6 Best Tips for An Affordable Greener Life

Blogging is not my day job.

 

I work 8-5 like most people. My morning routine consists of waking up at 5 am to work on the blog, go to work, come home, exercise, and spare the last three hours of my evening devoted to blogging.

 

I’m a busy girl, and a busy girl doesn’t have a lot of spare time- or money- on her hands.

 

I decided to take my sequel post to 10 Basic Ways to Make Your Life Greener in a direction that’s about saving some pocket change on the side. I recently started my journey with getting out of debt through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. In general, I’ve heard many people talk about the financial perspective of eco-friendly living on a regular basis.

 

And yes. There are many health food stores and “natural” products that are way over priced for the common man.

 

Through my experiences, I’ve learned that going green doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the green in your wallet. If you’re looking for some ways to save some trees and some money, check out the list bellow!

 

1. Start a garden

 

Reason #1 why most people don’t start a garden: They don’t see a reason to if they are just going to kill the plants anyway. 

 

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Celery window plant

 

When I first started, I had 3 simple herbs: cilantro, parsley, and thyme. No vegetables, no flowers. Now I grow tomatoes, bell pepper, basil, parsley, sweet potatoes, and a few various houseplants. I don’t worry anymore if our grocery budget is tight. I have what I need in the pantry and garden.

 

My secret? ….I wouldn’t know how to grow these plants if I didn’t how to kill them first. You want to know how many plants I’ve killed? Too many!

 

Trust me when I say that anyone can and anyone should grow his/her own food. The flavor is intense, it’s nutrient dense, and it saves you a trip to the grocery store. The power of growing your own food cannot be matched.

 

Gardening is an amazing skill that first must be treated as an investment. It takes time to not only grow whatever it is you are growing, but it also takes research and patience. Don’t let yourself become discouraged if you’ve tried gardening and have killed a few plants. It’s basically initiation into the gardeners club.

 

Reason #2 why most people don’t start a garden: they live in apartments or small-scale housing.

 

But have no fear! There are solutions to these problems. Many DIY projects, tiny house vlogs, and indoor gardening how-to’s are out there! Don’t believe that there is only one way to garden, when in fact there are a thousand different methods. Many of which are particular to indoor, small space gardeners. In fact, you can grow most plants in just about anything if the main needs of the plant are met.

2. Lights off

 

I live in a big house. It’s easy to find a light on in a room that nobody is in (HUGE pet peeve!), or a phone charger plugged into the wall but it’s not charging anything. Small things like that happen. I’ve most certainly left the light on by accident. And let’s be honest- the last thought in my head when I’m leaving for work in the morning is remembering to unplug the phone charger.

 

A wonderful trick I learned to help balance our tech life with our non-tech life is by turning the light’s off and lighting some candles and oil lamps. If you want to cover all your tracks, try installing motion detection lights or replacing your current light bulbs with LED lights.

 

Turning your lights off early in the evening has different health benefits. There’s no florescent light shining in your eyes during a time when your body is trying to relax and fall asleep. In addition to natural cycles, you’re not wasting electrical energy in your home. It’s not a substantial waste of energy. But it does influence the mentality of saving more and using less.

 

This practice is especially useful if you live off solar energy. If you are a solar person, you know that saving energy is very precious. Turn your lights of and enjoy that saved energy!

 

I absolutely love turning off the lights and lighting our candles and oil lamps. The ambiance is very relaxing and brings people closer together.

 

I like to mix it up and light candles and oil lamps that way I’m not using all my candles at once. Although we still have our computers out from time to time, lighting some candles helps set the mood and save a few dollars in our wallet.

3. De-clutter your home

 

This was one of my most recent inspirations- minimalism!

 

Now don’t freak out. No one needs to stick their heads under a sink to get a drink of water. You can keep your cups! I’m not going to say you need sell everything to your name. That’s not what minimalism is about. It’s about owning the perfect amount of stuff, or simply creating better habits.

 

What I’m talking about is becoming more aware of what you have in your home. All of us have been guilty about purchasing something that we truly didn’t need. It may have been a spontaneous in-the-moment purchase, or something we thought we needed but it turned out we didn’t.

 

This kind of behavior leads to unnecessary purchases and buildup of waste until your home looks like a smaller version of the city landfill or antique shop.

 

Take the time to find the junk in your home and donate it, or even sell it! Whatever you are not using could easily become a blessing to someone else.

4. Save rainwater

 

The sky rains free fresh water. How awesome is that?

 

Rainwater harvesting is very simple and a first step anyone can take. It can be as simple as putting a few containers outside on your porch or balcony.

 

What’s crazy is I can tell when my plants are drinking faucet water versus rain water. They begin to lose their luster. Some even start to turn yellow. It’s amazing the differences you can see!

 

Now if you are wanting to set up a nice rainwater harvest system, you need to do some research first about your state and its laws about collecting rainwater. Believe it or not, as stupid as it is, some states will not allow rainwater collection. They see it as state property.

 

However, if you do have the opportunity, definitely give it a try!

 

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Simple rainwater collection bowl

5. Buy used

 

A cool way to recycle and get creative is to buy used or second hand. Thrift stores are far less expensive than purchasing brand new. You have to treat it like a treasure hunt. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, then you haven’t spent any extra money. If you do, then you save some money!

 

I would like to point out that I don’t think you should buy everything used. There are some things that are best purchased new in the store (mattresses, underwear…). But that’s why recycling is so great! It enables you to be creative.

 

Check out second hand apps and online stores like Craigslist and Ebay. Social media sites even implement buy-sell-trade pages for people to communicate when they are selling something. The internet is a great tool in bringing recycled items to our convenience. Honestly the list could go on and on.

 

I love purchasing second hand when I can. Most of us think of ourselves as poor or not having enough money for “good” clothes, but the reality of it is this: new clothes are way overpriced and there are plenty of clothes made every day that will soon become second hand within a matter of months.

 

There’s even less packaging (sometimes none) when buying used! No extra energy was used to create the product you were looking for. Taking the second-hand path keeps any existing product out of landfills and in good use.

 

6. Use wood instead of plastic 

 

Although plastic is cheaper than wood, removing it from your home as much as possible is always a good strategy. There are many different reasons why it’s good to go plastic free in your home, specifically in the kitchen.

 

  • Plastic leaches into food.
  • Plastic breaks.
  • Plastic doesn’t look pretty.

 

After continuous uses of putting plastic in the microwave and thorough washing, my plastic containers would eventually give out. And where does it go? Straight to the trash can. It certainly wasn’t getting recycled.

 

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Plastic isn’t enjoyable. It isn’t aesthetically pleasing to the eye nor does it make your kitchen look any prettier. Wood kitchen utensils are fantastic. Not only do they look better, but they’re not harsh on your pans. Plus, they don’t melt when you forget to move them away from the stove….

 

Your utensils will go through some wear and tear over time. Using wood utensils ensures that you’re not sending extra plastic to the landfill. When your wooden kitchen ware does break, you can compost them or turn it into firewood!

 

When I changed the look and layout of my kitchen, I found that I wanted to spend more time in it than go out and purchase an overpriced coffee or expensive meal.

 

It didn’t just look like a boring grocery store. Actually, by the time I was done with it, it looked like a cute coffee shop! The atmosphere encouraged me to stay in my kitchen and cook and clean! I started making coffee at home and even eating out less.

 

I hope these tips help you if you are looking for ways to save some cash!

 

 

 

 

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