As more people are starting to recognize the importance of sustainability, they’re also desiring a more eco-friendly lifestyle. However, it’s not uncommon to associate lifestyle changes with major costs. That’s why it’s so important to know that affordability and eco-friendliness are not antitheses to each other.
You can live an eco-friendly lifestyle without destroying your budget. By making small, everyday changes, you can incorporate environmentalism into your life in ways you may have never thought possible. Consumers aren’t the only ones trying to be more eco-friendly. Many companies are jumping on board with sustainability efforts, too, making it easier and more affordable to buy “greener” products. You can make changes when it comes to your home, clothing, transportation, and habits without breaking the bank.
With that in mind, let’s look at a few affordable ways to be eco-friendly in your everyday life. Not only will these changes help you to live more sustainably, but many of them can benefit your mental and physical health as well.
Sustainable Home Upgrades
While smart and sustainable homes are on the rise throughout the country, you don’t need to make major renovations to make your living space more eco-friendly. There are many budget-friendly sustainable upgrades, including:
- Switching to LED lighting;
- Installing new attic insulation;
- Putting in low-flow showerheads;
- Installing weatherstripping;
- Investing in solar panels.
You can also choose to invest in things like energy-efficient appliances or windows. While they can cost a bit of extra money upfront, they’ll end up saving you money in the long run. You’ll see your utility bills start to shrink as you use less water and energy. You can even have some fun with your eco-friendly upgrades by encouraging your family members to do their part to reduce energy consumption. See who can take the shortest showers or who remembers to turn off the lights when they leave a room. When you make these changes fun and even a little competitive, everyone is more likely to use the upgrades to their full potential.
Choose an Eco-friendly Vehicle
You might not be in the market for a new vehicle — especially an electric or hybrid model. However, eco-friendly cars are becoming more important than ever for the future of our environment. If you can’t afford a new one, consider some of the following tips to reduce your current vehicle’s carbon footprint:
- Ensure your tires are properly inflated;
- Change your air filters regularly;
- Add the right variety of oil.
Additionally, you can make your vehicle more eco-friendly by changing your driving habits. Drive less often, if possible. Carpool with others to work, walk, bike, or take public transportation. If you do have to drive frequently, limit stop-and-go driving and use gradual acceleration to reduce your fuel consumption. As tempting as it might be to “floor it” from time to time, resist that urge and save on gas. That’ll help your wallet, too.
It’s worthwhile to start saving up for an eco-friendly vehicle. They’ll continue to become more popular and prominent in the future. Like investing in energy-efficient appliances, a green vehicle will end up saving you money in the long run and can help to reduce your carbon footprint quickly.
Use Eco-friendly Products
Some of the smallest swaps you can make in your everyday life will end up making the biggest difference. For example, look at some of the products you use each day just to clean the house — and your body. Take a look at the labels. Take note of how many ingredients you can actually pronounce.
Unfortunately, many household cleaners, personal cosmetics, and hygiene products contain harmful chemicals and pollutants that can damage the environment. Instead, swap out these products for those marketed as eco-friendly.
When doing so, however, beware of greenwashing. It’s a marketing ploy used by companies to make certain products appear more environmentally friendly than they actually are. Educate yourself on ingredients, don’t fall for “green” packaging, and always go with companies that have a solid reputation when it comes to sustainability.
You can also save money by making your own cleaning products. There are countless recipes online that you can use to clean just about every inch of your home. Not only can making your own cleaners save you a few dollars, but you’ll know every ingredient and its purpose. That will make you feel good about using them around your children and pets, especially if anyone in your family deals with respiratory issues.
When you make eco-friendliness a priority in your life, you’re doing so much more than protecting the planet. You’re investing in the future and encouraging your family and friends to lead healthier, more conscious lifestyles. You might think that a few small changes to your everyday life won’t make a big difference. However, if everyone made these affordable changes, we would start to see a shift in the state of the environment and a brighter, cleaner future.