Smarty Tips for Living Green on a Budget

Finding ways to live green while saving money can feel like a daunting task. Professor Pig has a few simple suggestions for living an environmentally friendly lifestyle while maintaining focus on your savings goals.

Reflect

Before making a purchase, take a moment to reflect on whether you really need it. You may also consider ways to create a workaround, such as repurposing another item. Simply checking yourself before making a purchase will help reduce spending as well as your carbon footprint.

When buying new items, select the highest quality version within your budget. Hopefully, they will last longer and reduce your need to replace as frequently. Not only will you keep things out of the landfill, but you'll also spend less in the long run.

Planning meals around seasonal items and frequenting the local farmer's markets is a great way to eat healthy while reducing food and packaging waste. Many farmer's markets now offer online ordering and contactless pickup!

Reuse

You may already be in the habit of keeping reusable water bottles and straws, shopping bags, and coffee mugs handy. This year, you have an opportunity to expand your efforts with reusable cloth facemasks! Most retailers are offering them at reasonable prices and in a variety of fun patterns and colors.

Summertime usually means a lot of paper plates and napkins. Instead, opt for reusable cloth napkins and washable plastic plates that are eco-friendly and also safe outdoors and with the kids.

Buying secondhand can be an eye-opening experience! From housewares and furniture to clothing and electronics, you're likely to find barely used and like-new items at significant cost savings. Likewise, selling your items is a great way to make a buck! While many shops are closed due to the stay-at-home orders, there are online resources with contactless pickup and payment options.

Reduce

A fun way to reduce new purchases, and something that has become very popular this year, is sharing books, games, and puzzles between neighbors and friends.

Reduce utility bills by turning off the lights when you leave a room, taking a shorter shower, exchanging traditional light bulbs for more energy-efficient versions, and swapping regular batteries for rechargeable ones.

Most of us launder clothing too often, causing items to fade and wear out quickly. Before you throw in that next load, think about whether you can wear an item again as-is or if a spot treatment would be an adequate refresh.

Recreate

Making your household items is a fun way to live green while fostering family bonding!

Face masks are certainly top of mind these days. DIY one for each family member with one of the many sew and no-sew patterns available online. There, you can also find ideas for making personal care items like soap, hand sanitizer, lip balm, body scrub, and bath salts!

Take your DIY skills to the next level by consolidating countless store-bought cleaning products into one robust cleaner using online recipes that feature natural ingredients such as vinegar, citric acid, and baking soda. Bonus points for ditching paper towels in favor of washable cloth rags!

The stay-at-home orders this summer have led to a resurgence of baking and gardening that happens to be great for our environment as well! Think about what your family could use from a backyard garden, blend spices for rubs, and bake bread and desserts together!

If you have a willingness to try new things or change your mindset, you can achieve a more sustainable lifestyle, feel good about the purchases you make and companies you support while maintaining your budget.

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