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30 Ways to Go Green on a Budget

The archives at The Mom Writes are filled with some great posts from the last 4 years. I’m taking this week to republish some classics that are perfect for the summer months. I’d love to hear what you’ll add to this list of saving green to go green.

Frugal Green Living Tips and Ideas

As someone who wants to make a difference to the planet and set a good example for my toddler, I know that being green
and living an eco-friendly life can be expensive.

Organic food costs more, organic clothes are expensive and green cleaners are priced higher. So, how can one go green and yet not break the bank or the budget?

Find out below as I share 30 of my favorite tips on easy and frugal green living: 

1. Turn off the lights, unplug the TV and electrical appliances when not in use and use the fan more than the air-conditioning.

2. Use natural light as much as possible. Open the drapes.

3. Use compact, fluorescent light bulbs or CFLs since they make up for their initial cost by lasting three to four times longer than the incandescent bulbs.

4. Make your own green cleaners rather than buy the commercial brands. Here are more easy and simple green cleaning tips and ideas.

5. Walk instead of drive rather than buy a hybrid or ‘green’ car.

6. Carpool instead of using your own car to drive to work or other places where friends will join you.

7. Wash clothes in cold water.

8. Wash only full loads of clothes to save water and energy. Here’s more on greening your laundry.

9. Use vinegar as a fabric softener rather than fabric softener sheets or expensive all-natural softener.

10. Line dry clothes rather than use the dryer.

11.Carry your own cloth shopping bags. Here are more green shopping tips.

12. Buy produce in bulk and buy in-season fruits and vegetables.

13. Shop from the local farmer’s market to save on fuel costs used to transport produce.

14. Invest in a water filter or R.O. ( reverse osmosis ) filtration system to save money on bottled water.

15. Use reusable and refillable glass or aluminum bottles rather than plastic bottles to hold water.

16. Wash the dishes by hand to save money on water bills and energy costs.

17. Make your own organic cakes, breads and pastas. It is super-easy and great fun as well.

18. Plant an herb or vegetable garden. Even a balcony can be used to plant small pots of herbs and spices.

19. Raise your own chickens. I don’t do this personally, but know of families that do and who save money on buying organic eggs.

20. Reuse water that drains out from the R.O. filtration system to water plants and wash the driveway or the car. You can do this without setting up a graywater system (which is a great but expensive idea). Simply position the R.O. drain pipe over a bucket and collect.

21. Use cloth instead of paper towels to wipe up spills or as dinner table napkins.

22. Reuse old bed linen by turning it into cloth shopping bags or kitchen dusters. Just cut and hem.

23. Make your own organic beauty products instead of buying them off the shelf. Pulp of tomatoes makes a great face pack while a mixture of brown sugar and olive oil is a wonderful hand softener. The Green Beauty Guide by Julie Gabriel is filled with easy and affordable green beauty solutions, including cleansers, toners and facials. I also found the book really useful when trying to understand the kind of damage that chemicals can do to one’s skin and body.

24. Buy less, waste less. Focus on needs rather than wants. This not only curbs wasteful spending but also helps lead a simpler life.

25. Encourage kids to recycle toys by hosting toy swap parties.

26. Pack lunches for self, spouses and kids in reusable lunch boxes, snack sacks and thermoses instead of buying individual snacks or using plastic Baggies.

27. Discourage wasting food and instead, turn leftovers into ‘new’ dishes. For instance, plain rice can be turned into a yummy stir-fry by simply adding some veggies and greens.

28. Donate old but usable clothes and shoes to charity.

29. Cook more at home. Home cooked meals are not only healthier but also cheaper and greener. Use simple meal planning tips to help get started.

30. If you have to eat out, visit local joints rather than the big chains. Have vegetarian food. Walk or use public transport.

 Living a green and eco-friendly life needn’t always mean spending big money.

In fact, Elizabeth Rogers in Shift Your Habit offers easy “shifts” that one can make to live green and save money. She even gives you real numbers to show you the savings you’d make!

Small steps like the ones above can help make a difference while not costing much and in fact, saving you some money as well. However, am sure that these are just the tip of the green iceberg.

So, would love to hear from all of you and learn more about how you go green on a budget.

What are your favorite frugal green living tips? Do you find living a green life easy and economical?  Can going green be an inexpensive way to live?

Photo Credit: emdot

Prerna


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