Earth Day has come and gone and maybe you stumbled across an article or two online about reducing your carbon footprint. The raw vegans insist that eating animal products is single handedly destroying the planet. The anti plastic folks are insisting that you stop buying milk in plastic jugs and instead carry it home directly from the farm in glass bottles. And then you have the real hard core environmentalists who tell you that you need to do away with toilet paper and use only washable cloth scraps to clean your bum. Can you say ‘not gonna happen’? You need realistic advice that fits into your busy life. You also need to figure out how to go green without going broke!
The truth is, humans are seriously messing up planet Earth. Every breath we take, every meal we eat, and every diaper clad child we change has a negative impact on the world around us. But, reducing our carbon footprint doesn’t have to mean making huge changes in our lives. Every single baby step counts on the road to green living. Want to know what YOU can do to lighten your carbon footprint without resorting to washing your toilet wipes? Learn how to go green with these simple ideas:
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How to Go Green Without Going Broke
- Put away the credit card: Yes, going green can actually be good for your budget. Humans have way too much stuff and every time you head out to your favorite big box store and buy another set of curtains you don’t need, you are contributing to the ‘overstuffing’ of America. Rethink your purchases before deciding whether you really need something. Leaving the credit card at home gives you time to think before buying. If your closet already contains 72 pairs of shoes, chances are you don’t need pair number 73. The first step in learning how to go green is to learn to live a simpler life.
- Look in your pantry: Keeping a well stocked pantry is one of the easiest ways to live a greener life. Who needs that pricy jar of ‘all natural’ sugar scrub when you have all the ingredients on hand to make your own. At only a few pennies per use, homemade sugar scrubs and other DIY projects are a frugal way to go green.
- Reuse it rather than throw it away: Sure, it’s nice when you look in your pantry and see a shelf full of matching canisters but did you really need them? How many pasta sauce jars have you tossed out over the last few months that could easily have been washed and refilled with rice, dry beans or pasta? That matching set of canisters probably cost a pretty penny but those old jars? Those were free! And giving them a home in your pantry keeps them out of the landfill. Turn an old pasta sauce jar into a DIY Liquid Soap Dispenser or create a powdered sugar dusting jar from an old mason jar.
- Make it yourself: Buying things premade is not only pricy but also contributes a whole lot of packaging waste into the landfills. Learn to make up a batch of homemade cookies instead of buying that plastic wrapped tray of cookies with ingredients you can’t pronounce. Bar cookies are fast and easy and your kids will think you are the most awesome mom on the street. Learning how to go green can be a delicious lifestyle trend!
- Eat real food, not food like substances: Next time you go grocery shopping, look at your cart. What’s in it? How much of the food you buy has gone directly from farm to table without stopping at a processing plant of some sort? Meat, fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and minimally processed dairy products should make up the majority of your grocery cart. Those items are not only the healthiest but they are also the items with the smallest carbon footprint. Sure, organic food is nice if it fits into your budget but not everyone has an unlimited cash supply. Skip the individually wrapped, overly processed and highly packaged foods for a smaller carbon footprint. And most likely a smaller waistline as well! Oh, and if you occasionally still crave neon orange cheese puffs? Go ahead and splurge occasionally. Baby steps remember? Learn how to go green for better health but remember it is okay to treat yourself occasionally!
- Start thinking like your grandparents: Older generations understood the value of a dollar because they didn’t have anywhere near as many of them as we do today. Our grandparents learned to fix things that were broken rather than throwing them away. They bought only what they needed because they didn’t have the money to spend on frivolous purchases. They believed in quality rather than quantity when it came to spending hard earned dollars. Adapt a few of these ideas and you will automatically start reducing your carbon footprint.
Learning how to go green does not have to be difficult. There is no need to invest in hemp sandals and live in tree forts to reduce your impact on our planet. Make a few small changes in the way you live every day to help ensure that we have a clean and healthy planet to pass on to our children! Check out GoGreen.org for more green living tips!
Do you have any tips on how to go green without going broke?
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.