There are a number of sustainable green solutions ♻️ that you can adopt that will not only help the planet but will also save you money! Here are ten ingenious green solutions to help the planet and your pocketbook.
1. Line Dry Your Clothes
One of the easiest green home solutions is to line-dry your clothes old-school on a clothesline. (check with your homeowner’s association or lease agreement first.) Not only is line-drying great for saving on energy bills, but it’s also environmentally friendly, better for your clothes and your clothes will smell amazing.
2. Switch to Cold Water
Today’s energy-efficient machines work much better than their predecessors, and cold water can get clothes just as clean and can save on energy costs associated with hot water use.
Even switching from hot to warm water and a cold rinse will save you money. Always wait until you have a full load before washing your clothes.
3. Programmable Thermostats
If no one is home during the day, who are you keeping the house warm/cool for? Programmable thermostats are a green solution that turns on the furnace or the air conditioning just before you get home, saving you money and energy costs when the house is unoccupied.
Also, turn the heat down a couple of degrees or the air conditioning up a couple of degrees. You probably won’t notice it, but your energy consumption and bank account will.
4. Toilets, showers and faucets
Toilets use a lot of water. You can install variable flush toilets that allow you to control the amount of water required to deal with the contents. If new plumbing fixtures are out of your budget, wrap a household brick in a waterproof plastic bag and place it in the toilet tank. It will reduce the amount of water used for each flush.
Low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators are inexpensive, easy to install (you don’t need a plumber!) and reduce the amount of water you use without compromising water pressure.
5. Vampire appliances
Did you know appliances continue to draw electricity as long as they are plugged into an outlet, even when they are turned off? If you are not using an appliance, lamp, toaster or coffeemaker, unplug it. Plug your television, printer, monitor and other electronics into a power bar, and then turn off the power bar at the end of the day.
6. Swap, don’t shop
Did you know that the fashion industry is responsible for 2.1 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions? Instead of purchasing new, consider these green alternatives:
- Shop your closet. Most people only wear a fraction of the clothes in their closet, so pull everything out and shop your closet. Create new outfits with pieces you already have, and combine them in new ways or in different color combinations.
- Thrift Vintage and thrift stores keep items out of landfill, and it also gives you the opportunity to create unique looks at a fraction of the cost. You can often get brand-new clothing if you go to thrift stores in more affluent neighborhoods.
- Swap Get some friends together, offer beverages and snacks, and have a fashion swap. Everyone can bring clothing items they no longer want or need, and everyone can “shop” each other’s closets. Anything left at the end of the night can be donated to charity.
- Barter or trade There are a number of groups on Instagram, Facebook and community centers that allow members to barter or trade for items free of charge. People post items they have or need, and others can give, trade or arrange a barter.
- Buy Second Hand Consider second hand for furniture, pictures, home decor and kitchen items. Picture frames, mirrors, kitchen gadgets, dishes and glassware and home decor can be found at your local thrift store for a fraction of the price.
7. Go Digital
Read your newspaper, books or magazines online. Not only are digital subscriptions less expensive than home delivery, but there are also no gasoline emissions or items to dispose of when you are finished reading.
E-readers are economical, portable and can hold a great deal of reading material. Most tablets also act as e-readers. You can often borrow e-books from the library on your tablet or e-reader, and when the books are due, they delete automatically from your device. Plus, programs like Libby or Overdrive allow you to use your library card to borrow e-books from all over the world.
It can be easy to order food at the end of a day but consider the carbon footprint. There are the takeout containers, carbon emissions from delivery, plus the cost. A simple way to cut costs and your carbon footprint is to cook at home with locally sourced ingredients. You don’t have to be a chef to turn out simple, delicious meals, and there are lots of online resources to help you out. Plus, you will be surprised how much money you save when you aren’t ordering takeout every night.
9. Replace your lawn
Sure, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, but what about all that care and maintenance? Consider swapping your lawn for groundcover plants such as creeping thyme or clover, or turn your lawn into a pollinator garden with native plants that will attract bees and butterflies.
10. Repurpose, Repair, Reuse, Recycle
Buy items that can be repurposed or reused. For example, reuse glass jars for storage in your pantry, or for crafts, nails, bolts or buttons. Repair clothing or household items, or repurpose them. Buy products in packaging that can be fully recycled, buy in bulk (and use your glass jars to store) and avoid plastic wrap.
Small changes by many people can make a big difference to the future of the planet. With a little time and effort, you can explore what green solutions are right for you, while saving some money at the same time.