As we cinch in our belts and try to endure an extended time of penny pinching in America, one has to wonder, “Where else can I really cut back?” If you are already exercising self-discipline when you hear the local burger joint calling your name, then you may be discouraged, and the thought of even more cutbacks is daunting.
You may have never considered “going green,” or you may have thought it a lifestyle that only wealthy people can afford, but in reality, making some simple lifestyle changes can help you save money and save the planet! Read through these 5 practical tips, and discover changes you can feel great about.
1. Become Energy Aware – A really simple first step to saving money and avoiding waste is to streamline your energy usage. Turn lights off when you are not in the room. Hang clothes on a clothesline to dry. Take showers instead of baths.
The list only gets longer. Studies have also shown that unplugging appliances when they are not being used saves you a lot on your energy bill as well. Some simple awareness of what you can switch off in your house decreases your expenses, and avoids energy waste.
2. Go Vaugetarian – You may be thinking, “Don’t you mean vegetarian?” Most people who have no moral qualms with eating meat do not see any advantages of switching to a vegetarian lifestyle.
However, switching to a vaugetarian lifestyle allows you to enjoy a reduced amount of healthy meat, and primarily consume less expensive fruits, grains and vegetables – not to mention protein-charged and super cheap tofu! Other than obvious health advantages, fruits, grains and vegetables are much cheaper and go further than expensive beef, chicken and fish.
3. Compost is Your Friend – Don’t waste your waste! Composting is a simple way to reduce the amount of waste you produce while reducing costs to maintain your garden and yard. Instead of throwing away different food items like coffee grounds, egg shells and fruit rinds, simply place them in an air tight container on your kitchen counter.
Once the container is full, take the compost outside to a larger compost can or simply dump the compost in your garden. Searching “compost for beginners” on the internet will produce a myriad of results on how to get started.
4. Reuse, Reuse, Reuse – Another easy way to reduce your expenses and waste is by reusing different items around your house instead of throwing them away. Food containers like spaghetti sauce jars, water bottles or coffee cans make great reusable containers. Instead of buying environment unfriendly plastic containers, you save a little money by reusing what you already have. For example, a large coffee can makes a great compost container. This rule can also be applied to other items like foil, wrapping paper or shoe boxes.
5. Simplify Your Life – If you are a part of a family, this tip will produce the biggest benefit of all! Most of us fill our family’s schedules to the absolute brim, hoping that a busy schedule will somehow produced a more satisfying life. Yet busyness does not happiness produce. In fact, an overly busy lifestyle is most likely filled with wasteful, unhealthy habits.
Try using one car instead of two. Try to spend some nights at home with your family. Figure out what the top 3 priorities for each family member and decide how to make those fit smartly together. Simplifying your life will not only be good for the environment and save you money, a simple life will also produce a happier you.
Going green and being budget savvy is a project that you can start today and see immediate benefits. You do not have to worry about making all of these changes at once. Take time to figure out which tips you can implement with ease and try those first. As you begin to see results, try another tip and the savings will start to snowball. So, get started and have fun with all that green you save.