All of us would be perfectly happy being more eco-friendly if we could do it without spending any extra money. However, it can often feel like what’s good for the planet is bad for your wallet. If you’re looking to save green while going green, though, you might want to consider these five pieces of lifestyle advice.
#1: Stop Buying Disposable Stuff
Look around your house, and ask yourself which disposable items you can live without. All those plastic shopping bags? Avoid getting those by bringing your own bag when you get groceries. Paper napkins and plastic plates? Use cloth napkins and don’t be afraid to do the dishes. It might be a little more work, but it can be a lot less money. If you’re really into conservation, use soap instead of shaving cream, and consider a 100 percent recyclable razor… or going old-school and learning how to use a straight razor to shave.
#2: Pay Your Bills Digitally
We all get bills every month, but if we opt in for digital bill paying, then we cut down significantly on the amount of paper we’re using. From credit card and bank statements to your utility bill, ask if there’s a digital option. If so, opt-in, and know that you are cutting several pounds of paper waste out of the garbage stream.
#3: Skip The Chemical Cleaners
While you can buy eco-friendly cleaners, you tend to have to pay more for them. Or you can do things the old-fashioned way, and clean with the stuff you probably already have in your kitchen. A lemon, cut in half and rubbed with salt, makes a great sink cleaner, for instance. White vinegar absorbs bad smells, so if you spray a room down and let it evaporate, it will smell fresher. This list will get you started.
#4: Buy Used When You Can, And Digital When It’s An Option
As technology has changed, we’ve been given a slew of choices when it comes to our habits as consumers. If you’re an avid reader, a fan of audio books or staying up on the latest TV shows, consider using digital options instead of physical media. Amassing a huge library of ebooks, sound files, or digitized movies takes up a tiny fraction of space, and saves a lot of resources. If you need to buy something that can’t be digital, like clothing, furniture, electronics, etc., then consider buying something used. Thrift stores, pawn shops, and other locations often have less expensive merchandise, and you’re recycling gently used items.
#5: Drink More Water
We have all kinds of sugary drinks around us, but water is often the better choice. Keep a jug of water in the fridge, and make it a habit to drink more water. When you leave home, take a refillable water bottle with you. You don’t have to give up soda, lemonade, and the occasional beer, but if you drink less of them you’ll make less waste while doing something good for your health.
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