Eco-friendliness gets a bad rap for being overly expensive, mostly because the first eco-friendly products of the 21st Century were new technology, and thus, they had heftier price tags. In actuality, it’s very affordable to live a green lifestyle. In fact, you can save a ton of money by going green, whether you’re doing home renovation or changing your lifestyle habits. Here are a few ways you can save money or make money by going green.
The easiest way to be eco-friendly is to recycle. When you recycle, you’re helping reduce your footprint by minimizing the amount of products that are buried or burned. All you’ve got to do to start recycling is to keep a recycling bin at home. Here are a few of the items you can recycle:
- Aluminum cans
- Plastic bottles
- Glass bottles
- Envelopes and junk mail
You can have your recycled items picked up by your local garbage collection company, or you can take your items to a local recycling center and exchange them for cash.
Eat More Greens
An effective way to go green is to eat healthy. Maintain a diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables. Try and stay away from red meat, especially beef—millions of cows are slaughtered across the globe, and each time a cow is killed, a large quantity of methane is released that was contained inside its body. These types of emissions are rapidly accelerating climate change. If you are going to eat meat, try and consume white meat, like chicken and fish (although you should strive to eat fish that are sustainability caught).
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. You can sign up for a meal delivery service to receive healthy foods at your doorstep that use green ingredients, and these subscription-based services are very affordable.
Use Solar Panels
Most new housing is built to incorporate solar energy. What better energy source than the sun? Once your home is outfitted with solar, you can dramatically reduce your utilities bill. Many homeowners are reluctant to install solar panels on their home because of the up-front expense. But you can actually get solar panel financing that make installation so much more affordable and make those big savings come sooner.
Turn Off Your Lights
Another great way to save money and be eco-friendly is to get in the habit of turning off lights in your home when you don’t need them. In the evening, you might find yourself meandering from room to room, circumstances in which it’s easier to keep all your lights on. But this is a major energy drain night after night. Practice turning off lights and you’re sure to get a lower utility bill after only a month.
Here’s another good way you can reduce the amount of electricity you use: try turning off your electronics an hour or two before bedtime. This will reduce your electricity usage but it may also help you sleep better—electronic devices emit blue light that prevent your brain from making you sleepy.
Get Rid of Your Lawn
Lawns can be fun to barbecue on, but they often require lots of watering to keep healthy and green, especially if your home is located in a drier environment, like Southern California. Some of these desert regions are suffering from major water shortages, and you can see once thriving rivers like the Colorado River getting emptier and emptier each year.
Consider replacing your grass lawn with an artificial lawn. Many people used to hate the original artificial lawns, but the technology has advanced and they’re now beautiful and comfortable on the skin. You could also replace your lawn with desert landscaping. Either of these replacements will cut your water bill, and you also might be able to claim tax incentives for making the switch.
Cut Down on Your Car Use
Our gas-powered automobiles are a major cause of the emissions that are driving climate change. Consider getting an electric car, if you can afford one (you’ll save money in the long-run by not having to pay for gasoline). But you can also just limit the number of times you use your car by opting to do carpooling or using public transit when it’s viable. These transit options will reduce emissions and also reduce how much you’re paying to fill up the gas tank.
See? Eco-friendliness isn’t something that only the rich can do. Do any one of these things to save money and help the environment.