too. These activities reduce their contributions to wasteful consumerism and they save a lot of money in the process.
Driving Less Means Money Saved
Eco minded people are rightfully concerned about the carbon emissions and other car pollutants that enter our atmosphere when we drive. Many of them have opted to buy energy efficient cars that have better gas mileage. Others drive cars that run on biofuel or waste vegetable oil. Some carpool, use mass transit, ride their bike more often or walk wherever they need to go. All of these choices result in cost savings.
Energy Saved is Money in the Bank
One of the first eco-tips you usually hear is too turn lights off when you leave a room and conserve energy. Well, they usually go beyond that. Too conserve energy, environmentally minded people will turn off lights, switch out inefficient light bulbs, insulate their hot water heaters, wash their clothes in cold water, and much more. All of these practices result in energy savings which any frugal person can see also means a cost savings.
Green Cleaning Saves Money
All of those conventional cleaning products on the market can be pretty pricey but environmentalists know that you can clean your home effectively with natural and relatively cheap products like baking soda, vinegar, borax, lemons, and olive oil. It is much more cost efficient to use theses ingredients and make your own cleaners then to buy the one sat the supermarket. Even soaps and detergents can be made at low cost, at home.
Less Meat Means Less Money
Many environmentalists are vegetarians or vegans. Others have greatly reduced their meat consumption because raising animals for meat puts an immense strain on the planet. Generally veggies, rice, and beans (the staples of vegetarian diets) cost much less than meat products. In this economy as fuel prices and food prices rise we can expect meat to become an expensive habit. Reduce your meat consumption and save a little.
There are many similarities between green living and frugal living and both can be practiced together for monetary benefit and the benefit of the planet. How else can going green save you some green, share your tips here!