Most of us think that going green requires a hefty sum of money, but that’s not entirely true. Yes, there are plenty of expensive organic foods and most things ‘eco’ may be friendly to the environment, but not your wallet. Nevertheless, there are a few simple things you can do right now to help Mother Earth feel and look a little better. You can start with these baby steps and, who knows, maybe next you’ll be moving from the big city into the suburbs, driving an electric car, and using as little electricity as possible. But whatever you decide to do next, here are 10 simple ways to go green on a budget right now.
1. Invest in reusable containers
This requires a little bit of getting used to, but committing to reusable containers is one of the easiest ways to help our environment. Ditch bottled water and start using your own bottle for whatever liquids you might need. That goes for a special cup for takeaway coffee, as well! It may be a bit awkward at first, but you should also try using your own conxxtainers when you get takeaway food.
2. Use your car less
Cars are pretty handy, there’s no denying the fact. Yet, there are plenty of healthier solutions that are both fun and environmentally friendly. Walking whenever you can instead of driving is one way to reduce pollution from petrol fumes, but if you cover huge distances every day, your next best option would be riding a bicycle. There are plenty of amazing models right now that can be quite fast! Of course, there’s also public transport that can sometimes be even faster than cars, due to traffic.
3. Make compost
What better way to dispose of your food waste than turn it into a useful energy? You can use food waste for your backyard and invest in growing some veggies and herbs of your own. You can also find out whether there’s a compost program in your city. They are usually free to join and you can help others even if you don’t have a garden of your own!
4. Use less electricity
Have you ever heard about ‘phantom electricity’? It happens when your devices use electricity even when they’re not ‘on’, but are still plugged in. This is a total waste of energy and you can end up paying 10% for electricity consumption. Think about using special surge protectors that disable gadgets that are not in use, or simply unplug your computers and chargers when you go to sleep. It’s as simple as that!
5. Buy second-hand items
You can save loads of money when buying second-hand things. Sometimes people sell gadgets, bikes, and even clothes not because they get old, but because they get out of date or simply lie forgotten somewhere in a garage, mostly unused. Take your time and look through shops selling second-hand items or people doing garage sales. You never know what treasures you’ll find there!
6. Go vegetarian or even vegan
Or at least try to consume less meat, as it will be good both for your body and the environment. Studies show that the production of meat leaves a bigger carbon footprint than any other human activity, including driving cars. You don’t have to go fully vegetarian if you don’t want to, but even participating in ‘meatless days’ is a good way to help the world around you become a healthier place. Vegan is the ultimate: new tasty food flavours and at the same time you are making a conscious effort to be plant-oriented in your diet and not meat-oriented.
7. Buy local fruits and veggies
Organic food is one of the biggest trends of the moment, but it can get quite expensive if you want to make it part of your lifestyle and not something you eat only during the weekends. Think about buying food directly from local farmers. There are plenty of markets where you can find fresh produce sold directly by people growing fruits and vegetables.
8. Recycle e-waste
Find out about recyclers in your area and make sure your e-waste doesn’t end up on a usual dump. E-waste contains all kinds of harmful elements like flame-retardants, mercury, and lead. All these can be recycled in a controlled environment without polluting the air and water.
9. Reduce water consumption
We aren’t talking about drinking less here, but about using less water in your daily activities. Spend less time in the shower or simply turn off water when you don’t need it (e.g. while shaving). You can also do laundry only when your washing machine is full and use energy-efficient dishwashers that will greatly reduce the amount of water usage.
10. Less is more
Sometimes if you want to help the environment you just need to refuse more. Say ‘no’ to a plastic bag at the supermarket and use your own instead. Don’t take freebies you don’t actually use and you won’t have to think so much about recycling because you’ll have fewer things on you to recycle! Consume less plastic and paper; go more digital with your bills, and the environment will thank you.