Cheap and Easy Ways to Go Green
If you haven’t made the effort to “go green” because you think it’s going to be costly and time-consuming, think again. There are lots of small, meaningful things you can do to live a greener, more sustainable lifestyle that are super-affordable. In fact, some might even end up saving you money. Take a look at these cheap and easy ways to go green.
Rethink Paper Products — There is no denying that paper towels and napkins are convenient. But they’re also expensive, take up loads of space in landfills, and use a lot of resources to produce (even the ones made with recycled paper). Switch to using cloth rags and cloth napkins instead. Old towels, sheets and T-shirts make perfect cleaning rags and cost you exactly nothing, plus reusing them helps reduce the glut of textile waste. Cloth napkins are inexpensive and reusable, not to mention a bit more civilized than their paper counterparts. Imagine how much you’ll save by not buying paper towels and napkins for a whole year.
Kick Cleaning Products to the Curb — You can clean many areas of your home with just a few simple, natural ingredients you probably already have: white vinegar and baking soda. Used separately and together, they are cleaning powerhouses. Use a paste of baking soda and vinegar to clean sinks, tubs, and countertops (not on granite though). Sprinkle baking soda into the toilet bowl followed by a few generous splashes of vinegar, then let sit for 10 minutes before brushing away stains and odors. Use the same combination in sink drains to keep them fresh and running smoothly.
Cut Down on Car Rides — Plan to run errands back-to-back so you can get them all out of the way without multiple trips in the car. Better yet, get to your destination, park once and walk around the shopping center, rather than driving to each store or service provider separately. It’s good exercise, reduces gas consumption and helps cut down on pollution. Also, look to see if your employer offers carpooling or the opportunity to work-from-home one or more days a week.
Know When to Buy Organic — Yes, organic fruits and vegetables usually more expensive than their conventionally grown counterparts, but in some cases, it’s worth the extra cost. Check out this list of the “dirty dozen” fruits and vegetables that are better to buy organic. If you can’t stretch your food budget to include organic produce, use a rinse of vinegar and water to wash away a good deal of nasty pesticide residues clinging to fresh fruits and vegetables.
Break the Bottled Water Habit —Did you know that many brands of bottled water are simply filtered municipal tap water? That’s right! There’s a good chance you’re paying for something that’s no better for you than the water that flows freely from every tap in your home. You’ll save a lot of money, and keep countless plastic bottles out of the landfill, if you switch to using a reusable aluminum or glass bottle filled with regular tap water to stay hydrated throughout the day. Of course you can (and should) recycle plastic water bottles, but it’s better for the environment – and your wallet – to avoid them in the first place.