25 Easy Ways to Live Green on a Budget

25 Easy Ways to Live Green on a Budget

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read the disclosure policy here.

Living green doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, you could actually save green by living green, all while staying healthy and protecting our planet.

This list will get you well on your way to living greener and cleaner.

  1. Recycle. Check you local county website to see if your area offers curbside recycling.  If not, there may be a recycling location where you can drop off your recyclable.  Recycling greatly cuts down on waste that ends up in the landfills. 
  2. Save water. Take shorter showers or install a low-flow shower head. Faucet aerators conserve heat and water and you will earn your money back quickly with the money you save.
  3. Use non-toxic cleaning products. Making your own cleaning supplies is easy and very affordable. Not to mention all of the toxic chemicals that you will keep out of your home. Here are a few homemade cleaners to get your house spic and span.
  4. Switch to non-toxic body products. If your body products contain harmful ingredients such as toxic chemicals, colors, and fragrances, those ingredients make their way into your body, your blood and lymphatic system. When you make your own products, you know exactly what is in them. You can easily make products like dry shampoo, body wash and toothpaste.
  5. Essential oils.  Essential oils are organic compounds extracted from plants.  The oils contain healing properties for relaxation, beauty products, home cleaning and natural medicine. I use essential oils in every body and cleaning product on top of using them topically for colds. These are the oils I use.  They are pure and of the highest quality.
  6. Read ingredient labels. Know what you are eating.  What are those long, unpronounceable ingredients doing to your body? Food labels provide key information like serving size, calories, total fat and vitamin content.
  7. Shop local. Support the little guy instead of companies that make millions of dollars. Shopping local creates a healthier environment because the goods are located closer to residents and create less traffic nd air pollution.
  8. Reuse. The most effective way to reduce waste is not to create it in the first place. Reusing items reduces the need to harvest new raw materials (think trees), saves energy, money, and keeps wastes from the landfill.
  9. Buy Organic. There are fewer pesticides on food, it’s better for the environment, and organically raised animals are not given antibiotics, growth hormones or fed animal byproducts. Organic food can be more expensive but you can save money on food with these 10 super easy tips on eating organic.
  10. Grow your own food. No room for a garden? No worries, grow veggies in pots on your patio or herbs in your kitchen window.
  11. Compost. Free, easy to make and good for the environment.  You can compost vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and tea bags. You can learn more about composting in this article from NRDC.org.
  12. Install energy-efficient lighting. LED bulbs last 10 years and use 40% less electricity than traditional incandescents. Produce less waste and save more money. Sweet. 
  13. Buy a jar of Coconut Oil. Coconut oil can be used so many ways! Here is a list of 14 awesome ways to use it other than cooking.
  14. CSA. Community supported agriculture is a partnership between farmers and consumers. You pay a fee at the beginning of a growing season and receive a portion of the farm’s produce each week. Support local farmers instead of huge commercial companies.
  15. Switch to cloth diapers. Disposable diapers take 250-500 years to decompose. Switching to cloth will save you over $1000 dollars and keep the chemicals off your little ones bottom.  When my kids were babies, we used BumGenius.  The start up cost was $250 but that’s all we spent until they were potty trained.  If traveling, then we would use Seventh Generation disposable diapers. They are chemical free.
  16. Car pool. Find a buddy and take turns driving into work.  You will save money, time, the environment, wear and tear on your car and reduce traffic! You can also use a ride share service like Lyft or Uber.  Of course, I am partial to Lyft. 😉
  17. Buy rechargeable batteries. Save money, conserve resources, protect the environment and improve performance by buying recyclable batteries like these. You can use rechargeable batteries hundreds of times! They cost more initially, but save money over time.
  18. Have plants to clean the air in your home. Did you know that houseplants can actually clean indoor air of airborne toxins? These 10 houseplants will work extra hard to clean up your indoor air.
  19. Use your dishwasher. It uses less water than hand-washing. For an extra bonus use a DIY dishwashing detergent.
  20. Invest in experiences instead of things for special gifts. Take a family trip instead of expensive Christmas presents.  Or maybe go see a musical instead of an anniversary present. The memories will last longer than a physical present.
  21. Wash clothes in cold water. Washing your clothes in cold water uses less energy and clothes last longer.  If you want to take it a step farther, purchase and energy-efficient washer.  These washers measure the amount of water needed to wash per load.
  22. Buy Used. You can find really good deals on barely used products. Start shopping at thrift stores, consignment stores and garage sales. You can window shop online at sites like Thredup, Craigslist or Varage Sale.
  23. Switch to an aluminum or stainless-steel sports bottle.  Most plastic containers have a chemical called BPA, which is under investigation for its effects on the health of humans. You can opt for a BPA free plastic bottle but they are known to leach phthalates, a chemical thought to disrupt the endocrine system.
  24. Keep food in glass containers. Most plastic containers have a chemical called BPA, which is under investigation for its effects on the health of humans.  When heating in the microwave or washing in the dishwasher can break down the plastic allowing BPA to leach into food.
  25. Replace vinyl shower curtains. There are more than 100 different chemicals vinyl shower curtains emit into the air. Trade out the vinyl curtain for a PVC-free plastic shower curtain.


