Living a green lifestyle doesn’t mean breaking the bank. Some eco-friendly accouterments — hybrid cars, for one big example — cost a lot of money, but the lifestyle isn’t actually that expensive. And how to save money for an eco-friendly lifestyle is even easier to save money than before being green. In fact, many people who make their way over to the green side find that the lifestyle they begin to lead is easier on the earth and on their budgets.
It’s also easier on their minds. A recent study found that those who do good deeds feel happier because they know that what they’re doing is purposeful and meaningful. In order to reap all of the above benefits, then, you have to learn how to protect the earth and your budget. The following are five ideas of how to save money for an eco-friendly lifestyle.
1. Have Less Stuff
Living a more minimalistic lifestyle is a great way to go easy on the earth and save yourself money. By buying less, you’ll require fewer of the Earth’s resources and, chances are, you’ll waste less, too. Plus, less buying means less spending, which means more money in the bank for you.
You may be overwhelmed with stuff as it is, which is common — and also easy to fix. Spend a weekend organizing with minimalism in mind. You can even find items that would re-sell and make money on what you no longer use, instantly making your green lifestyle a lucrative one.
2. Turn the Tap Off
There’s a reason why your showers and faucets are on every list of suggested ways to save money for an eco-friendly lifestyle. Turning off the tap while you brush your teeth, wash dishes and complete any other sink-related task can help save the planet and lower your utility bills.
The same goes for shortening your showers, which can be an even bigger boon to your green efforts. If it helps, put on some music and try and cut down your shower sessions to one or two songs. And, if your bathroom isn’t too cold, you can try turning the water on and off during your shower so that it’s only flowing when you need it. So, after wetting your hair, you can turn off the water to lather up before turning it back on to rinse.
3. Buy Second Hand or Borrow
We already suggested selling your gently used items to others who could find better uses for them. The next time you need something, you should try buying it second-hand, too, to keep the cycle going. That way, you won’t waste extra resources when what you need has already been made — and is likely on sale second-hand at a cheaper price. Plus, buying someone’s unwanted items saves them from going to a landfill, which makes the earth that much cleaner.
You can also borrow reusable, big-ticket items from friends, family members and neighbors so that everyone buys less. For example, if you want to irrigate and re-seed your lawn, ask a friend who has a shed full of gardening tools before you buy a new one. You’ll save money and avoid wasting materials like metal and plastic on a product you’ll use a handful of times.
4. Celebrate Meatless Monday
Even if you love meat, a change-up in your diet can make a big difference to your budget and to the environment. It turns out that raising livestock wastes quite a bit of resources, from land to water; plus, these large animals can pollute the earth with their waste, which leads to even more damage.
If everyone celebrated Meatless Monday, the earth would reap a huge number of benefits. Aside from a lowered use of resources and a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, less fuel would be used to ship meat from farm to store. Plus, meatless meals tend to cost less and they can be wonderful for your health. You don’t have to go meat-free all of the time, but once a week is a great compromise for you — and a great benefit to your planet.
5. Ditch Your Car
In many places, this may be a big ask: you simply cannot get anywhere without your car. However, if you live in a city or town with well-connected public transport — or even with well-maintained sidewalks — you can ditch your car and its fuel emissions for a greener mode of transportation.
Clearly, this move will save you on gas, parking costs and repairs to your over-worked car. You’ll also get moving more often, and walking regularly has its own set of benefits. You’ll be in a better mood, help keep yourself at a healthy weight and strengthen your muscles and bones to boot.
It’s Just the Beginning
Once you adopt the above five ways to save money for an eco-friendly lifestyle, you’ll realize how easy and effective they are in both saving the earth and saving your budget. Even better is that they’re just five of the many, many ways you can lead a low-cost eco-friendly lifestyle. It’s just the beginning: take these five small steps and see where they lead you. We can promise it’ll be toward a more rewarding, less wasteful future.