Sometimes it can seem like going green and making more eco-friendly choices takes a lot of time and money. Not true. There are actually a bunch of simple things you can do to take better care of the Earth and save money in the process. Here are a few things we’ve done over the years that have made a big difference.
6 Frugal Ways to Go Green
Grow a garden and shop at your farmers’ market. We love to grow an herb and veggie garden in the summer. It’s SO cheap to grow your own produce, and I love to freeze or can what I can to make it stretch through the winter months. What you can’t grow, consider buying at your local farmers’ market. (I’ve got some great tips for you here.) Not only are you supporting local farmers by doing that but it’s better for the environment to shop locally. Less transportation and fuel involved in trucking your food across the country is better for the environment.
Use cloth napkins. I keep a stack of cloth napkins in a basket on top of our dining room table and we just grab them and use them as needed. They’re small enough that I can just throw them in with my towels in the wash so they really don’t create extra laundry for me. And I save a ton on napkins and paper towels doing this. Look for a good deal at Target on cloth napkins. They have some cute ones!
Use reusable bags and look for foods that are minimally packaged. Once I started packing lunch for my daughter, it hit me just how much trash school lunches create. Every wrapper on every granola bar, every plastic baggie that houses a peanut butter and jelly sandwich – all thrown in the trash. Can you imagine the waste created in just one classroom, never mind schools all over the country? Check out this post I wrote on packing a zero-waste school lunch. Yes, it’s a few more dishes but it’s saved me a ton on disposable products.
Wash your clothes in cold water. I do this with every load. It saves money be reducing your heating bill and my clothes get just as clean. I’ve noticed no difference since changing the way I do wash.
Shop garage sales and consignment stores. I got the best deals on kids’ clothes at a local consignment sale lately. And my kids’ new favorite clothes are the stuff that I bought. So I saved myself some money and saved some clothes from going into a landfill. Also my kids are pretty happy with their new duds so that’s a double win!
Do what you can online. I pay my bills, send party invitations, and do nearly all my shopping online. It saves me from running around which saves on fuel. When I pay bills online I’m not wasting paper and stamps. You can even get your statements from many places like your electric company or credit card companies delivered via email to cut down on paper waste even further. If you’re plugged in all the time like most of us are (aren’t we?) then this one is a no-brainer.
What frugal tips do you have for going green?