What are some ways that you live green? Let me know below. 🙂

DIY Fruit & Veggie Cleaner

DIY Fruit & Veggie Cleaner

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read the disclosure policy here.

It’s Sunday and I need to go grocery shopping for the upcoming week.  The workweek is so busy that I save all of my errands and chores until the weekend. Laundry, cleaning the house real well, shopping, and meal prepping usually take up one entire day. I like to have a least one of my two precious days totally off of everything.  Everyone needs to have a Sunday Funday once in awhile.

What the world needs is a four-day work week. Can you imagine how much calmer and happier people would be?  World Peace, people.

Alas, I digress.  Back to groceries.

We eat a lot of produce, especially since we have been eating a more Paleo based diet. Fruits and most veggies are totally in season which means you can really stock up on good quality for really great prices.

Outdoor farmer’s markets are one of my favorite places to buy produce.  Be on the lookout in your area and you should start seeing signs that farmer’s markets are stocking up and opening for the season.  If you are not familiar with farmer’s markets, you should check one out. They rock.

Benefits of shopping at Farmer’s Markets.

1. Provide a large assortment of produce. You can find many fruits and veggies that your local grocery doesn’t provide.

2. Lower Prices. You don’t have to pay a bagger, stocker or their rent.

3. More than produce. In addition to food, farmer’s markets sell handmade soaps, eggs, baked goods, jams and jellies.  The list goes on really.  I go kinda crazy at these things and can rack up a pretty good bill.  Who knew I needed a goat’s milk, lavender, oatmeal face soap bar? Yeah, me either, until I got there and heard it’s siren song.  Just keep your head together and you will be fine.

4. Saving the planet.  The local grocery’s food is grown across the country and sometimes world (!), picked super early and sprayed with chemicals to keep it fresh until purchase and then driven or flown across the country to land at your grocery store shelf.  That’s exhausting. Think of all the energy and fuel wasted to make that happen. That is also why food is more expensive at the store.

5. Supporting local farmers.  Farmer’s work hard and we rely on them at least three times a day.  Farmer’s markets cut out the middleman and put more profit in the pockets of the farmers. Plus, it’s nice to meet the person who grows your food.  This is one of my favorite parts.  The last time the kids and I went shopping, we got to meet the farmer who supplied the eggs for that particular market. He even brought a few of his baby chickens for kids to pet. Xan was in love and promptly asked if we could get some egg laying chicks.  I am all about it but getting my husband on board is another story.

Farmer's Market

Once you get your produce home, you will need to clean it.  Not only is your produce usually covered with bacteria, non-organic produce has been sprayed with toxic pesticides.  You definitely will want to get that off.

Buy organic when you can.  For most of us, it is not alway economical to spend more money on organic produce, so using this fruit and veggie cleaner will not only remove the bacteria and little critters but up to 98% of the pesticide residue on the outside of your produce. The DIY fruit and veggie cleaner is super easy and you probably have the ingredients in your kitchen!

DIY fruit & veggie cleaner

Ingredients:

3 cups cold water

1 cup white vinegar

(That’s it!)

Directions:

1. Take a large mixing bowl and add 3 cups cold water and 1 cup white vinegar.

2. Add your produce.  Do like with like here.  For example, hard skinned fruit together (like citrus), berries together and leafy greens together.  That way the big grapefruit doesn’t bruise the soft blackberries.  I always wash the outside of produce even if we don’t eat the skin because most of my produce hang out together and could cross contaminate.

3. Let the produce set in the cleaner for 15-20 minutes.

 

4. Rinse with cold water and let dry completely.

All done and that bacteria, insects and pesticides are rinsed right down the drain.

Check out the funk that was left over after soaking the berries. The photo is a little dark but you can clearly see the dirt and floaty things left behind.


Peace out friends.  Try this DIY fruit & veggie cleaner and let me know what you think. xo