Our world is literally shrinking with the amount of garbage and pollution that’s inundating our beautiful planet. Places that we take for granted may not be existent when our grandchildren become adults.
Maybe you’re not concerned about what the future generation will have or not have, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t do your part to help our planet. Or you could be thinking how one person can make a lasting change and I get it.
What if everyone were to flip the script and start asking how they can better the planet? Because that one person who decides to be more eco friendly now becomes a thousand people to change our world for the better. And of course, an individual possesses the ability to make a lasting impression.
Or maybe you’re debating it because everything that’s natural or organic tends to be cost prohibitive when you’re trying to save money. However, I have ten budget friendly ways to be more eco-friendly so you need not worry about pricing being an issue.
All you need is a bit of vigilance and with time, it will be second nature to how you live.
In becoming more mindful and conscientious about your surroundings, you can help the planet and yourself. Watching your everyday habits- some things that may not seem obvious to you can make an impact so powerful on our planet- for better or worse.
Let us honor our planet and do our part to reduce the carbon footprint. It’s not some fad or a movement. This is about having a revolution today for a better tomorrow.
1. Recycle all paper- your bills, junk mail, magazines, paper towel rolls, online shopping packaging, and any other paper product that comes your way. If you’re concerned about your personal information being exposed, you can always use a paper shredder or use a permanent marker to cross out all of the sensitive information if you want to cut down on electricity.
Something so little as being more mindful about recycling paper goes such a long way. You’ll be surprised how much was going into the trash once you get a hang of this.
This doesn’t even cost a penny to be eco-friendly so give it a try.
2. Go digital and go paperless- Sign up for automatic payments through your credit card and phone companies. You can even save money with some companies when you sign up for auto pay so the money will be automatically deducted from your checking account on a monthly basis.
No more stamps, check books, envelopes, or worse, forgetting when to pay each bill. Any magazine or newspaper subscription can be digitized as well as saving you money by signing up. All it takes is a few minutes of your time to create accounts.
Eco-friendly while saving money? It doesn’t get much better than that. Try it out if you’re already not doing it.
3. Go green with your cleaning products- I actually only use a two ingredient all purpose cleaner. It’s been several years now and each home I’ve lived on has always manages to stay clean and I never suffer from rashes or headaches by all the cleaning products that are loaded with foul ingredients.
All you need to do is mix equal parts of distilled white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Voila! You have an agent that doubles as a natural cleaner while deodorizing your entire home.
Yup- sinks, bathtubs, stoves, countertops, toilet bowls, windows, and wood surfaces can be sparkling clean with this natural wonder. Again, it saves so much money and you won’t be ingesting nasty and toxic chemicals. Not to mention, you’re going to be saving on so much storage space which is prime real estate.
This is probably the biggest budget hack on this list for being more eco-friendly. Give it a shot and you may be pleasantly surprised.
4. Use bamboo- There are a myriad of bamboo products out there. From serving bowls to dish towels to sponges to toothbrushes to clothing to bedding are now being made with bamboo because of how eco friendly the plant is. Even the construction industry is using bamboo because it has a stronger structure than steel. The best part is that when you’re done using any bamboo product, it can be recycled instead of being thrown in the trash. Which makes it the most sustainable product on this planet.
Bamboo seeds take about seven years to sprout from the time they’re planted. But once bamboo grows, it’s so rapid that it is the fastest growing plant on the planet. Compared to other plants, it releases 30% more oxygen into the atmosphere and absorbs more carbon dioxide.
Buying bamboo products doesn’t have to cost a fortune either. If you’re not inclined to use bamboo products, at least keep a plant in your home as a detoxifier.
5. Grow your own herbs- Even if you don’t have an outdoor garden, you can grow your own herbs right in the comfort of your own home. You may be wondering how this is eco-friendly. Think about the amount of pesticides that won’t be used with you having your own herb garden. And you’ll know exactly where your herbs are coming from, not having to worry what or how many chemicals were sprayed on them before purchasing them.
If you think you’re in the safe zone because you buy organic herbs, they still have pesticides in them. So you may want to cut back on what you’re buying from the supermarket. The easiest way to do that is growing your own herbs. If you find you possess a green thumb, you may even want to branch out to veggies in the future.
Again, you save money and waste. After all, how many times have you thrown out an entire bundle of herbs because you couldn’t use all of it before it started wilting?
