8 Ways To Be Eco-friendly WITHOUT SPENDING ANY MONEY
Not a single dime.
There is a huge misconception that being eco-friendly is expensive, but the truth is being eco-friendly often leads to saving money! To break this myth, I've decided to show you how to be eco-friendly without spending a single dime. Yes, really.
Tip #1: When dining out, choose fingerfood! More times than we like to admit, we will forget out reusable utencils. So what do you do when you're out and suddenly a food craving hits?? Avoid sinlge-use utencils by ordering fingerfood! That means french fries, burgers, burritos, pizza, just to name a few popular options. Anything that you can eat with your hands that doesn't require a fork, knife, or spoon.
Tip #2: Dining out purposes the dreaded dilemma: the plastic straw. This is an easy one to forget as well, but remember to ask for no straw when at a resturant or drive-thru. One of the best ways to reduce single-use plastic is to refuse it, which lowers the demand!
Tip #3: If you can't give your money, give your time! It's always nice to donate to nonprofits or support local business, but not everyone is in a financial position to do so. Easy solution, give your time! Taking a few hours out of your week/weekend to volunteer a helping hand at a local nonprofit, organization or local farm is a positive, direct way to helping our planet. For New Jersey residents reading this, check out Jersey Cares. Great website, which I personally use to find volunteer opportunites in my area. If you aren't in NJ, look around! I guarantee there's always a place or group that would deeply appreciate your time.
Tip #4 Clean lint out of your dryer macchine. This is a tip that is good for the planet, your wallet, and your own safety. If the dryer is clogged with a thick layer of lint, the dryer must work harder to perform its task. That means a more expensive energy bill and a higher chance of fire since lint is highly flammable. So for the good of everyone, clean the lint!
Tip #5: Glasses > Contacts. Choose to wear glasses instead of contacts. I use to wear contacts everyday, which meant I was throwing away 2 plastic contacts every day along with the containers. 4 pieces of single use plastic. Every day. Yikes. I eventually decided that I simply didn't like my current glasses design. So I got new frames and embraced how I looked with glasses. Fast forward a year, I don't miss contacts at all. I feel confident in my glasses and am more at ease that I eliminated all that potential waste. If you really need to wear contacts, choose the ones that last a whole month compared to the daily ones.
Tip #6: No Samples! Although we are now in the middle of a pandemic and things like sample stands are not available anymore, this is still a good tip to keep in mind for the future. You know when you go to a supermarket or perhaps a local downtown area and a stand is giving out free samples of food with styrofoam plates and single use plastic utencils? Yeah. Don't take the samples. They are almost always packaged or given out in single use materials. This may take some self-control, but it's for a better planet!
Tip #7: Clean out your recycables. Recycling is the last resort to reducing waste, but if you are going to recycle, do it right. Leaving cans and jars with food still in them like sauce in a sauce jar will cause major recycling problems. 25% of recycling is contaminated according to the National Waste & Recycling Association. Once recycling is contaminated, it can't be recycled and can lead to a whole batch being un-recycable. Simply give those cans, plastic containers, and glass jars/bottles a quick rinse out before tossing them in the bin.
Tip #8 Shower Playlist! This is a tip for anyone like past me where I would shower for almost an hour. AN HOUR. I get it, showers are calming, warm, and a time to relax. But there's other ways to unwind that don't waste so much water. To avoid taking long showers, make a shower playlist. Whatever vibes /mood you want for your shower. The goal is to take a shower witin 2-3 songs, which is about 8-12 minutes. The songs will help you know how much time you have left to scrub a dub dub!
There you have it! Not a single dime spent, but money saved actually! Being eco-friendly isn't all about getting the latest and greatest sustainable options. Sometimes it's the simple, small acts that can ripple into larger, positive effects!