Plan for Tomorrow | How to stick to a budget while going green
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How to stick to a budget while going green

Mar 27, 2024, 4:05:10 PM | Reading Time: 4 minutes

From the clothes we wear to the car we drive, the purchases we make not only come with a price tag, but can also have an impact on the environment, health, and society. Learning how to reduce our footprint and live more sustainably is a goal for many people, but can this be achieved while staying in budget? While there are often upfront costs to going green, many sustainable switches can actually help save you money.

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Is sustainable living affordable?

Choosing sustainable options may seem more costly at first, but in the long run, eco-friendly choices can actually save you money. Buying green items that can be reused can keep other single-use items out of circulation. For example, LED lights have a higher cost upfront but last much longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. Finding sustainable alternatives to disposable items not only helps save money, but is better for the environment.

In the home, energy efficient appliances use less water and power to operate than older models. Smart thermostats can be set to a schedule and keep the house comfortable when you’re home and reduce power while you’re away, helping reduce energy costs.

Easy ways to be more sustainable on a budget

Taking a more mindful approach to shopping and living sustainably can be achieved by adopting a few good habits. Here are helpful ways to get started:

Share and borrow

Another budget-friendly way to be more sustainable is to borrow what you need. Going to a wedding? Perhaps a friend has an outfit to borrow, or find a store that will rent formal attire. Looking to clean up the backyard? A neighbor or home improvement store may have something you can use for an afternoon. Libraries are another fantastic option to get some entertainment value on items you may only read or watch once. Borrowing and lending items with friends and neighbors can be an economical and sustainable way to get the things that you need.

Reuse and recycle

As you look around your home, you may spot things that are no longer needed. Consider taking them to a thrift store, garage sale, or consignment store. While you’re there, you may find something new to add to your space.

Upcycling is the process of transforming something old and giving it a new function. Like using wine corks to make a corkboard, an old map to jazz up a dated picture frame, or turning mason jars into glasses. Thinking about new ways to use older items can be a great way to save money, reduce waste, and flex your creative muscle.

Purchase high-quality items

Shopping for high-quality items may come with a larger price tag, but purchasing well-made products can help save you money since they are likely to last longer. A nice piece of furniture with a sturdy frame can last decades with proper care. Energy-saving appliances can cost more upfront, but can ultimately help lower your bills and carbon footprint.

More sustainable ideas & going green at home

Taking positive steps to go green at home can make a big difference in helping the environment and saving money.

  • Buy brands that support sustainability
  • Use reusable shopping bags
  • Swap disposable water bottles for a reusable one
  • Select items made from recycled materials
  • Look for products with less packaging
  • Use a drying rack instead of dryer
  • Install water-saving toilets and low-flow showerheads
  • Start a backyard garden and exchange produce with neighbors
  • Unplug devices and appliances that are not in use
  • Choose green cleaning products or make your own
  • Recycle responsibly and compost if possible

Shopping sustainably and making eco-friendly choices doesn’t have to be a burden on your budget. Learning more about how our decisions can impact the environment and adjusting our lifestyle in little ways can help move the needle in a positive direction and make the most of every dollar spent.