Trying to find tips and tricks to live sustainably? Here are some easy ways to live green and live sustainably on a budget.
A common misconception about sustainable living is that only people with heavier wallets can do it efficiently and effectively. That doesn’t have to be the case. For years, sustainable living has been stigmatized as the shallow green initiative for people backed with trust funds, which is one of the main reasons why some are intimidated to try it.
The truth is, it’s something that everyone, even those with a tight budget, can practice. To show you exactly how you can do that, here are 10 tips on how to live sustainably on a budget.
10 Tips on How to Live Sustainably on a Budget
Before diving into these practical pieces of advice, it’s important for you to have a clear idea of sustainable living. For decades now, climate change has been threatening Earth’s natural resources. In the spirit of fighting against that, sustainable living advocates the significant reduction of resource consumption in daily life.
Indeed, it is a big commitment, and you would need to adopt new habits in every facet of your life. But again, it doesn’t have to break the bank. If you’re up for the challenge, here are 10 tips to guide you.
1. Observe the 3Rs
You’ve heard it from your teacher when you were in kindergarten and it’s even more important to practice it now – reduce, reuse, and recycle. It’s the underlying philosophy of all sustainable living measures.
The best part is it doesn’t require you to buy anything, so you can keep your budget intact. Try to practice this mindset in your own home by looking at the things you have and checking if any of them could be reused or transformed into something completely new.
2. Be a regular at your local thrift stores
Believe it or not, the clothing industry is the second largest polluter worldwide. Fast fashion plays a big role in that, with new clothes being produced multiple times throughout the year. You could boycott fast fashion by shopping at thrift stores instead, where you’ll also save a lot more.
3. Steer clear of plastic bags…
This is the prime example of making a one-time purchase that could instantly help you lead a more sustainable life – eco bags. Whenever you go out to buy something, whether it’s groceries or a few snacks at the local store, make it a habit to bring a reusable bag. It’s best to opt for a sturdy one so it’ll last you longer.
4. … or anything plastic, really
The fact is, anything plastic is bad, so try to eliminate this from your life altogether. For instance, you could switch to using bamboo toothbrushes instead of the plastic ones. Another product you could find better alternatives for is the single-use plastic razor. Get on google and search for safety razors near you. It takes a while to get the hang of it, but it’ll be worth it.
5. Make coffee at home
If going to the nearest coffee shop every morning or midday is almost like a reflex for you, maybe it’s time to change. The cups they come in are usually difficult to recycle, not to mention kind of expensive. Cutting off those $4 dollar caffeinated beverages will save you a lot of money in the long run.
6. Do laundry only when it’s necessary
Whether you do it yourself at home or outsource it to the nearest laundry shop, laundry still uses up a lot of water and cleaning supplies (which may also not be that environmentally friendly). Try to be conscious of your laundry habits and see if you could still reduce the number of times you do it.
Another great sustainable habit to try forming when it comes to doing laundry is air-drying your clothes. Dryers consume a lot of electricity, and if you have the space for a clothesline, then why not make use of it?
7. Cut back on eating meat and dairy
The production of animals products produce more greenhouse gas emissions than all types of transportation combined. That said, you could reduce your own carbon footprint by cutting back on meat and dairy. This doesn’t mean you have to go vegan, though – it’s all about significant reduction.
8. Learn how to cook – and do it more often
If you think about it, eating out can actually be really wasteful thanks to the packaging and the production of the food itself. It’s much better to just cook your own food at home, if you can. That way, you have more control over how much waste you create. It’s also much cheaper compared to eating out.
9. Consider using a bike or public transportation
Everyone needs a way to get to places. If you’re serious about living sustainably, see if you can make the switch from a private car to using a bike or public transportation. With the latter alternatives, you’re once again able to cut down on your CO2 emission since you’re not burning any fuel. An added bonus is that riding a bike is actually a great way to get exercise.
10. Indulge your inner DIY-er
You don’t have to be a full-on Pinterest person to do this. The fact is, making things yourself has a lot of benefits. You could not only prolong the life of any object you have just lying around the house, but also reduce plastic consumption by not buying anything new that comes in plastic packaging. Not to mention, it’s fun! So the next time you think you need to buy something new, consider if you could make it yourself first.
For some reason, there’s a lot of judgement that surrounds those who advocate sustainable living. Some question if it really does help the environment, while others feel like their own lifestyles are being threatened by mere advocacies. Whatever it is, don’t be swayed. Sustainable living is something that everyone should strive to achieve. You don’t have to spend too much to make a significant impact. It’s all about being more conscious, spending less, and aiming for quality.
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