With Earth Day just a week away, it is a good idea to start thinking about ways we can all reduce our carbon footprint. While it may seem best to start driving a Prius or installing solar panels, you don’t need to make a change that big to have an impact. In fact, the best part about “going green” is you can actually save money in the process. Sometimes there is a small upfront expenditure, but the overall savings are substantial. If you’re looking for ways to save money and reduce your personal impact on the environment, here are a few small changes you can make.
1. Decorate with Plants
Plants of all kinds make for lovely home decor, but most importantly, they act as all natural air filters. Mix it up with a combination of traditional ferns, as well as some succulents. Spider plants are a great option, as are snake plants and the traditional ficus. You can order succulents online or purchase them at any local garden center. They are incredibly easy to care for and are typically small enough to be featured throughout your home. Another popular (and cost effective) option is to grow your own herbs. You can line your windows with basil, mint, rosemary, cilantro and other tasty greens. Ultimately, instead of investing in a pricey air purifier (which relies on electricity to keep it powered and often emits an annoying humming sound) plants are an inexpensive and practical alternative.
2. Ditch the Toilet Paper
Did you know that producing one roll of toilet paper uses up to 37 gallons of water? To save resources (without sacrificing hygiene) consider installing a bidet attachment. These simple upgrades make it easy for homeowners to turn their commodes into far more energy-efficient receptacles. Additionally, it is far less expensive to add a bidet attachment than it is to renovate an entire bathroom and install a full bidet. While you may not eliminate the use for toilet paper altogether, you can significantly reduce usage (as much as 75%) and save hundreds or even thousands of gallons of water over time. That’s a worthwhile investment in our planet.
3. Upgrade your Blinds
If you have traditional plastic window shades in your home, you may be missing out on an opportunity to save on energy bills. An expert at Next Day Blinds shared, “by design, all window coverings are inherently “green” because they block heat loss and gain and reduce UV transmission,” however, well-fitting blinds can help prevent light pollution and regulate internal temperature, thereby further reducing utility costs. Aside from the basic mechanics of how your blinds function, you can select a material that is more earth-friendly than plastic. Renewable resources like bamboo make a great alternative. This plant grows quickly and in abundance so there is no worry of over-harvesting. Bamboo is strong, inexpensive, and adds an earthy, organic tone to your home. A great option for those on a budget!
For additional lifestyle tweaks you can make, Greatist has an impressive list of 41 Eco-Friendly Tips for Saving Cash. It hits on all the basics and offers a variety of inventive ideas for cutting costs and helping the environment in any way you can. Now, that’s something we can get on board with this Earth Day!