Go Green: 6 Eco-Friendly Ways to Save Money

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A green lifestyle can get expensive but with these tips and recommendations you can learn how to save some serious cash while doing your part to protect the environment.

Going Green on a Budget

1. Rent

Not only is renting a great way conserve cash, it’s much more sustainable than living in a house. Since renters pool resources and space, less energy is wasted on apartment living than house living. Plus, renters don’t have to bother with most utility, insurance, maintenance and upkeep costs. The keys to finding an affordable, environmentally-friendly apartment are finding one that includes heat, energy efficient appliances and updated windows. Corner units are great for cross ventilation and window breezes in summer (so you don’t have to rely on air conditioning in the summer to keep you cool).

2. Eat fresh foods

Just because you care about the environment doesn’t necessarily mean you can always afford to eat in ways that show it. Eating all organic foods can be expensive, especially when you’re living on a small salary. Luckily, an eco-friendly diet is light on budget-busters like meats and processed foods and heavy on affordable, nutritious foods like beans, fruits and vegetables. Even so, organic foods can still stretch a tight budget, so if you can’t afford to go all organic, be sure to buy foods with minimal packaging and, when possible, choose local. You can also grow your own garden. Vegetables and herbs like tomatoes, onions, green peppers, hot peppers, cilantro, basil and dill that are great to cook with are prolific producers and incredibly easy to grow on your own.

3. Get rid of your car

One of the best ways you can positively impact the environment and save yourself a ton of money is by dumping your car. The average annual cost of keeping a car is around $6,000, so if you can swing it, get rid of that gas guzzler. Instead of driving, choose try walking, biking, carpooling and public transportation. Not only will you help the environment and save a ton of money, you’ll probably lose a few pounds too.

4. Stop buying things you don’t need

Everyone seems to think they have this one under wraps but somehow the shelves are still full of useless junk. So, stop buying things like bottled water, junk jewelry, energy drinks and the latest iToys. A nice rule of thumb is if you need to hold it in your hand for three minutes wondering if you need it, you probably don’t. Not only will you keep a lot of garbage from landfills, you’ll end up saving yourself some serious cash.

5. Get thrifty

Just about anything you need you can find at a thrift store. Not only are resale shops a practical way to incorporate “reduce, reuse, recycle” into your everyday life, they’re incredible when it comes to saving money. Whatever you need, you can probably find it cheap at a thrift store.

6. Get off the grid

Okay, you probably can’t entirely, but you probably can do quite a bit to cut down your energy consumption. Unplug electronics and appliances when you’re not using them, and turn off lights that you don’t need. Instead of using air conditioning in the summer, dress down and open your windows, and instead of cranking the heat in the winter, dress in layers indoors.

Simple Living is Green Living

In general, a simple lifestyle is a green lifestyle. So, remember: the less you buy and waste, the more you’ll conserve and save!

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