Living an environmentally conscious lifestyle can sound expensive and ellusive. It is a common belief that living ecologically is costly and time consuming, but there are many ways to make your habits greener without majorly adapting your budget or routine. With these tips, you can make small changes that will have you living more sustainably, and also saving money.
- Make your coffee at home
For many, productivity doesn’t truly start until that first jolt of caffeine, making coffee shops a popular part of daily routines. Unfortunately, many of the cups given out at coffee shops are made of materials such as styrofoam or paper lined with plastic, and end up as landfill. Buying coffee daily can be expensive as well, with the average American spending $1,100 a year for their caffeine kick. Making your coffee at home is an easy way to cut down on personal waste and increase your savings. You can buy your favorite coffee brands, or use these tips to make better coffee at home!
- Buy items that last
Fast fashion is a major contributor to environmental degradation; the fashion industry heavily adds to greenhouse gas emissions, water usage, and plastics pollution as the synthetic fibers in clothing break down while being washed and end up in the ocean. Additionally, the amount of waste generated by unwanted clothing is shocking; Americans throw away over 14 million tons of textile waste per year. Fast fashion is enticing for many due to the cheaper prices, yet the quality is worse and forces consumers to buy, and trash, clothing more frequently. Buy pieces that are well made and will last, and you will end up reducing both your waste amount and expenditures. Buying clothing that is made with natural materials and is free of harmful chemicals further increases your eco-friendly prowess.
- Eat less meat and dairy
The meat and dairy industry are responsible for advancing climate change as well, considerably adding to deforestation, methane gas in the atmosphere, and water pollution. Meat and dairy are staple items for many, and it isn’t easy to imagine life without them entirely. However, even a small change in consumption habits makes a difference in reducing your impact on the environment. Try adding a “meatless Monday” into your routine; there are a plethora of exciting recipes to try, and meals made with meat are generally more expensive than their plant based counterparts.
- Ditch the single use plastic - BYO!
Single use plastics are made primarily from fossil fuels, majorly contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and the 8 million tons of plastic that find their way into our oceans yearly. Replace plastic water bottles and plastic shopping bags with reusable ones, and you are making a difference in your impact on the environment without breaking the bank. In fact, many stores will give you discounts for bringing your own shopping bags. You can also replace single use plastic plates and eating utensils with biodegradable options, or stick with reusable, washable options.
Check out this video to learn more about the issues with single use plastic.
- Switch up your cleaning supplies
Many of the cleaning products on the market contain toxic chemicals. When these chemicals are used around the house, they go down the drains and into water treatment facilities, yet not all of these chemicals can be filtered out. If they are accidentally inhaled or ingested, they can cause health problems for you and your loved ones. Plus, buying cleaning products consistently is expensive! You can create your own products at home using inexpensive, nontoxic ingredients such as vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda. Next time you finish a cleaning product you bought, save the bottle and reuse it for your own concoction, and now you’re cutting down on waste as well!
We wish you the best on your journey to greener living. Be sure to look out for more tips in future articles, and feel free to contact us if there is a topic you would be interested to learn about; chances are people in the Flourish community are looking for the same information, and we’ll give you a shout-out for your participation!