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4 Ways to Go Green at Home That Can Save You Money

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It would be naive to say climate change is not real — or that the average person doesn’t contribute to it. Large factories and power plants may release the majority of damaging greenhouse gases, but individuals play a part, too.

And then there are phenomena like overflowing landfills and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Knowingly or unknowingly, the typical consumer adds to the accumulation of non-organic waste every single day. If everyone just pauses before throwing yet another thing away, they can make a difference. 

If you’re looking to be a better environmental steward, here are four tips that can help save the planet — and your wallet besides. 

1. Rethink Your Electricity Use 

Today, if the power goes out for a few hours, everything comes to a standstill. Work, school, and now some forms of transportation all depend on electricity. However, electricity generation requires fuel consumption and releases gases that cause an increase in global temperatures. Consumers have two options. They can reduce their use of electricity or find non–fossil fuel sources of it.

Given current gadget-dependent lifestyles, it seems nearly impossible to reduce electricity consumption. But while it may be hard, it is doable. 

Every room in your home can go green by using energy-efficient lighting, such as LED bulbs. Investing in rechargeable batteries and programmable thermostats saves money and power. You could also install motion-sensing lights that only switch on when someone is in the room. 

The other approach is finding alternate ways to generate power. Many states have incentives for homeowners to install solar panels on their roof. According to posigen.com, solar installation is both a positive step toward environmental protection and an investment in your home. You can enjoy the savings now, and future owners will appreciate a green home, too.

2. Go Brown to Go Green

In addition to making large changes like installing solar panels, you can take smaller steps as well. Start with a plan to compost food scraps. Composting is a process by which organic materials like food waste are converted into nutrient-rich soil. This not only reduces waste accumulation in trash incinerators, but also provides healthier soil for your garden.

Compost piles can be set up in wooden bins near a water source and must be turned occasionally to ensure air circulation. The compost heats up as the decomposition starts, after which it is allowed to cure for four weeks. The finished compost can be added to flower or vegetable beds or used as potting soil for planters. 

If you lack space for a backyard compost pile, consider vermicomposting (check it out here), which can be done in a bin indoors. All you need are carbon-rich materials (such as leaves), nitrogen-rich materials (food scraps), moisture, and air. 

Composting can decrease the amount of trash each household produces and reduce the need for chemical fertilizers in gardens. It can also save money in trash collection and landfill fees. So the next time you go to toss out egg shells and banana peels, think about starting a compost bin.

3. Make Your Own Cleaning Products 

Another way to go green while saving green is to use eco-sensitive cleaning products. Acidic vinegar kills bacteria, and alkaline baking soda loosens grime, which means it’s easy to make your own cleansing concoctions. 

It’s more economical and environmentally conscious to create nontoxic cleaners and disinfectants at home than store poisonous chemicals under the sink. It’s safer, too. Some oven cleaners and other products have harmful fumes and even fatal effects if ingested or used incorrectly. 

In addition to the vinegar- and baking soda–based cleansers mentioned above, you can use hydrogen peroxide as a toilet bowl cleaner. A mix of vinegar and olive oil makes an excellent wood polish. You can add a few drops of essential oils to these household ingredients and pour them into reusable spray bottles, adding a nice fragrance. 

While you’re spic-and-spanning with natural cleaning solutions, don’t forget to use organic cotton rags. Synthetic materials shed microplastics, and paper towels contribute to deforestation. Cotton cleaning cloths do neither. Along with that, remember not to waste water while cleaning. 

4.  Step Up to Upcycling 

Once you’ve composted in the kitchen and green-cleaned the bathroom, you can make your closet a planet-friendly zone by buying secondhand. The thrifting trend among the young is also great for the environment, and it’s growing in popularity. A 2021 ThredUp report found over 40% of Gen Z and Millennial consumers had purchased used clothes, accessories, or shoes in the previous year. 

The stigma associated with wearing secondhand threads is diminishing fast. Students and young professionals are proud to share that their statement jacket is from a thrift store or website. Once they’re done, they resell the clothing, donate it, or upcycle it. Faded t-shirts can be dyed, and ripped jeans always make the rounds on the fashion circuit. 

You, too, can get in on the upcycling action. Once you get comfortable with the scissors, you can try your hand at turning old clothes into totes, scarves and scrunchies. This life skill can save you a fortune. There is also a market for upcycling non-clothing items. It’s basically about making treasure out of trash. 

Teacups can turn into candles and bottles can become vases. Scraps of fabric, pieces of driftwood, and even rocks and leaves can be transformed into décor. All you need is a little creativity (or a quick Pinterest search) to refresh your living space on a budget. This trend not only helps you save big bucks, but also makes a significant impact on the environment. 

Environmentalism Begins at Home 

It’s easy to point fingers at large corporations and the private jets of the elite. However, average consumers should be self-accountable as well. Saving the planet is the responsibility of every individual. The first step is to recognize that over-consumption is detrimental to environmental and financial stability. 

Bad habits can be changed. Small but consistent steps can make a big difference. All you need is awareness and a willingness to adhere to an eco-friendly lifestyle. 

Last Updated: March 24, 2023

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