Are you in a situation where you would like to reduce your environmental impact but are worried that you can’t afford it? It may seem like living green might be expensive, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Here are 5 ways that you can live more sustainably while actually saving money!
Replace your lightbulbs
By replacing your incandescent light bulbs with LED light bulbs you will affect your bottom line in two ways. First of all, LED lights are more efficient and use less electricity, so your electricity bill will shrink. Secondly, LED light bulbs last longer than other bulbs. Instead of having to replace a lightbulb every one to two years, your light bulbs will last 10+. You will be saving on your electricity bill, you will be buying fewer bulbs in the long run, and you will be throwing out less waste.
Replace old and inefficient appliances in your home
There are many money sinks in an old home which can be replaced to be more efficient. A large drain on your bills could be old appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, water heaters or washing machines. Upgrading these to something Energy Star certified could save you hundreds of dollars a year on your utility bills.
Furthermore, anything which shares a connection with the outdoors is another source of wasted energy. According to Ygrene “energy efficient doors and windows may eventually pay for themselves through lower heating and cooling costs”.
Finally, according to the EPA replacing an inefficient toilet with a low-flow toilet saves an average of 20 to 60 % of water per flush. Not only will that cut down on your water bill, but it will reduce the waste your household produces.
Cook for yourself
A great way to save money and increase your eco-friendliness is to cook for yourself. Not only are self-made meals much cheaper than eating out, but they are also much healthier. You also get the added benefit of regulating what goes into your food, something to be aware of if you have allergies or a gluten-intolerance. If you want to go the extra mile in sustainability, you can make sure to buy locally sourced ingredients, and you can save your scraps for a compost pile.
Change your transportation
Consider taking the bus, or train instead of driving. Or even better, bike if possible. When biking there is no need to buy gas, less traffic, no car maintenance, and it gets you into shape.
Learn valuable skills
There are certain skills that you can pick up which can save you a lot of money and afford you peace of mind. Here are a few examples:
- Sewing – Picking up a sewing skill is a great way to practice sustainability and dressing sustainably. Now when you damage your clothes, you can fix them yourself instead of paying for a tailor or having to buy brand new ones. You can also repurpose your old items into new ones without having to throw them away.
- Maintenance – Being able to fix your own problems, be that plumbing, carpentry or general maintenance is a huge benefit. Why pay exorbitant costs for repairmen when you can fix the problems yourself? It might seem a little daunting at first, but the internet has a ton of resources out there to help you. Youtube offers step by step walkthrough videos for just about every problem out there. If you can’t find your fix there, try posting on one of the many forums for each trade asking for advice.
- Grow your own food – this doesn’t mean becoming a full-fledged farmer, but if you have a garden, growing your own fruits or veggies can be a very rewarding experience. Not only will you save money on produce, but you will taste the difference.
It may seem like hard work, but if you are able to follow these steps, not only will you save money on food, maintenance, and utilities, you will be healthier, and more sustainable. You will be doing your part to help out the planet while saving a ton of money each year.
This is a guest post. Alycia Coloma is a mother to four beautiful girls and loves to craft DIY projects in her spare time. She enjoys finding new ways to work with tight budgets and spreading her knowledge to parents everywhere. Alycia is a staunch advocate of continuing education and believes that insatiable hunger for knowledge is the key to better finances, a warm family, and fulfilling life as a whole. She’s also a kitchen connoisseur on the side and has been known to whip up some mean empanadas.