Everywhere you go, you can see people making an effort to be more eco-friendly. Big companies are building electric cars, recycling laws are becoming tighter, we are looking into other types of fuels that can be used for far longer than things like coal, which are fast running out. Green living is everywhere, and if you’re not on this particular bandwagon, then you are missing out. Not only that, but the world is depending on you to be involved - the environment depends on it. You may think that you won’t make a difference, but even the smallest action can change the outlook for the planet. The biggest issue that most people have is that being greener in their day to day efforts can mean that they are spending more money on products and services that they would like.
Here’s the thing: it’s worth the money to pay out for products and services that are more eco-friendly if you can also save money in the long-term. At present, we are using fossil fuels because of their availability and how easy they are to use. It would not have been possible to have the technology to search for and discover energy sources that are renewable had we not been able to rely on coal and oil. We cannot survive without heat and fuel as a species and we now need electricity and transportation. We would not have had any of these things without fossil fuels to get us started. However, we now live in a time where we understand the risks of burning fossil fuels, and we look for alternative energy sources all the time. They’ve done a lot for mankind, and now we need to use as many other sources as possible to preserve fossil fuels.
When you want to go green but you don’t want to spend all your green, you need to get wise to how you can do your part to save the planet and save at the same time. The good news is that it’s entirely possible to do just that without having to spend all your hard-earned cash. It doesn't mean that you must invest in those stainless steel drinking straws everyone seems to be getting. It also doesn't mean that you have to start picketing in the cities for climate change. Saving money often goes right alongside saving the world - you just have to know where to begin. Luckily for you, we’re here to get you started. Let’s take a look.
Learn To Unplug
Do you know how much energy your appliances and phone chargers are using when they’re plugged in but not being used? More than you want to! Unplug everything that you’re not using until you plan to use it, and you’ll be saving on your monthly energy bill. Stop leaving the lights on when you're not in the house, and teach those who live with you the same habits. Unplugging and being out of the outlets occasionally will show you how much you save on your next energy bill. The less you use, the better it is for the environment and the better it is for your overall expenses.
Embrace The Reusable
Almost all grocery stores will now offer you the chance to use reusable bags made of material or discounts on your shopping if you use your own bags. You can save so much money on your food and be eco-friendly by dialling it down on the plastic waste. When you’re choosing loose fruits and veggies, go for the paper bags, too. You can keep reusable bags in your car, or by the front door so that you remember to grab them on the way out. It’s much easier to keep track of your reusables when you do this, and you can rest easy knowing you’re doing your bit.
While we’re talking about reusable things, that water bottle you keep buying from the store every morning? You need to invest in a reusable one like this one. People spend hundreds every year on bottles of water, but there’s no real need. A reusable one you only need to pay for once, and you can fill it whenever you want to from the filtered water in the refrigerator door, or the tap, if you’re not precious about that! Water bottles can also come with a built-in filter, and this can pay for itself within a week! Reusable pitchers with a filter can be kept in the refrigerator at work and at home, and you can top up a cup or glass, too. You can save a lot of money this way, and the lack of plastic bottles going to landfill will mean the earth will thank you!
Warm It A Little Bit
Your refrigerator does not need to be as freezing cold as you think it does. When you have it too cold, it uses up a lot of electricity and energy, and it can freeze your food when it’s not supposed to be frozen. This leads to food being spoilt faster and food and energy waste that you can do without. The ideal temperature for your refrigerator is 35/36F (or 1.6C).
Thrift Shop - It’s Not Just A Song
By buying used things from thrift store, you are just making someone else’s cast-offs your treasures. Hunting around the second hand stores can be a lot of fun, and you can find some excellent bargains when you look close enough. You can cut down on the stuff that ends up in landfills when you choose to buy used items. It also means you’re not in support of industries that promote over production of clothing and other such industries that are water-intensive.
Let Go Of The Car
Your car may get you to work on time, but is it really necessary? Could you cycle or walk to work? Or better yet, join the masses on public transport. While public transport is not always great for the environment, it can carry up to 200 people at a time on trains and 50-60 on buses. Imagine how many cars that is off the road? You can do a lot less damage to the environment by choosing to join the others on the bus to work.
Insulate Your Home & Office
Heat leaking out of the space you are in is very common. Whether you want it to or not, the gaps and cracks around windows and doors are in a prime position for heat to leak from. You need to weatherstrip where you are to make life warmer, keeping the heat inside and allowing you to save money on your heat and air conditioning. Caulk isn’t expensive, so you could caulk the edges of the windows and doors and know you made the right choice to insulate properly!
Choose To Buy Food Close To Date
Food does not get to one minute past midnight on the day after “best before” and go bad. Food lasts longer than that, and you should be relying on sight and smell to tell if your food is fresh or not. Discounted prices doesn't mean that the food is not fresh; it just means that it’s close to the date that the suppliers deemed too late. From now on, where the date says “best before”, use your judgement to tell if it’s still good enough to eat. When it comes to “use by”, stick to that if it’s meat or dairy. Prep and freeze whatever you can, when you can do it, too. It will make a big difference!
If it’s broken, fix it. The best thing to do is to learn to mend and make do instead of throwing things away if they break on you. You can upcycle clothing, too, so old jeans could be turned into a skirt, a top into a pair of shorts. Learn to be a dab-hand with a sewing machine, and you’ll have a better time of making your things last longer.
Swap Out Your Lightbulbs
Energy efficient light bulbs are not just something to read about. You need to really get stuck in with switching your bulbs for LED options. They use less power and less energy to light up the space, and you can see the savings straight away in your utility bills. They’ll also last you almost a decade!
How Does Your Garden Grow?
You can save so much cash by growing your own fruit, vegetables and - if you don’t have the space for the former - herbs. An herb garden will last you for a long time, and you’ll be able to stop buying them dried at the store, too! You can learn to grow your own and see how much you can reap. It’s also going to teach you some valuable lessons about growing your own garden!
Choosing to be more eco-friendly is good for the environment, and you can save cash while you do something good with your time. There isn't a bandwagon, here. Just you, your home/office and the chance to give back to the planet.