Many people believe that living an all-natural or eco-friendly lifestyle either costs time or money, or both. But living eco-friendly doesn’t have to be time-consuming and it certainly doesn’t have to be expensive.
There are numerous ways that you can cut your costs while simultaneously reducing your carbon footprint. Below you will find a list of the top ten eco-friendly ways to save you money.
Use a Pressure Cooker
While this might not be your first instinct when talking about living more eco-friendly, pressure cookers are a great way to save time, money, and energy. In fact, pressure cookers can reduce the energy and time needed to cook a meal by 70%! A pressure cooker can be used to cook a variety of meals, including chili, pot roast, soup, corn bread, and even dessert.
Grow What you Eat
While it may seem daunting, starting your garden is simpler than it sounds. Cherry tomatoes, green beans, and salad greens are some of the easiest items to grow and will drastically reduce your grocery bill. You can even start smaller and just try growing some herbs in your windowsill. Not only will having your own vegetable/herb garden reduce your costs, it will also reduce the carbon footprint left by those large produce trucks taking over the highways.
Start a Compost!
A compost pile will maintain rich soil content and help you save money on fertilizers. This method is also a great way to eat organically, plus help protect the environment. It takes up to 18 years for corn cobs to decay in a landfill, but takes only a few months in a compost pile.
Use a Reusable Glass Water Bottle
Using a BPA-free reusable water bottle (glass for non-toxicity) can reduce the number of plastic water bottles in the landfill by thousands. Not to mention that reusable water bottles are convenient, it will also save you money by eliminating the need to purchase single-use water bottles.
Need a motivating factor to encourage you to buy that reusable water bottle? Keep in mind that it takes three times the amount of water to create a plastic water bottle as that same water bottle can hold. Not to mention, 80% of these water bottles don’t even get recycled. Talk about wasteful!
Go With the (Low) Flow
You can reduce your water use by 25-60% by installing a low-flow showerhead. Not only are you reducing your water waste, but you’ll also be reducing your water bill. You probably won’t even need to buy a new showerhead because most showerheads have a low-flow option. If you can’t go all out, at least reduce the flow when lathering your hair and body and increase the flow only when rinsing.
Turn Off the Tap
Many people don’t even think about it and leave the tap running unnecessarily when washing their faces, brushing their teeth, or even in between washing dishes. This can save a lot more water than you realize, again reducing your consumption and therefore your water bill.
Change the Lights
Next time your light bulb needs changing, opt for the CFL (compact fluorescent light) option. Like many eco-friendly options, they are slightly pricier upfront, but you will more than get your money back over time. Not only do these bulbs last 10 times longer than the regular light bulb, but they also use only about a quarter of the energy compared to traditional light bulbs.
Since lighting makes up almost 15% of the typical energy bill, the switch in light bulbs can make a significant impact on your energy consumption and expenses.
While this may not be the cheapest or quickest solution, it is probably the most successful and eco-friendly change over the long run. By installing solar you can reduce your energy consumption by 65% or more. Some people even get enough sunlight (i.e. energy) to even sell it back to energy companies!
Of course this does depend on where you live, but if you are thinking about solar, the government offers a tax break for those that install solar, and companies even offer leasing options to reduce the immediate financial impact.
Go for DIY Cleaning Supplies
It may not be surprising that the harsh chemicals used for cleaning around the house aren’t so great for the environment. If they’re essentially toxic to everything they come into contact with, that also includes the many critters that come into contact with these materials once they become waste and travel down the sewer system. With Pinterest, Google, and the plethora of blogs on the internet, there is no shortage of DIY all-natural cleaning ideas and recipes that can be found.
Make Your Own Beauty Products
Ever looked at the ingredients in many of your beauty products? Can’t pronounce many of them or even count how many they are? Not only are many beauty products expensive, but they are also full of all sorts of chemicals and artificial ingredients. Not only are many of the ingredients bad for humans, but they are especially bad for the environment.
Again, there are plenty of DIY ideas that can be found, with recipes for items such as shampoos, chapsticks, and deodorants. And by cutting out the middle-man and making them yourself, you’ll have yourself more of that green.
This list is just a handful of the many ways that you can reduce your negative impact on the environment while simultaneously making yourself richer. These tips are easy to implement and will save you money, time, and energy. You can have a lot of fun with some of these tips and improve the health of the environment at the same time. Win-win!