Many people believe that in order to live a green, eco-friendly, or healthy lifestyle, you have to spend a lot of extra money, which simply isn't true. In fact, green and frugal lifestyles should often go hand in hand! Here’s some valuable information to help you get started!
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Buy used as often as possible. These items were already made and have already left their footprint on the Earth. If you purchase something new, you are adding to that footprint–even if what you are purchasing is a hybrid car. It’s a little-known fact that purchasing a ten-year-old civic is much more environmentally-friendly than purchasing a new hybrid vehicle because of all the pollutants that go into creating a new car. Buying used saves you money and helps the environment! You may not be the flashiest person on the block, or the most obviously “green,” but that’s not really what it’s all about.
The idea of purchasing used items doesn't stop at just the big-ticket items, either. Clothes, entertainment items, and the like are all things that should be reused.
Speaking of reusables – if you have a child, use cloth diapers instead of disposables. Disposable diapers are a huge problem in landfills and end up being much more expensive in the long run.
Use websites such as Freecycle and Craigslist to help you recycle your old junk and get things you need without putting a strain on the environment or your wallet. Freecycle is a community centered around the idea of keeping stuff out of landfills and avoiding the creation of new junk in our ever-upgrading, keeping-up-with-the-Jones's society.
Another green and frugal tip is that you should avoid purchasing grocery store items and try to make (or grow) your own products whenever possible. Bread, complete meals, detergent, and millions of other everyday items put a strain on the environment when created as cheaply as possible and sold at the local store for a dollar or two. If you can find ways to make these products at home (which you can do for all of the items mentioned above, even detergent) you’ll be doing your part in helping the environment. Also, it will help keep you and your family away from harmful chemicals and preservatives. Your body and your wallet will thank you for it!
Finally, there are many simple free things you can do to cut back on your ecological footprint and save money.
Here’s a list of some of our favorites:
- Reuse bags
- Stay home and play a game instead of going out.
- Plan your errands so you can do them all together instead of driving out multiple times.
- Turn off lights when you're not in the room.
As you can see, living green and keeping yourself environmentally friendly does not mean you need to fork over a bunch of extra cash for the “special” items at the grocery store.