Many people are taking steps toward living a greener life. And you took great strides by renting reusable plastic moving cartons for your recent move! Now that you’ve settled into your new dwelling, you can easily make your home more ecofriendly—even on a budget. But what can you do in addition to recycling your paper, plastic, metal, and glass products?
Sure, there are expensive ways for your home to be environmentally friendly. Electric vehicles, solar panels, and energy efficient appliances are some ideas. But protecting the environment doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are five inexpensive ways to make your home more ecofriendly.
1. Ditch single use products
As you likely know, single use plastic is a huge problem. About 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic has been produced since the 1950s. Since plastic isn’t biodegradable, it ends up in landfills and oceans.
Fortunately, there are several budget-friendly ways to reduce the single use plastic in your home. First, purchase reusable grocery bags instead of taking home thin plastic bags from the store. And while you’re at it, pack your produce inside mesh bags instead of using the disposable ones that your store provides. This doesn’t just help the environment—it saves you money since your produce will last longer. Then, ditch those plastic storage or sandwich baggies for your leftovers. Pick up some reusable silicon bags and glass containers with lids to stick in the fridge or freezer.
Keep in mind that single-use products don’t end with plastic. Instead of reaching for that roll of paper towels or stack of paper napkins (which, incidentally, likely came wrapped in plastic), purchase some cloth rags, fabric napkins, or washable bamboo towels. And for Pete’s sake, stop buying Styrofoam or paper plates! Eat with your reusable dinnerware to reduce waste.
Moving away from single-use products allows you to get a little creative. Buy a pack of wool dryer balls to toss in with your laundry instead of dryer sheets, which can actually be harmful to you and your appliance. Go green and pay your bills online instead of receiving paper copies in the mail. Every time you eliminate a single use product from your life, you’re helping to save the world.
2. Keep an eye on your utility use
Using your utilities sparingly isn’t just an inexpensive way to make your home more ecofriendly. It can save you money on your monthly bills, too! Here are a few ways that you can reduce your utility use to help the environment and pad your wallet:
- Save water by only running your dishwasher when it’s completely full.
- Wash your clothes in cold water to reduce your natural gas usage.
- Keep your thermostat at around 68 degrees year-round. Just open your windows when it’s nice outside and throw on an extra blanket if you get cold.
- Don’t waste electricity by leaving on lights or your TV when you’re not in the room. Turn off what you’re not using. Or better yet, unplug it altogether!
3. Use ecofriendly cleaning products
Chemicals like bleach and detergents are harmful to the environment. And that’s compounded if you use cleaning products contained in aerosol cans. Plus, the fumes that these synthetic ingredients leave behind can make your family or your pets sick. Fortunately, there are ecofriendly and health-friendly ways to clean your home.
Instead of using harmful chemicals, look for ecofriendly cleaning products that are sustainably produced and won’t cause toxic fumes. Use glass containers to avoid single use plastic and use washable rags instead of disposable ones. You’ll protect the planet, your house will sparkle, and everyone who breathes the air inside will thank you!
4. Show off your green thumb
Having an ecofriendly home isn’t just about reducing the consumption of single-use or harmful products. It’s also about adding things that can help the environment!
Growing vegetables in your backyard or on your apartment’s balcony is a great way to save money on groceries. Homegrown veggies taste amazing, and you get the pleasure of snacking on something you grew from a seed or a small plant!
Additionally, you can grow many flowers and other plants that can improve the air quality and attract much-needed pollinators. Here are a few pollinator-friendly plants recommended by the Chicago Zoological Society:
- Black-Eyed Susan
- Butterfly Milkweed
Remember: happy bees and butterflies mean a happy Earth!
5. Swap old the old for the new
One of the simplest and most inexpensive ways to make your home more ecofriendly is to upgrade to newer technology. This can be as simple as swapping an old incandescent or halogen lightbulb to an LED one. LED bulbs last longer, use less electricity, and can even provide better lighting than the alternatives.
Another quick and cost-effective way to go green is to switch to a low-flow showerhead. Showers use up about 30% of the average household’s water use—and that is money and natural resources down the drain. Switching to a low-flow option will help lower your water bill and your impact on the environment.
Finally, insulate your windows on the cheap by putting up thermal curtains in the winter. You’ll save money on the gas bill and stay warmer during those chilly months. Plus, you get to accessorize each room. And what could be more fun than that?
Remember: reduce, reuse, recycle—and get creative!
Making your home more ecofriendly doesn’t have to be an annoying chore. It can be a fun way to try new products with the fringe benefits of saving money and helping the environment. And don’t forget: when you plan your next move, continue your ecofriendly habits by contacting Box Beaters to rent reusable plastic moving bins!