With a slow-growing economy, plummeting incomes, and increasing national debt, environmental concerns are often put on the backburner. Thankfully, going green saves money and you do not have to break the bank or overhaul your life. There are lots of small, inexpensive changes you can make that might just save you money as well. Here are 20 ways to be eco-friendly and tips to save money.
What are the eco-friendly ways to save money
There's another benefit to being eco-friendly other than just helping out our planet Earth. Such products can often save you money as well. Some of the eco-friendly money-saving tips below will save you cash, with the bonus of making you feel good about your decisions.
Reusable water bottles
You can buy bottled water everywhere, but that plastic ends up everywhere as well. If you start to use a reusable water bottle, the plastic stays out of the landfills and ocean. Plus, you save money. While you might be able to get a 24-pack of bottled water for about $3, you can use a $5-$20 water bottle hundreds of times. We’ve had some of our water bottles for over 5 years!
Do you still use incandescent or CFL bulbs? Replace them with LED bulbs as the old ones burn out. It is a perfect way to go green but also save money. CFLs use about 25% of the energy and last about 10x longer than incandescent bulbs, but they contain mercury. It must be disposed of in the hazardous waste. LED bulbs last about 25x longer than incandescents and do not contain mercury. So, not only do they last longer, but LED bulbs also use a lot less energy than those old incandescent bulbs. The best products can help you save money!
It is not a secret that batteries are made of a variety of chemicals. Moreover, some of them are extremely toxic. They can even cause soil and water pollution. Most of us know batteries aren't a great thing to throw into landfills. Therefore, rechargeable batteries can help to resolve that problem and save some money.
Reusable grocery bags
Each year, we use an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags. It causes a lot of avoidable waste. How to cut down this habit? Start to use reusable grocery bags without missing out on convenience. Some grocery stores even offer incentives for people who bring their own bags.
Cut down the usage of plastic, especially plastic toothbrushes. The best alternative to plastic is a bamboo toothbrush. It is one of the easiest things you can do to immediately reduce the plastic waste in your bathroom. It is not only BPA-free but also long-lasting.
Biodegradable trash bags
These trash bags are 100% compostable, meet the stringent requirements of municipal composting programs, and are BPI certified. Even better news is that they're almost half the price of Glad bags.
Did you know that the US uses about 69 million tons of notebook paper each year? If you want to cut down on your own paper waste (and add some convenience and savings to your own life) you might be interested in reusable notebooks. This one can be written on with a special pen and then wiped clean to use again.
According to the National Park Service, you could fill over 125 school buses with the straws Americans use every single day (500 million in all). Using disposable utensils of any kind introduces a lot of unnecessary waste into the environment, but straws are a particularly easy fix.
Reusable coffee pods
Instead of popping in a new pod every morning only to toss it into the waste bin, consider saving yourself space and money with your choice of fresh ground coffee and a reusable filter pod. Save money and time.
Unplug your gadgets
If you keep your gadgets and any appliances plugged in, they still use power even if you aren’t using them. Therefore, do not forget to unplug all your gadgets until you really need them. This quick and easy tip will help you save energy and also save on your monthly energy bill. A lot of us like to keep all the lights on even if we’re not in the room. Instead, try to switch off the light in the room if you don't really need it. Teach your children these habits and you’ll notice savings on your next electricity bill.
If you want to brew tea properly, you definitely need the right equipment. Love tea? Look into a loose tea infuser to cut down on how many tiny disposable packets you rip open and throw away. There are lots of different kinds of tea infusers, including brewing baskets, mesh metal balls, cute silicon infusers, as well as travel mugs and teapots with infusers built into their design.
Natural laundry detergent
If you want to minimize chemical exposure to the water supply and your skin, you should buy a laundry detergent alternative. Such detergents are made from naturally derived, plant-based ingredients and have a hypoallergenic formula. Its transparent bottle is recyclable and made from 100% PCR (post-consumer recycled) materials.
Of course, reading a great paperback is really nice, but you can help reduce the deforestation issue. You might have an opportunity as an avid reader to cut down on a production cycle that uses ample paper and transportation. Unless you're a regular patron of the library, an e-reader can help diminish the carbon footprint of someone who frequently buys new books.
Solar-powered phone charger
Made of eco-friendly silicone and ABS + PC material, this #1 best-selling solar charger is an eco-friendly alternative to the traditional rechargeable battery pack. It's water-resistant and shock-proof, so it can go where you go (and soak up solar power too).
Wash clothes at 30 degrees
Higher temperatures use more energy and cost you more in the long run so don’t wash clothes at any temperatures higher than 30˚. Running your washing machine at 30 instead of 40 degrees can save you money and it’s better for the environment.
Natural cleaning products
The cleaning products you use around the house can be full of environmentally harmful chemicals. If you want the same result but with fewer ramifications for the environment, water supply, and your own exposure, natural ingredients can do the trick with less collateral damage. You can even make some cleaning products at home. How? Read our article to get cool recipes for homemade cleaning products.
A shorter shower
Drought is a serious problem worldwide. Too much water use is the main cause of this disaster in a lot of areas. Therefore, it is important to save freshwater by taking a short five-minute shower. Believe us, this is enough time to get clean without using too much water. This small and simple tip helps you to save water, electricity, and reduce your power bill. You can even invest what you save in a low-flow showerhead. It reduces the amount of water you use to get clean and also reduces energy consumption.
Grow your own herbs
Grow an herb garden indoors all year round for fresh herbs. There are many do-it-yourself kits out there. You can stop buying dried herbs at the store and save money over time. Also, think about growing fresh vegetables and fruits whenever possible. Produce can be very expensive when purchased at the grocery store.
Bike or walk when you can
Not only will you save money on gas and wear and tear on your vehicle, but you also can cancel your gym membership if you do it enough. If you can, get rid of your car completely and use public transportation or bike to work. It does less damage to the environment and you save on car payments, gas, and car insurance.
Save money with your fridge
Try to keep it full so that it stays cold and runs more efficiently. Lots of stores have trade-in offers where customers buying a new fridge can offload their old ones. Alternatively, you can take your old appliance to a local recycling center to be recycled free of charge.
The best money-saving products and tips for everyone
Going green or helping to save the environment doesn’t have to be complicated and cost a lot of money. Some people think it’s worth the small investment, no matter the cost. Even if you haven’t jumped on board the “go green” bandwagon yet, by consuming fewer resources, you’ll end up keeping more cash in your wallet.