Being frugal and being eco-friendly often work hand-in-hand. So here are some great eco-friendly tips that can help you save money! Talk about a win-win!
The more use we get out of items, the more we save money and reduce our footprint on the earth. Less garbage, less energy when acquiring new items, less waste. All these things go hand-in-hand.
10 Eco-Friendly Tips That Will Help You Save Money
1. Walk or Ride Bikes Instead of Drive
Even if you are not ready to ditch the car, you probably can walk or ride bikes to many of the places you ordinarily drive to. You will save money on gas, and on wear and tear of your car, you will be helping reduce pollution AND get some extra exercise in! It’s such a great eco-friendly tip to help you save money.
2. Take Public Transportation
Taking public transportation is not only cheap, but it is more eco-friendly than using private vehicles. If possible, consider using the bus or train to get to different destinations.
3. Save Paper and Circulars for Crafts
I have an old milk crate (I honestly have no clue where I got it from- possibly from my husband’s previous job) that I fill with all the old papers, leaflets, boxes, etc., that we receive. Plastic packaging, things that we get in the mail, toilet paper rolls all get dumped into the box. I have also put in some crayons, markers, tape, glue, and safety scissors. My child can sit and play with it for hours. I am always throwing in new materials, so there is something new to play with.
My kids can sit and create tons of stuff from all the “junk” in there. They rarely get new, white paper to color with. If I have to print out papers for something- the extras and mess-ups get put in as well. Think school notices, old worksheets, etc. They have nice clear backs for the kids to color and stick stickers on. The papers from the stickers get colored on or cut when the stickers are gone as well. While many of these will still end up in the trash eventually, it still gives us a whole entirely new use for it.
4. Get Used Stuff for Cheap
Books, clothes, furniture, and toys are all things that You can get for extremely cheap if you don’t mind getting them second-hand- and there is no reason why you should care! Buy nothing groups, Craigslist, Garage Sales, and Thrift Stores are great places to search for used items. This will save you so much money and is very eco-friendly!
5. Use Hand Me Downs
I save my kid’s clothes and try to use them as hand-me-downs as much as possible. Even if you are very particular about dressing your kids nicely or following strict gender norms out of the house, there is no reason why pajamas or play clothes can’t be the “wrong color” or a little faded or out of date. Many of the clothes actually remain in excellent condition, so they are perfectly able to be used from kid to kid. White shirts are particularly able to be passed down as they are easy to bleach and keep clean.
6. Hang Clothes to Dry
Speaking of clothes lasting- I try as much as possible not to use a dryer. I hang all my clothes. (I do dry towels, socks, and underwear). This reduces the number of dryer loads I have to do (save on electricity), and the clothes last much longer when hung to dry rather than put in the dryer. Light clothing, in particular, stays shinier and fresh when hung to dry in the sun. of course, in the winter, when there is minimal sunlight, this does force us to be more on top of the laundry so that things dry in time for when we need them.
7. Repurpose Old Clothes For Other Uses
Clothes that are beyond repair or ripped, or can no longer be worn get cut up into rags. I have a drawer full of rags of various sizes and materials. I can cut my paper towel supply significantly using the rags I have in my house. Old undershirts and pajamas work particularly well for this, as do kids’ t-shirts.
8. Reuse Plastic Containers
It is hard to avoid plastic packaging altogether. Since many spices and other items come in plastic jars, I try to reuse them as much as possible. I use them for other food or toys or to organize the junk drawer. If I can’t find a good use for them, I give them to my kids to play with. They can play kitchen or use them for dirt or water pouring activities. I also sometimes give them old shampoo bottles to use as bath toys.
9. Freeze food
I wrote about this before, but it’s worth re-mentioning. I take fruits and vegetables that are going bad and put them in the freezer for smoothies, pies, or stock. If you save vegetable scraps, like peels or tops and bottoms of vegetables, you can combine them with chicken bones and scraps to make a delicious chicken stock used as a base for chicken soup or other chicken recipes.
10. Reuse Glass Containers
Glass is an extremely eco-friendly material, but you can still reuse it as much as you can. Many items come in glass containers (pickles, olives, coffee, to name a few), and you can easily wash them out and use them to store different things such as soups, olives, and other items. You can even use one to make a calm-down jar for your kids!
Eco-Friendly Tips That Will Help You Save Money
What are things that you do in your home that are both eco-friendly and frugal? When you live a life of frugality and are intentional with your items and your material needs, I think you will naturally be eco-friendly. However, it is okay if your intentions are not to be eco-friendly or save the earth and be eco-conscious. It’s okay to do these things only to save money because you are poor or otherwise frugal.
There are so many things that naturally frugal people do that are also eco-friendly. Think about things like using reusable water bottles so as not to waste plastic bottles. You may do that because of money, but it is also eco-friendly.
What do you think? Are you both frugal and eco-friendly? What are your favorite eco-friendly tips to help you save money?