As we learn more about the impact our lifestyles have on the environment, we may be inclined to make green living choices in our homes.
In some cases, these choices can be more expensive. For example, a few friends were telling me recently that they had stopped composting because they didn't want to purchase compost bags anymore.
Here's a list of helpful tips and tricks I use to practice sustainable living and save money at the same time:
- I use old newspapers to line the small compost bin that sits on the kitchen counter and dump into the larger bin as needed. Rinsing out the small bin in the kitchen sink is relatively easy. You can buy big compost bags for the large bin or use newspapers in there too if you can rinse out the large bin with a hose.
- Washing clothes in cold water and line drying them is an easy way to be green and cut down on your electricity bill. Dryers are taxing, both in terms of price and energy.
- I make my own DIY home cleaning solutions. There are tons of recipes online for very effective all-purpose cleaners, drain cleaning solutions and more. This is not only great for the environment, but avoiding use of harsh chemicals can also be better for your health.
- Instead of buying bottled water, I carry a reusable bottle. One of the most successful ways to follow through with this idea is to use a fairly large bottle that requires fewer refills throughout the day. This helps me live more frugally, since bottled water costs add up.
- At the grocery store, I buy more frozen fruits and veggies rather than fresh, which reduces my food waste.
- I turn old clothes into washable rags instead of buying paper towels. The dirty rags can be soaked and hand washed, or when there's a large load of dirty ones, they can be machine washed in cold water.
- To save on electricity, I put all major electronics on power strips and turn the computer and monitor off when they're not in use. Another option is to use a "smart" power strip that senses when appliances are off and cuts off energy use.
- An easy way to save money and be green is to consider carefully before making purchases. Can it be borrowed or acquired secondhand? Thrift stores offer unique fashions while saving clothes from landfills. And a little money in a thrift store can go a very long way.
- Sometimes spending a little money can save more money in the long run - like using energy-saving bulbs, low-flow shower heads or faucet aerators.
Everyone can find their own ways to save
Living a more sustainable, green lifestyle doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. Once you get in the habit of reusing things around the home, you might find other ways to go green that could also reduce your spending.