By Justin Hun • May 13, 2014
Saving money and helping take care of the environment can be a difficult task. With so many concerns about global warming and saving for retirement, we should all consider making a change. Even a small change can grow into something that could change your entire lifestyle. It tends to become easier once you see that switching a product or taking an extra few minutes will affect the choices your make. Here’s how to be more eco-friendly and frugal.
Think about the way you shop
The first step you should take into a smarter direction should be considering the products you purchase. We all have certain brands we’re loyal to, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best product or even the cheapest. Generic drugs versus brand name drugs, for example, exemplifies that even generics are approved by the FDA and therefore trustworthy; in fact, most generic drugs are resold by the patents to other companies.
We can take that idea and look into making smarter purchases. Instead of using paper towels for drying or cleaning, consider using washable towels. Reusable towels can clean up spills, dry your hands, clean your hands or dry your dishes. It’s not only a greener option, but it’ll save you cash in the long run.
Reusable bags are also a nice alternative. Instead of using plastic or paper bags every time you go to the store, just take a few nylon bags with you which can be used over and over. If you have plastic bags lying around in the drawer, use them as trash bags. It’s a cheaper option than using traditional trashcan bags, and works equally as well.
Make a change at home
Home is where the heart is, so this is where the greatest impact should happen. If you look around your room, I guarantee there’s at least one change you can make immediately. For instance, you can start by unplugging cords that aren’t being used. Even if your phone charger isn’t charging your phone, energy is still being consumed. You can open up the blinds or the window. It counts as natural lighting as well as heating or cooling. Energy efficient bulbs, furthermore, are extremely affordable, and they will tell you how much you’re saving annually compared to traditional light bulbs on the packaging.
A good how-to guide to composting will tell you everything you need to know. Household waste like banana peels and coffee grinds can be made into nutrient-enriched compost for that home garden you are thinking about creating.
Change starts with you
To really decide on making better changes for yourself and those around you, you have to really want to change. Money and environment are big incentives, but knowing you can approve the choices you make is far more rewarding. Take a walk every now and then. Cars are shouldn’t control your life and how you need to get around. Remember when you were younger and you couldn’t drive yet? You survived and perhaps reverting to your younger self who was less reliant on technology wasn’t all too bad of a life. Take the stairs when you can—elevators use a lot of energy and burning a few calories will get your body going and it can even get you motivated to make other eco-friendly choices during the day.
Many companies see the eco-friendly movement as a positive thing to look into. Bike racks are popping up everywhere. In some places—like Houston and Los Angeles—you can rent a bike for the day. Disney is one company of many that offers carpooling programs that locate your proximity to employees that follow your same route, so that you can carpool. They even offer incentive programs like $1 for every time you carpool or $2 for every time you walk to work. If your job doesn’t offer a program perhaps it’s a good time to ask.
What to do now?
There are so many ways to get you started on a new green path. Unique innovations like solar panel chargers for your cell phones and electric cars are easily purchasable on the market. Not everything has to cost you a fortune in order to make an effective change for yourself. Information is everywhere, and you almost have to make an effort to avoid billboards and commercials to miss it all. Documentaries like Food Inc., Amazing Planet, and Discovery Atlas are available on Netflix, which are very informative on this subject. All you have to do is try. It’s a lot easier than you think.
Justin Hun Justin Hun has an obsession with food and books—especially books about food. His favorite past times include watching the Food Network and researching for ways to save money and be cheap.