You can’t scroll through your Facebook feed without seeing someone posting their latest natural remedy or the gross information that they discovered when they used their Think Dirty app at Target yesterday.
These days, it feels like everywhere you look someone is giving tips to live a greener lifestyle.
While it makes sense to keep the earth in mind, a lot of these tips aren’t that easily implemented by people who are on a budget or lack certain skills. I know that I certainly can’t afford to drop hundreds of dollars on solar panels, rain barrels, or eating 100% organic all of the time. I definitely wish that I could, and I’m sure that you feel the same.
I mean, I’d love to install solar panels on my roof or a low-flow plumbing system, but right now what we really need are sustainable tips that help the earth and don’t destroy your pocketbook.
I want to help. I really do. So I did some research to bring you these six tips that you can put into practice at home without expert skills or a lot of money.
Start a Home Compost
Home composts arenít just for tree huggers and eccentrics anymore. Theyíre a simple way to considerably green up your home, by reducing the amount of waste you send to the landfill. Instead of putting those food scraps in the garbage, collect them using a small countertop compost bin. If you’re worried about the smell of compost in your house, many countertop composters (like this one) come with a charcoal filter which naturally keeps smells at bay.
Once your bin is full, you can transfer it to your outdoor composting bin (or area).
The really great thing about this is that composting takes very little effort. You just sprinkle some water on your bin of old food and yard clippings, stir it up, and nature will take its course, turning your waste into free organic fertilizer. Here’s a quick guide to getting started.
Why waste money paying for water when you can get it for free? Just set a barrel or old garbage bin under your gutters when youíre expecting a rain shower, and you’ll be doing mother nature a favor. Then you can use the rainwater you collect to water your garden and plants. Because this post is focused on being both sustainable and frugal, here is a great DIY rain barrel tutorial that won’t break the bank.
Want to earn even more bonus points?
Instead of leaving your sprinklers on throughout the year, you’ll be able to water your yard with the barrels of rain water you collect. This water is a lot easier on the earth because unlike tap water, it’s not being diverted away from streams and natural reservoirs to get your house.
Join a Local CSA
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, a type of organization that lets the local community support nearby growers who practice sustainable farming. When my family joined a local CSA, we found that we were not only able to get fresh fruits and veggies that were harvested locally, but we also had access to local meats and even bulk rice and beans.
Our local CSA ended up saving us a boatload of money. When you join a CSA youíre essentially buying into a farmer’s harvest, helping fund the costs of getting the crop into the ground and tending it.
In return, you get a share of their harvest in the form of a weekly produce delivery to your home or a distribution point near you. Use this page to find a list of CSAs in your region.
But, I realize that CSAs are not going to be accessible for everyone.
If you can’t find a local CSA (or you think that you could never use all the fruits and veggies you get), you may want to consider freeze dried foods, which have been a huge lifesaver for us. There’s less waste, which means that I’m saving tons of money on my grocery bill every month, and my kids love to eat the crunchy fruits and veggies as snacks.
Use DIY or Natural Cleaners
Most conventional cleaners contain noxious chemicals that are harmful to manufacture and pollute our water supplies when they run down the drain. Remember that Think Dirty app I mentioned? Go download it (it’s free), then scan just 3 of your favorite cleaning products. I’ll wait.
Gross right?! Most of the cleaning products that are on the shelf (even beloved Mrs. Meyers) score way too high for my comfort level. I try to keep things that score above a 3 out of my house completely because chemicals are scary.
For most cleaning jobs you don’t even need those harsh chemicals; you can actually make cheap, nontoxic solutions from ingredients you already have at home, including:
- baking soda, and
One of my favorite natural cleaners costs me just $1.00 for a full bottle of natural cleaner that will disinfect my countertops, clean my bathrooms, and kill germs.
Thieves Cleaner is super affordable, made with essential oils and natural ingredients, and it takes literally one capful of the concentrate to make a whole bottle of cleaning solution that will safely and effectively clean your entire house.
Eat Less Meat
Did you know that if you cut out one meal of chicken every week for a year and replaced it with vegetarian food, it would be equivalent to taking half a million cars off the road? That’s a lot of cars!
Even if you can’t imagine yourself going vegetarian, replacing just one meal of meat a week wth a vegetarian option can drastically cut down the greenhouse gasses that result from raising livestock.
Can’t stand the thought of not eating meat, consider replacing the meat that you buy in the grocery for freeze dried meat instead. This shelf stable option ends up with less waste for you and makes tossing a cup of diced chicken into some broth for an easy soup a fast and easy option.
Invest in a Quality Power Strip
Some electronics are real energy suckers-they keep drawing energy from the wall, even whey are turned completely off. That’s definitely not good for your power bill. And frankly, it’s kind of scary if you ask me!
Plugging all your electronics into a power strip is an easy way to ensure that your electronics are cut off from the main power source and won’t be wasting energy when you’re not using them.
It’s a handy way to be frugal and save energy at the same time. They even make wall mount surge protectors, which are great for the kitchen.
So that’s it! 6 simple things that you can do, starting today, to live more sustainably and save some money in the process. So here’s how to get started:
- Download the Think Dirty app (it’s free).
- Scan all the gross things in your house.
- Replace chemical-laden products with more natural alternatives, like Thieves Cleaner.
- Eat a little bit less meat.
- Make your own rain barrel.
- Find a local CSA or join ThriveLife.
And that’s it!
If scanning your home with the Think Dirty app has scared the crap out of you (I know it scared the crap out of me!), consider ditching the chemicals for something more natural. I recommend starting with the Thieves Premium Starter Kit, which will get you all set up to clean your home naturally and safely:
If you’re ready to get started, I would love to help you kick the gross out of your home. Click HERE to get your kit, and we’ll get your home healthy together.
What things do you do to live a sustainable lifestyle?