Growing your own herbs is such an easy way to more eco-friendly and the price tag on seeds will suit anyone’s budget.
6. Buy tea leaves instead of tea bags- Say what?!? When we use tea bags, everything is going into the garbage. If you use tea leaves and use a strainer or a french press to make your tea, you’re cutting down on the amount of paper being used.
If you think that this may be a bit too extreme or going overboard with being more eco friendly, shift your perspective just a wee bit. You’ll save money if you grow your own herbs because you can create herbal teas.
You can even buy a tea plant if you wish, but it takes two years before you start to reap the fruits of your labor. If you’re willing to make a time investment for the future, it’s a great and viable option. Black, green, and oolong teas grow from the same plant so you’ll get three different varietals from one product. You can even mix in some herbs and make different concoctions.
When you’re done with the tea leaves, you can compost them, dehydrate them to make a seasoning, or put them in a sachet and soak in a tub for a detox. Let your imagination flow with this.
Not only is using tea leaves more eco-friendly while on a budget, but you can reuse the leaves for other purposes while exploring your creativity.
7. Have a no driving day- I know it’s kind of hard given that most cities and towns require for you to have a car but it can be done. You can either take a day off from going out or if you need to, carpool with some friends.
I just recently moved from NYC to Santa Fe and don’t even have a driver’s license. At first, I was a little worried but when I think about it, I can always apply for a driver’s license and rent a car when I need one. I work home right now, get my groceries delivered, and love to walk so it’s not a hardship for me. In the event that I need a car, I get an Uber to take me around. This may not be ideal for most people, but as a former New Yorker, it’s how we get around anyway.
Just one day of no driving will without a doubt cut down on your stress, save money by not having to put gas in your car, and cut down on pollution immensely.
Plus, if you take a day to only walk, you’re burning calories and getting free exercise. This is really a two for one.
If having a no driving day doesn’t really appeal to you even it’s eco-friendly and awesome while you’re on a budget, do it for the exercise. That should be reason enough.
8. Start bringing reusable bags to stores- We all know the negative impact on the Earth due to the amount of plastic being thrown away. California has already banned plastic bags with New York jumping on the bandwagon next year (from the time I’m writing this). Rather than support the use of plastic bags, bringing your own reusable bag while grocery shopping will dramatically decrease your carbon footprint.
An added bonus is that it cuts down on the amount of recycle you have to take to the curb on a weekly basis. Keep the reusable bag in your trunk if you’re forgetful so you always have it on hand.
Reusable bags are so cost effective making this a great alternative when you’re on a budget and wanting to be more eco-friendly.
9. Make your own beauty products- 50% of what we put onto our bodies enter our bloodstream. You may already be mindful about what you put into your body, but have you ever taken some time to think about what your beauty products may be doing to your insides? As a general philosophy, if you can’t pronounce it, it shouldn’t be near you.
When you make your own beauty products, you know exactly what’s going into your body and it’s affordable and easy to make.
If you’re unsure of how or what to make, check out this post where I show you great alternatives rather than buying products loaded with harmful chemicals.
DIY some beauty products to be more eco-friendly while you’re on a budget. All you need are a few ingredients and a couple of hours of your time.
10. Stop drinking bottled water- Recent studies have shown that plastic bottles actually have toxic chemicals in them, meaning drinking bottled water isn’t necessarily better than tap water. You have the option to invest in a water filtration system, but it gets costly to replace the filters and you may not necessarily remember to change them.
The most cost effective and efficient way for me was having invested in an electric kettle. I boil my water every morning and pour the water into a stainless steel bottle if I’m going out for the day (I only drink hot water). If you like your water cold, then boil it the night before so that you have clean drinking water the next day and pour it into a refillable water bottle and just keep boiling water as you need it. And electric kettle doesn’t take up too much space so you can get one for your office to keep on your desk.
Using an electric kettle is a great alternative to bottled water because it saves you money in the long run while not consuming toxic chemicals that plastic bottles are releasing. It’s eco-friendly, affordable, and protects your health. What more can you ask for?
This sums it up. Ten ways to be eco-friendly while you’re on a budget.
Have you tried any of these practices to be more sustainable? Let me know in the comments below.
Also be sure to spread the word and help protect our beautiful planet by sharing this post.