Does Lowering Your Household Eco-Footprint Need to Be Expensive?

Most of us realize that we need to be aware of our environmental impact. That being said, the degree to which we can actually manage decreasing our impact will vary greatly. For example, someone struggling to get by is hardly going to switch to more expensive organic food, or pay for clothes from more sustainable sources if it means they won’t have enough money to get through the month.

While some helpful measures such as the best sustainable electric company initiatives can pass on the savings to their consumers, not all avenues are as reliable as this. So, does lowering your household eco-footprint need to be expensive? Check out these ways to positively impact both the environment AND your budget!

Mindful Consumption

Consider the idea that being more eco-conscious can actually save you money in the long run. It’s as simple as being more mindful of what you use and how you use it. 

Start by looking at your energy consumption. Small changes, like switching off lights when you leave a room or unplugging devices when they’re not in use, can add up over time. Some plugs even have standby features. These habits might seem tiny, but they can make a difference to both your bills and your carbon footprint.

Consider the Lifecycle of Everyday Items

There’s something deeply satisfying about giving old possessions a new lease on life or just avoiding that presumed replacement. You don’t have to be a DIY expert to repurpose items around your home and do well with them. Perhaps that old t-shirt could become a cleaning rag or old clothes for gardening, or those glass jars could store leftovers. 

It’s not about being perfect at all – even small changes can make a difference over time. If you learn how to repair the sole on a shoe or head to a local repairshop, that could help you save money on a new item and also contribute a little less to a disposable product line. Moreover, you might find yourself saving money on household items you’d otherwise buy. It’s a rare win-win situation that can make you feel good about your choices.

For clothing, consider the cost per wear. Or for other items, the cost per use. Sometimes it’s worth investing in an item that cost more initially, but will outlast the cheaper item.

Local Community Initiatives

Remember that making eco-friendly choices is easier when you’re not going it alone. You could look into local community efforts that might make use of your labor, but no expense. Maybe there’s a neighborhood compost program, or a local produce exchange. Maybe people are just getting together to clean up park litter. These kinds of projects often don’t cost much (if anything) to join, but they can have a big impact. It’s also nice to socialize and meet people trying to do good by the environment alongside you.

I love my Buy Nothing group! These are hyper-local groups where people ask to get or borrow items they need and also give away items. I have received some AMAZING items for my family and also given away some. You would be surprised what I’ve seen offered, from high quality boots and cosmetics, industrial shredders, seeds and starts, cat litter, school supplies, food, computers, and so so much more.

And if you don’t have a formal group in your area, you can always borrow and barter on your own!

With this advice, lowering your household eco-footprint doesn’t have to come at the cost of your budget.

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