With constant news about depleting resources and climate change, more and more people are becoming interested in doing their part to help the environment. Even so, current economic conditions make financial constraints important to consider when making a purchase. The good news is that you can make your home greener without sacrificing your first-born to do it. Here’s how:
1. Decide what green alternatives you’re willing to use before buying anything. What prompted your interest in sustainability? Start with that, and conquer more tasks as you get comfortable. You’ll save time, money, and wasted effort.
Do you want to tackle energy efficiency first? Are natural foods more important to you right now? What about composting? Before you go out and spend hundreds on dollars on supplies for going green, create a clear plan on what your priorities are.
2. Start with what you already have. Whatever path you’ve chosen to start your green journey, you’ll probably be surprised how many resources you already have in your home that can be used. A few simple tweaks (of your thermostat, for example) or the re-purposing of some materials you already have (like making a compost bin from a plastic storage tub) could save you money and give old items new uses.
3. Save a buck by buying in bulk. To reduce waste and spending, buy your essentials in bulk. These days, things like rice, grains and beans can be found in the bulk section of health food stores & some mainstream grocers. By purchasing without the packaging, you’ll save money at the register, and reduce the amount of waste your home creates. It’s an easy switch, and cost no more to your family than the usual budget, since you’ll be buying those items anyway.
4. Replace one bulb a month with a CFL or LED. Even if energy conservation isn’t the first project on your list, this tip is an easy and budget-friendly one. Starting this year, traditional light bulbs are being phased out for their more expensive, energy efficient counterparts. They last longer, cost less to use over the life of the bulb, and are better for the environment. When you do your monthly shopping, pick up one bulb each trip until you’ve replaced all the incandescents in your home. You’ll barely feel the cost.
5. Create an environment where being green is easy. Set up systems in your home that make consistent green choices simple and natural to make. How? Design a recycling station that’s as accessible as using the trash in your kitchen. Put together an eco-friendly “go bag” for shopping trips to keep from using plastic. Start your “Hit List” of 100% natural food recipes & plan ahead to have great food available. The more convenient it is to access eco-friendly products at home, the easier it becomes to make sustainable choices over the long-term.
If you’re an eco-newbie, congratulations on making a great choice for your health & the future of our planet. Following these tips will help make your transition simple and easy, and keep a little extra cash in your pocket. Have fun & be green!