Eco-friendly on a budget: everything you can do to help the planet without spending a penny
If money weren’t an issue, we’d drive Teslas, eat only organic, sleep in organic bamboo sheets, install solar panels on our roofs, and opt for every green alternative under the sun — no matter the cost. Sounds dreamy, right?
But as it is, money isn’t dripping out of our pockets and considering cost is a critical component of our lifestyles.
So how do we manage to take care of Mother Earth and still live like normal human beings with budgets, rent, and bills? It’s actually pretty easy once you know where to start. And we’ve even come to realize that living an eco-friendly lifestyle goes hand-in-hand with saving money! 🌍
How to be eco-friendly on a budget
Hone your habits
The EPA states plainly, “Our actions impact the environment. Each thing we do can help or hurt our planet in many ways.”
In this sense, living green is often less about what you’re doing and more about how you’re doing it. Actions matter!
For example, you don’t need a bamboo toothbrush to remember to turn the tap off when brushing your teeth. And you don’t need to buy only organic produce to use a reusable grocery bag. It doesn’t cost anything to take shorter showers, carpool once a week, pick up litter, and remember to turn the lights off when you’re not home.
Here are more eco-friendly habits that don’t cost a penny (and may even save you money):
- Re-wear clothes more
- Eat less meat
- Unplug appliances when they aren’t in use
- When running heat or A/C, keep windows closed (when air gets out, appliances work harder which means more energy and more $$$ spent)
- Compost (less trash = fewer trash bags to buy!)
- Borrow more — books, clothes, spices, etc.
- Save and eat leftovers
- Walk more
- Meal plan
We’re not suggesting Mother Earth wouldn’t benefit if everyone bought some sustainable products (like LED lights, cloth napkins, and reusable water bottles) — but it’s certainly not the only way to be more earth-friendly. And in fact, buying LESS stuff in general gives MORE love to Mother Earth (and more cash in your pocket).
When in doubt, don’t buy it
We’d be lying if we didn’t admit we love a good pair of yoga pants made from recycled water bottles. And as an organization selling mindfully-made clothing, we believe that what we wear is a beautiful way to inspire more people to live harmoniously with the planet (for more on that, read about our mission).
We’ve found one of the simplest ways to live more sustainably is to interrogate our actions, particularly when it comes to purchasing.
Here’s a peep inside our brains before we buy something:
- Is this in my budget?
- Do I really want this?
- Do I really need this?
- Will it make me really happy?
- Wait, I really need this right and it’s in my budget?!
After we get “yes” for every single question, we take a minute and then about one of every five times — we go for it.
Of course, we love treating ourselves to things that give us that warm and fuzzy feeling. Hello, yummy almond milk lattes from our fave coffee shops and cute bracelets with sweet sayings. But we’re on a mission to make purchasing an experience… rather than a thing we do just because we feel like it (and regret later).
For us, this shift in mindset has led us to so many amazing organizations with like-minded beliefs and a more fulfilling shopping experience overall. And we’ve also learned to DIY so many things we used to buy like chemical-free cleaning products and homemade face masks.
So don’t beat yourself up if you don’t want to spend extra on organic everything. Showing the Earth you care doesn’t mean you have to break (or even bend!) your budget. You have everything you need to live more mindfully just as you are.
If you care about the planet (which we know you do!) we think you’ll love these reads:
- 21 Easy ways to make Earth Day every day
- 3 Easy ways to make the world more peaceful on International Day of Peace
- 9 Simple ways to phase plastic out of your life