Paul Kelly sang, “From little things, big things grow,” and it turns out he was right. Especially when it comes to going green. Far too many people falsely believe that making more environmentally conscious choices will cost a small fortune. Still, even the smallest options for going green can end up going a long way towards helping to save our planet.
There is so much pressure to live a zero-waste life these days that it breeds shame in those who find it hard to sustain. This only worsens the crisis when in fact, if only people were empowered to feel excited about what big changes can occur from any small adjustments they can comfortably make, it would benefit the planet enormously.
With that in mind, here are just a few ideas that are as eco-friendly as they are budget-friendly.
Unplug Your Electronics
Don’t just leave your appliances on standby, or switch them off or unplug them completely when not in use. Televisions, computers, set-top boxes, washing machines, DVD players, and even phone chargers all continue drawing power even though you’re not actually using them. Because reducing your energy consumption is always the best thing for our environment.
Any appliance that has a red standby light anywhere on it switches it off at the wall. Or, if your wall sockets are just too difficult to reach, invest in some power boards with individual switches for each device so you can turn them off and on whenever you need them. This is one of the easiest ways of reducing your power usage while also saving a decent chunk of cash each year.
Repair or Recycle
We all live in a throwaway culture. We’re encouraged to purchase single-use items that we only use once and to replace anything as soon as it breaks. But not only is this an expensive way to live, but it’s also terribly damaging for the planet. So, next time something no longer functions correctly or breaks completely, look into getting it repaired first before you automatically go to throw it into the trash. And look for any other ways you can create less trash in your life.
You should also check to see what can be reused and recycled out of anything that can’t be repaired. Different places will take all your old furniture and faulty electronics for recycling, and you’ll feel better about donating any old clothes to local charities. Working out what can be recycled or reused doesn’t even need to take much effort, as you can arrange rubbish removal specialists to come to pick it all up for you and sort it all out for you.
Don’t Forget Your Tote!
We all know that plastic is a major problem for our environment, with 100 billion plastic shopping bags being used every single year in the U.S. alone. Now that reusable tote bags are all the rage, the trouble is remembering to take them with us! One simple solution is to store them back in your car as soon as you’ve unpacked your groceries. Alternatively, you can purchase super compact reusable bags that are designed to fit in your pocket or even on a keychain! They still require returning to the right spot ready for the next shopping trip, though, so the ultimate habit of getting into still seems to be returning them to the keychain or car as soon as you’ve used them. A simple act that can ease your conscience and create an impactful change.
Skip Bottled Water
Say no to plastic bottles of water. Not only is single-use water costly to buy, but the plastic used to make the bottles can take centuries to start breaking down. Because most of these plastic bottles can’t be recycled, they either end up in our landfills or, even worse, floating in our oceans and waterways. That means when we’re buying bottled water, we’re also paying good money to help companies destroy our planet.
Even worse, considering bottled water is no better than the H2O from the taps at home. Simply by installing a filter on your kitchen tapware, you will ensure your water is just as clean and fresh as any bottle of water available on the market. And if you’re always on the go, buying yourself a reusable, stainless-steel flask is a much smarter choice for our environment than wasting your money on plastic bottles of water.
Caleb and I use gallon-sized water-bottles that we found on Amazon. I have a long reusable straw for mine – I like these water bottles because they are convenient and waste-free.
Final Thoughts on Small Changes for the Environment
While there’s plenty of great reasons to start living a more eco-friendly life, making green choices is so much easier when you know they’re saving you money. It turns out that going green doesn’t mean you have to buy a Prius.