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There are numerous reasons to embrace eco-friendliness – you will reduce pollution, protect natural resources, and help to save the planet. However, the changes you make to go green can also help you save money.
Many people presume that embracing the green movement means spending more. While others avoid green options because of their busy schedules, they avoid adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle because it seems pretty inconvenient to them.
But, the truth is going green does not have to be time-consuming or expensive. It’s all about how you take it. However, it does take some getting used to as we are so used to our current lifestyle.
Sadly, our damaging lifestyle is posing a threat to this planet. According to the World Bank, “the waste around the globe could increase by 70% by 2050.” Is it the kind of earth you want to leave behind for your future generations? Certainly, not.
To minimize the damage we are doing to the environment along with making cuts and boosting our savings, here are 7 lifestyle changes that you should be adopting to save money and help the environment.
1. Skip Single-use Products
We live in a disposable era where we buy things that we use only once and then throw it away. Disposable items are, indeed, very convenient to use, but what we don’t realize is the fact that every time we toss that thing, we cause harm not only to the environment but to our pocketbooks, too.
Bottled water costs us way more than plain tap water. Moreover, these plastic bottles end up in landfills and take 700 to 1000 years to break down. Swapping your disposable bottles with reusable steel ones can help you eliminate a great source of plastic pollution. You are also likely to save more money by purchasing your bottle only once, instead of buying the water every day. The stainless steel, additionally, does not leach chemicals when exposed to heat or sun, and it is 100 percent recyclable.
Same goes for other disposable or single-serving products, such as:
Since baby wipes are so convenient and can save you a whole lot of havoc, it is not easy to think of eliminating them from your life. But what if I tell you that most of them contain plastic fibers that are not biodegradable?
When these wipes end up into the ocean, they get ingested by creatures in that water, such as fishes and turtles. The ingestion of plastic particles eventually makes them die. I hope this is not what you want to do with them, do you?
So, swap the store-bought wipes with DIY wipes while you are out; when at home, you can always use water to clean the baby. It is better to wash the baby with water or clean him/her with a wet cloth.
I know they are super convenient. Wipe off and throw away! But they undoubtedly produce tons of waste and increase our expenditure. Therefore, use sponges and rags that can clean up multiple spills.
The same is the case with facial Wipes. Keep a few washcloths. They keep your face as clean as throwaway wipes.
Why not take your mug to your barista? It will not only help to skip the cardboard cup but the plastic lid, too.
This one may sound stupid, but to minimize your waste production and to be kind to your environment, reusable or eco-friendly diapers should be your first choice. The idea of reusable diapers may sound gross to you, but trust me, it is not only good for the environment but also the baby and your pocketbook. However, eco-friendly diapers are an option if you are traveling.
Most diapers in use today are not eco-friendly or biodegradable, and a typical disposable diaper takes hundreds of years typically to decompose fully. Moreover, they can also contaminate groundwater. Hence, switching to eco-friendly nappies/diapers can do a big favor to the planet.
As mentioned earlier, plastic takes hundreds of years to decompose, and when they make their way to the ocean, they pose a life threat to marine life. So, it’s better to carry cloth bags or jute baskets when you go out for shopping and contribute your bit to save the planet.
2. Grow Your Food
Got a bit of extra green space at home? Or have a back yard? Why not create your vegetable and fruit garden then? Growing your own food leads to a greener lifestyle. It is not only good for your body and the environment, but it can have a positive impact on your savings, too.
It will help you reduce your expenses when you are grocery shopping while ascertaining everything is genuinely organic. Moreover, it significantly reduces your carbon footprint.
3. Cut Your Energy Bill
Producing electricity is hard on the environment. Besides, you will see that difficulty reflecting on your electricity bill. Hence, to balance your energy budget, here are some tips to follow:
Purchase an ENERGY STAR
Devices with the ENERGY STAR label consume less energy than conventional products. One of the best ways to incorporate these products into your home is by upgrading your HVAC system.
These appliances typically cost 9 to 25 percent less to operate than standard devices. Refrigerators, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, and washing machines are just some examples of the types of products available in ENERGY STAR. These appliances decrease energy usage by both trimming down water use and cutting back electricity use, which, in turn, lessen the amount of energy used to heat water.
Upgrading your appliances to energy-efficient by buying them via coupons websites will save you more money.
Adjust your daily routines
One of the simplest ways to cut your energy bill is to think actively about your home energy usage. Make sure you turn the lights off when leaving the room. Also, unplug devices like chargers and TV when not in use. Turn the thermostat off when leaving the house and turn it back on after getting back. Skip the dishwasher sometimes, and do the dishes by hand, instead.
There are plenty of ways to trim down your daily energy spending; it all starts with identifying areas where small adjustments can be made. By adopting these petty habits, you can quickly begin to reduce your energy bill.
4. Reassess Your Laundry Habits
Can your clothes get a cold wash in the machine? You may not know that a significant amount of energy goes toward heating the water. Opting for a cold wash can help you save some serious money. You should know that most of the time, your clothes don’t even need hot water to get clean.
Moreover, if the weather is not cold, rather than using a dryer, hang that wet laundry to dry outside. The sunshine is free! Plus, it will help you save some money.
5. Swapping Packaged Food with Homemade Food and Purees
Store-bought food, whether it is specifically for the baby or yourself, is not just heavy on the pockets, it also comes in disposable plastic packaging mostly that ends up going to landfills.
So, if you want tomato puree for your pasta or pizza sauce for your pizza, make homemade purees and sauces instead. Your body and pocketbook and the entire planet will thank you for this.
6. Ditch the Car
Worried about global climate change? Well, one of the many things you can do to reduce air pollutants is: “ditch your car and opt for cycling or walking.” It helps you cut down on greenhouse gas emissions as well as the expenses that go on your car fuel and maintenance.
Besides, it also enables you to reduce road congestion and noise pollution. Not to mention, it also reduces the need for new roadways as well as parking lots. Hence, cycling and walking should become the norm for short journeys rather than driving a car or a motorbike.
7. Choose e-books over Print Books
Research suggests that “the water, energy as well as raw materials required to make a single e-reader is equal to that of 40 to 50 books”. Moreover, the emissions created by a single e-reader are equal to approximately 100 books. Besides that, reading free e-books and downloading books PDFs are economical than buying printed versions that require.
On top of that, the publishing industry involves around eleven percent of freshwater consumed in developed countries. By choosing e-reader technology, we would be contributing our bit towards maintaining the health of forests, reducing our reliance on landfills, and limiting excessive use of freshwater. Doing so would not only help us embrace an eco-friendly lifestyle but also ease our financial strain.
All of the tips, as mentioned earlier, may seem like a lot to do, especially when you are always on the go. Still, once you get into the habit of adopting minimalism and eco-friendly lifestyle, they will become second-nature to you.
All in all, this article is just asking you to love the planet while boosting your savings. These small adjustments in your lifestyle add up to significant results. So, start making changes from today, track progress, and celebrate with a deposit into your savings account at the end of every month.