Let’s be honest, an eco-friendly lifestyle can be intimidating.
It doesn’t help when you hear about people who live off-grid on self-sustaining farms in the middle of nowhere. They set the bar so high you can feel a little dizzy!
Not only is that not the life for you, but it’s also expensive. Who has the money to buy up acres of land and build an eco-house? Not a lot of people, that’s for sure.
But you don’t have to renounce life as you know it to make a positive change for the environment. Nor do you have to drop a fortune to become green. Check out these eco-friendly tips. They’re small, affordable habits that have a big pay off.
1. Switch up Your Commute
Your car is a convenient way to zip around town, but it’s a major contributor to air pollution. Your tailpipe releases carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and other smog-forming emissions every time you turn the key.
As it burns up chemicals into the air, it also eats through your money as you’re forced to pay for gas and maintenance.
Between depreciation, fuel, oil, and tune-ups, your commute costs 34 cent per mile. The average person drives 16 miles one way to get to work. By that math, the average commute costs a little over $10 a day or more than $2,000 a year.
Although you can’t stop commuting altogether, you can reduce what you spend (and how much you pollute) by changing the way you get to work.
- Walking or biking if you live close enough
- Carpooling with co-workers, friends, or people you meet on these ride-share communities
- Swapping your keys for a monthly transit pass
2. Go Paperless
What’s worse than getting a bill that you have to pay? Knowing that a tree died for it to arrive in your mailbox.
Every year, paper production in the U.S. uses roughly 68 million trees. A lot of it ends up going to waste — literally. Paper makes up 16 percent of what goes into our landfills.
You can keep some paper out of the dumps by opting to go digital whenever you can, including:
- Financial companies like banks, lenders, investors, and credit card companies
- Utility providers, such as water, electricity, and gas
- Cable, Internet, and cell phone carriers
- Auto and health insurance companies
It should be easy to make the switch. In some cases, you might even receive a small credit for going paperless.
Some companies are already committed to going as paperless as possible. If you’ve ever relied on an online installment loan, you know most of the process happens on your computer screen.
Without paper applications and other printouts, it’s naturally less wasteful than traditional banking.
It’s also more convenient. To see the other ways online installment loans differ from mainstream options, click here for more information.
3. Embrace Meatless Mondays
Although tasty, that slab of bacon you’re eyeing for breakfast has a huge environmental impact. The world’s meat production takes an astonishing amount of energy. It also produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all the cars in the world.
Scientists say avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your eco-footprint. It’s also an easy way to lower how much you pay at the grocery store.
Switch out beef and chicken for plant-based proteins like pulses and tofu to see an immediate impact on your budget. Your grocery budget will plummet once you limit how often you splurge on steaks, burgers, and sausages.
Going green doesn’t have to involve radical changes. It can include something as small as using tofu in every stir fry and driving to work with a friend. By making these subtle changes, you’ll reduce how much energy you consume and how much money you keep in the bank.