6 Budget-Friendly Ways to Go Green
“We only have one earth, so we need to take care of her,” said Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin. He first started Earth Day on April 22nd, 1970 after witnessing a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. His purpose was to force environmental protection onto the national political agenda and he succeeded. 20 million Americans demonstrated in parks, auditoriums, and streets to protest for a sustainable environment. By the end of 1970, The United States Environmental Protection Agency was created as a result of that first Earth Day, as well as the passing of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. Earth Day went global by 1990 and is still a strong movement today. Even though you may be on a budget, there are ways to go green and save green at the same time.
1. Turn Things Down or Off
This may seem like an obvious choice, but you would be surprised how many people don’t turn off light switches when they leave a room. Go green by only relying on sunlight during the daytime instead of turning on additional lights in your home and using electricity. Lowering or increasing your heat or air conditioning by just three degrees can also make a big difference. Your body will adjust and you will be saving money while also helping the environment! If spending some cash on home-improvement is in your budget, you can invest in a low flow shower head to decrease your water use.
2. Use Natural Cleaning Products
Common cleaning products often leave lingering overwhelming scents and can contain toxic chemicals. Natural cleaning products like vinegar and baking soda are cheaper and better for the environment. Both your budget and the earth will thank you.
3. Stock your Freezer
Not only will you save time while putting together meals when your freezer is stocked, but you will also save money on food as well as your utility bill. It takes more energy for your freezer to cool an empty space, so when it is full of foods, it uses less energy!
4. Use Power Strips
Since power strips have on and off switches, it is easy to turn off multiple things at once. Even when things like chargers aren’t actually charging a device all the time, they are draining energy just being plugged into outlets. Use power strips wherever you can and be sure to turn them off when you are away.
5. Buy from a Farmer’s Market
Go green by shopping at your local Farmer’s Market. In most cases, Farmer’s Markets are cheaper (link to farmer’s market blog) than choices at your local grocery store. Since it is local, the produce has traveled shorter distances wasting less fuel and you are supporting a small business.
6. Slow Down
Aggressive driving like speeding or accelerating rapidly can lower your gas mileage by up to 33% so it pays to drive slower. Better yet, go green by carpooling with others or ditching your car altogether. If weather and distance permit, walk or bike to your destinations and decrease some of the carbon dioxide emissions that come from fuel. You will save money on gas while also saving the environment and supporting Earth Day.