Happy Thursday friends! Also saving green is more an American concept since I live in Canada where our money is a rainbow and the whole place is like a theme park.
Now if you are like me and dreaming of living the nomad life but working a 9-5 one thing that you have to think about when it comes to planning trips is money. The awesome thing about sustainable living is that it usually comes with the benefit of saving you money!
- With more and more grocery stores charging for plastic bags you save money using reusable bags.
- Bonus: you can even get reusable produce bags if you want to green up your shopping trips even more.
- Buying in bulk is usually less expensive than buying individual items. You can go to the bulk bins with a reusable container and tare the weight of the container and have no waste.
- Now depending where you live it may be cheaper to buy produce from farmers markets than the grocery store. These have the added benefit of not having the pollution from long transport but also are typically unpackaged.
- Replace paper towels with cloths and cloth napkins for a one time expense that you don’t have to worry about again!
- Grow your own! This can go one of two ways but I mean your produce (I suppose depending where you live and legality this could save you money if other things may be your vice of choice).
- The Wildman and I make a list in the early spring of vegetables and fruit we use all the time that would be beneficial to grow ourselves. This year we planted a cherry tree, potatoes, green beans, sugar snap peas, spaghetti squash, zucchini, raspberries, carrots, kale, spinach, arugula, tomatoes and chives. Next year we want to add basil, garlic, onions and apples.
- Make things from scratch. Bake your own bread, make your own granola bars, homemade ketchup and salad dressing. This is not only healthier but so much cheaper!
- Ladies – sorry gents avoid this one – get a menstrual cup. No word of a lie this thing had a profound positive impact on my life. It’s like that time of the month hardly exists now. Even if you are like “meh environment and money” this thing is worth it. You just have to get over the ew-y factor but once you use it it’s no big deal.
- Shop secondhand. One of my most stylish friends (and Vietnam buddy) buys most of her clothes from thrift stores and she looks amazing. She pays maybe 1/6th of what I do on clothes and looks a lot more put together. Lets just say there’s a reason I blog about this stuff and not fashion.
- Bring your own glass – again most places offer a discount if you bring a reusable mug for coffee and it is so much cheaper to refill a water bottle rather than buying one every time you’re thirsty. This is mostly limited to western countries since I’ve had a hard time finding a public toilet in some countries let alone a water fountain or sink.
- Do free things with friends instead of going out to eat. I’ve started trying to make my friend date activities free (and usually fitness related) like going for a run, walking in the river valley, generally involves being in nature and moving my body.
- Unplug electronics – turning things off doesn’t necessarily mean they are off anymore. Theres a thing called vampire energy (this is supposed to mean spoooooooky font). Vampire energy is when a piece of electronics is on standby mode rather than off. The EPA estimates that this vampire energy accounts for $10 billion in energy use a year. That is bananas. The easiest way to deal with this is just to plug things into a power bar and turn off the power bar at night.
- Make your own cleaning products – I always used to buy the “green” cleaning products then I realized I can make my own and its a lot cheaper and potentially more environmentally friendly
- Ditch your car – I know a lot of my bills come from my car; car payments, maintenance, insurance, gas. If you live in a town where it is feasible to not have a car it can save you a bunch of money. Public transit or bike commuting save a lot of money.
- Wash clothes in cold water – 85%-90% of energy used for laundry comes from heating the water. This can have mega savings for your utilities bill.
- Alternative energy – other than the cost of set up (which may be prohibitive) if you can get into generating your own energy either through solar, wind, geothermal, whatever you can not only potentially eliminate that bill but sell excess back to the energy company.
If you managed to do all of these things you could likely reduce your monthly expenses by $500-$1000/month. Think of the rad trips you could take with that kind of extra cash-ish at the end of the month.
Any of you have great green green tips?