5 Tips for Sustainable Living on a Budget

Many people have a goal to live more sustainably. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to find inexpensive, eco-friendly options. It almost always costs more to create ethically-made products — and those steep price tags can turn away prospective buyers. But did you know certain environmental practices can fit within your budget?

Here are a few tips to help you build an environmental-centric lifestyle on a budget.

1. Walk or Bike More Often

Here’s a simple way to start on your green journey. Let’s say you want to grab a beverage at a nearby coffee shop. You could drive a few blocks, but why not walk or bike instead? You can take your time to enjoy the exercise and air that many people take for granted. Unless your destination requires a bus, train or car, it’s best to choose transportation that doesn’t dispense countless carbon emissions into the air.

It’s free to walk or bike. You can even save money when you choose these options over other ways to travel. You’ll pay for less gas, and your vehicle won’t undergo as much wear and tear you’ll have to deal with later on. That’s a win-win for you and the planet.

2. Manage Your Home’s Thermostat

You can save money and energy when you lower your home’s thermostat. Many people worry about their finances. In fact, it’s evident that 30% experience constant stress related to money. Fortunately, small fixes can help relieve your anxiety. Most households can benefit when they keep their house a little warmer when it’s hot outside and a little cooler when it’s cold outside.

You could even install a programmable thermostat to adjust your home’s temperature automatically. This solution should make it easier and cheaper for you to manage your house’s indoor environment. Your furnace and air conditioner won’t have to work as hard, either. As a result, you’ll spend less on your monthly energy bill.

3. Buy Reusable Food Containers

You can look at this tip as an investment. If you don’t already own reusable plastic or glass containers, it’s time to make a few purchases. These containers pay for themselves almost immediately. You’ll be able to use them for different leftovers. You can even pack them with lunches to take to work or school. They’re generally very durable and easy to clean.

As a result, your food will stay fresh for longer. You’ll use less plastic wrap and aluminum foil to store your food — and that helps your wallet and the planet. It’s also possible you’ll be more inclined to use your leftovers rather than cook more. You can even use reusable jars and bins to store bulk items like oats, rice and pasta. These efforts can transform your kitchen into a more sustainable space.

4. Don’t Use Too Much Water

A long, hot shower doesn’t only contribute to a higher water bill. The average American household uses 138 gallons per day for daily activities. It takes immense energy to heat water — and not every person on Earth has access to this resource. That’s why it’s essential to limit your water usage as much as possible. Otherwise, you’ll continue to use unnecessary water when you could take steps to do differently.

It’s essential to take a more conscious approach. Here are a few ways to reduce water usage at home:

  • Use rainwater to water plants and grass.
  • Look for an energy-saver option on your dishwasher.
  • Shower for a shorter time with colder water.
  • Fix leaky faucets and pipes.
  • Turn off the water when you brush your teeth and wash your face.
  • Only wash your clothes when you have a large load to fill up the machine.

These tips can help you be more mindful when it comes to water usage. You don’t have to make expensive sacrifices to heal the planet. It’s almost always as simple as shorter showers and fixed faucets. Make sure your family knows about your efforts to use less water so that they can participate.

5. Switch to DIY Cleaning Products

It’s no secret that today’s cleaning products are expensive. They aren’t beneficial for the planet, either — especially when you consider how many chemicals they contain. Fortunately, it’s easy to make your own. With some simple hacks, you’ll be able to ditch your current cleaning products for safe and effective DIY alternatives. No more harsh ingredients.

You’ll need rubbing alcohol, white vinegar and baking soda to start. Many DIY cleaning products call for essential oils for scent purposes, but you don’t have to include those. You can use these components interchangeably to make an all-purpose cleaner, as well as other specialty cleaners for brass and windows. Remember to store your finished product inside a reusable bottle.

You can lower your shopping bill and help save the planet when you make your own DIY cleaning products.

Consider These Cheap Ways to Become More Eco-Friendly

You don’t have to spend money on fancy bamboo containers and expensive ethical clothes to make a difference. Those efforts do help — but it’s always best to start small and work your way up. Try these ideas for a more eco-conscious lifestyle on a budget.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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