Green Living: 3 Ways to Make Your Household Green
It’s easy to look around the world today and realize that changes to the way we live need to be made to benefit Earth. It’s just as easy, though, to get completely overwhelmed by the number of changes you could make. Sometimes, the huge number of possibilities can paralyze us. If I can’t go 100%, all the way green, why should I even bother? It’s hard, it’s time consuming, it’s radical, and expensive!
It is hard to know where to begin, but I have some good news! It does not have to be hard, radical, or expensive, and every little bit helps! An even cooler fact—it can actually save you money!
Rather than focusing on completely changing your family’s lifestyle, break it down into a few easy habit changes. Once you get used to those, add in a few more. Before you know it, you will be one lean, green, money and Earth saving machine! Here are a few ideas to get your toes wet!
3 Inexpensive Ways to Make Your Household Green
Here are 3 ways you can make your household greener today.
Wash Your Laundry With Cold Water
A lot of people think that clothes need to be washed in hot water, and in some cases, that’s totally correct. But most of the time, you are totally fine to wash in cold water. Doing so is actually a great idea for many reasons—less shrinking, less stain setting, less energy used (the vast majority of energy used to wash clothes goes into heating the water), and more money in your pocket at the end of the month! I call that a win-win-win-win! And, just in case you were wondering, the hot water cycle doesn’t get hot enough to “disinfect” your clothes.
Use Old T-shirts Instead of Paper Towels
I’m sure this seems completely radical to a bunch of people, but bear with me. We all have about a million old t-shirts we never wear. You may even be like me and have a big stash of shirts you’ve been planning on using to make a quilt. Why not cut them into big squares and use them instead of paper towels? Imagine how much waste you produce just in paper towels each month. Instead, you could keep a couple dozen “home made” towels on hand, toss them in the laundry a couple times a week (on cold!) and voila! You save money on towels and cut back on your waste. Plus, you’ve used old tees hanging around that you probably weren’t going to use anyway. (If you’re still attached to the t-shirt quilt idea, just use the backs as towels and hang on to the fronts. That way you use the whole shirt instead of wasting the backs!)
Replace Meat With Beans
I will spare you the vegetarian lecture, but if you’re truly interested in going greener and/or saving money, you really should consider consuming less meat. There is a ton of information and research out there about how bad raising meat is for the environment. (Heck, there are entire books about it!) I’ll spare you the shocking statistics, but you should know that many feel that meat consumption is bad news for the environment (a simple Google search will give you a ton of information). Meat is also really expensive these days. To help your grocery budget and the planet, you can focus on a meal or two a week—replacing your chicken or beef with some sort of bean will save you a bunch of money and reduce your carbon footprint in no time!
Meri Daugherty is a happily married expecting mom and recent college graduate. She has two furbabies and is a huge animal lover and advocate. She is a firm believer in empowering people to make healthy choices and believes many changes start with food. She cooks gluten-free/vegan food and shares her life at sweetgreenhouse.
What are some of your favorite cheap ways for your family to be greener?
Feature image by Feelart.