If you’ve ever wanted to use natural products, you probably know they’re quite expensive. I know a lot of people who have the desire to protect the environment but simply can’t afford to without a large paycheck. My other half always say, you can have the expensive stuff for less than the cheap brands IF you play your cards right. (Well, he can say that coz he buys good quality brands when they’re on special, and they last till the next special). Good right?
Buy hey, how can you do the same with eco-friendly products? You’re probably thinking you don’t see eco-friendly products on special, so how can you buy them cheap? Well, they say small steps add up to make a big difference, you just have to know which ones to take. Here I’m going to tell you how you can make your home Eco-friendly, for less. Who says you can only do this with eco products from the supermarket?
Tip #1 Reuse
Most of us know the 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. However, when we work on conserving, we often leave reuse out for some reason. There’re numerous tips on how to reuse common products and from other people. But what you need most is creativity. There are soo many items in our homes that can be reused, we just have to be creative.
Someone told me they use toilet paper holders to sow seeds for the vegetable patch. And someone uses old yogurt containers to make plant labels – they just cut them into strips. For my little one’s first birthday, I used old coffee jars as candle and cutlery holders. I can also refill these jars with homemade foods or use them as impromptu vases. Basically most things around the house, with a little thought there, can be reused.
Tip #2 Use environmentally friendly products
Nowadays we see more and more “natural” or eco-friendly” products at the supermarket. And yes, they’re often expensive.
Now, just because they’re more natural than regular products, doesn’t mean they’re entirely natural!
If you want inexpensive, natural, safe products, why not just make them yourself? Vinegar is a great product used to clean and disinfect glass and other surfaces. Vinegar isn’t expensive!
To remove stubborn stains, just add some baking soda to the vinegar. Voila! You have your own inexpensive and natural cleaner. Some quick searching online will lead you to hundreds of other natural safe home-made cleaning products.
Tip #3 Reduce / Conserve
So, going green is not only better for the environment, it’s also better for us. Conserving resources also helps save us money, which is something most of us (I for one) are happy to live with.
Who doesn’t want to lower their bills and live green without sacrificing style or comfort?
Water and energy are 2 of the resources we can conserve. Remember, saving doesn’t mean saving big at once, it’s all about small steps.
Reduce water – here are a few tips on saving water.
- Shut off the water when you not using it, e.g while you brush your teeth
- Take showers that are a few minutes shorter
- Only run full loads of laundry and dishes OR fill the sink to wash dishes.
- Buy from sustainable producers. These are farmers, ranchers, and other producers that use techniques that pollute less and use less water. You can do some research online or ask at your local organic market to find these products.
Following these tips will help us save big in the long run.
Use less energy
Some of us don’t have the money to buy hybrid cars or convert our houses to solar power BUT we can make big differences with small changes.
- Buy energy efficient appliances. They may be more expensive, but make up for the increased cost in lower energy bills
- Unplug chargers when you’re not using them. Did you know, cell phone and other chargers use up power even if there’s nothing attached to them? Yeah!
- Put devices with remotes, like TVs, DVDs, and stereos, on a power strip and turn off when you’re not using them. These devices use a lot of power to run the remote receiver even when the device is off.
- Walk or ride a bike for short trips instead of using a car.
- Maximise natural light. Let solar energy warm up and brighten your home naturally.
- Buy local products. It takes energy to transport food and other products across the country. Buying local not only supports your local economy, it helps them use less energy.
When it comes to saving energy and water, it’s a great idea to get the whole family involved, and that means kids too. You can even make it a game.
Found these tips useful? Is your home already eco-friendly or are you struggling with this? I’d love to hear your experience.