If you had an unexpected expense of $1,000 come up, could you cover it without going into debt? According to Bankrate, 56% of Americans don’t have $1,000 in emergency savings right now.
But the good news is that saving money and sustainability go hand in hand. In honor of Earth Day, we put together a list of simple lifestyle changes you can make to save some extra green (the planet’s and your own):
1. Make your own cleaning products at home.
Have you ever read a product label on any cleaning products around your house? Yikes. Let’s just say they’re not good for the environment OR you and your family.
But lucky for you, the internet is full of alternative cleaning solutions that you can make at home with some simple, safe, and cheap ingredients. Just get yourself some reusable containers or spray bottles and get mixing!
2. Air-dry your laundry.
We all know that using less energy is good for the environment and saves money. But did you know that there are even more benefits to air-drying your clothes? The heat and motion from a dryer wear out your clothes faster, and when you clean out your lint trap, you can literally see the fibers from your clothes breaking down.
But when you air-dry your clothes, they don’t break down as quickly. That means you don’t have to buy new clothes as often, and you keep worn-out clothing out of landfills.
3. Wash your clothes with cold water.
We’re sticking with the laundry theme here. Your washing machine spends a lot of energy on heating water. But detergents don’t need hot water to function properly, and in fact, hot water doesn’t necessarily clean your clothes better — but it can fade and shrink them faster.
Save that energy for something else and keep that money in your wallet. Your clothes will not only be fine, but they will thank you.
4. Try your hand at gardening.
Love fresh vegetables but hate your weekly grocery bill? Growing your own vegetable garden can save you money during the summer months, and plants are natural air purifiers that will take CO2 out of the air and release oxygen in its place.
Don’t have a green thumb or room for a garden? Try putting a few potted vegetable plants on your patio or balcony, or just keep some fresh herbs growing in your kitchen. A little still goes a long way!
5. Keep the plastic water bottles out of your shopping cart.
Investing in a reusable water bottle will help keep so much plastic waste out of landfills and the ocean. Don’t believe us? Hang on to all the plastic water bottles you use throughout a month and see how much it adds up to be, and then remember that it will take approximately 450 years for each of those bottles to decompose.
If you’re still hesitant about tap water, invest in a Brita filter. Any way you slice it, tap water is still going to be cheaper than bottled water.
6. Swap out other disposable products for reusable ones.
Reusable cloth napkins, dinnerware, facial rounds, and paper towels are all sustainable alternatives to their disposable counterparts. By going reusable, you can reduce energy usage from manufacturing, save trees, and save money by making a one-time reusable purchase versus regular disposable purchases.
Terra Shepherd Boutique & Apothecary in Downtown Sioux Falls has all kinds of reusable products and sustainable alternatives. Go check them out next time you visit our Downtown location!
7. Buy secondhand everything.
Okay, so maybe not everything. But the last thing the world needs is more stuff or to waste energy manufacturing more stuff. So buy used clothes, used books, used cars, and used appliances.
Buy used anything that isn’t weird or unsanitary to buy secondhand because used stuff is just so much cheaper for you and keeps that stuff out of landfills. Have we said “stuff” enough times to get our point across? If not, then watch our latest podcast episode to hear what Rachel Cruze of Ramsey Solutions has to say about contentment.
We’re counting on you to help us make our planet a better place, because The First National Bank on Mars just doesn’t sound as good.
Wait, that actually sounds pretty cool. But a rebrand is expensive, and we’re trying to save money, remember?
And if you don’t know what to do with all that money you’ll be saving, reach out. Our Customer Service team would be happy to put you in contact with the right professional for your needs.