Whenever I think about being eco-friendly, I think about all the extra you have to pay for beauty and cleaning products with labels like “natural” and “organic”. It seems everyone is preaching being more green, but every where you turn, marketing for eco-friendly items have you spending more than you really need to.
So I thought I would write a list of a few things you could do to help the environment that isn’t going to cost you any money, is going to save you money and may even bring in some money! I’ve already written a list of 10 easy ideas, so I’m going to try not to mix the 2 lists. If you want more ideas, click below.
1. Recycle. Ha, you’re thinking. Of course, I already do that. I’m not talking about just recycling the odd cardboard box, pop can, juice container. I’m talking about following: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle; start at the grocery store with reducing the amount of garbage you bring in the house (foods that come in bags or anything not recyclable). Bring mesh bags for fruits/veggies and don’t bag anything that doesn’t need it (I don’t for any fruit that has a skin to be peeled off). Plus, depending on your local township, you may have a can drive or something where you drop off your recyclables and get a percent back.
2. Cook. Cooking a meal at home versus going out to a restaurant or having it delivered is much better for the environment. Not only are you cooking with fresher ingredients and getting a healthier meal, you’re using much less waste and cutting travel time and reducing the amount of emissions going into the air. Plus, if you’re buying food from local markets, it can cut that travel time down even further. Cooking at home is also a great way to save money; you’re not paying any extra for labour, packaging or shipping that a restaurant would have to include in the cost, plus no extra gas money spent to go down the road to the fast food place.
3. Donate. Donating clothes, books, items or antiques is a good way to keep items out of landfills and also a way to potentially make a little cash. As well, buying antique clothing or items is also more eco-friendly; because they were made so long ago, there’s no effect on the environment as it would be to produce something new today.
4. Switch. Making the switch from chemical-laden beauty and cleaning products to natural ingredients will not only make a difference for your skin, body and the environment, it’s going to save you money. Every year, I used to spend upwards of $500 on beauty products alone. Dividing that up, that’s 60 different containers I used within 1 year! Now, imagine if 1 million other people do that (realistically, many more), that’s 60 million containers in one year! What about over the course of a lifetime (say about 50 years, age 20-70), 1 person is using 3000 containers; 1 million people are using 3 billion containers within 50 years. Just by myself making the switch and no longer buying beauty products from containers, I’m saving at least 3000 containers. Which is kind of crazy, if you think about it.
5. Compost. Composting your biodegradables is not only going to cut down on the amount of garbage you have every month, but can make your garden thrive; compost has nutrients that can help aid plant growth. To make your own compost pile, use any food scraps, leaves or greens you don’t need and layer within a container/compost area. Periodically, add soil to help with the decomposition. Otherwise, wait and you’ll end up with a nutrient-rich black soil that you don’t need to go to the store to buy.
There are a million other ideas and ways to save money while helping the environment. You just have to find what works for you and your lifestyle. If you like these types of posts, click on “ECO-CHIC” above for more inspiration.
If you have any other ideas or suggestions,
please feel free to comment below!