Frugal & Eco-Friendly: Saving Money & the Environment Together
In many ways frugality and eco-friendliness go hand in hand as both involve different levels of being economical, cutting down on wasteful habits, and achieving better efficiency. The question many of us often have, though, is how to implement these two concepts into our lives simultaneously.
For example buying plastic bags in bulk may be a great savings but using plastic isn’t eco-friendly. Alternatively, constructing a solar power grid on one’s roof is an amazing way to harness energy from nature but it’s an expensive venture whose savings may be too far down the road to wait for.
In order to simplify things and make this a journey we can all profit from here are a few practical household related tips for being frugal and eco-friendly in the same instant. Implement them as part of your spring cleaning in order to reap the benefits throughout the rest of the year:
1. Plastic: As already mentioned plastic is a material that isn’t eco-friendly because it can take hundreds, sometimes thousands of years to biodegrade. In the general sense it benefits many fields such as medicine and science but in our everyday lives we go through too many disposable bottles, cups, forks, knives, and bags for the world to handle.
· Frugal & eco-friendly tip: Stop using throwaways and go with reusables, even if they are made from plastic. After some time the savings will add up because you won’t be purchasing disposables anymore.
2. Water: Our water supplies aren’t as abundant as we think so we need to conserve as much as possible. Also, as we all know the more we use water the more the bill goes up. With spring here chances are more water will be used because of the garden, flowers, and lawn.
· Frugal & eco-friendly tips: In the garden water plants closer to the roots so water doesn’t spread elsewhere and feed weeds. Also, reuse leftover water from other places around the house like the stovetop, shower, and tea to feed plants. Other tips include turning off the tap when scrubbing dishes and brushing teeth.
3. Pesticides: Springtime means many of the little critters we haven’t seen for months will soon be coming out of the wood work. However, most indoor chemical-based pesticides on the market contain harmful substances that leave extremely unsafe fumes and those used outdoors in the garden pollute the ground and seep into crops.
· Frugal & eco-friendly tips: Unless it’s a true infestation for which an exterminator will be needed try natural methods for warding off pests such as boric acid or diatomaceous earth or companion planting if it’s in the garden.
4. Cleaners: Like pesticides many standard household cleaning agents are filled with nasty chemicals that emit fumes which are terrible for the environment. Also, when these liquids spill into the ground they contaminate aquifers and local drinking water.
· Frugal & eco-friendly tips: Several non-toxic household staples do amazing cleaning jobs such as vinegar, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide. They are excellent at removing soap scum, grease, stains and are very inexpensive.
5. Electricity: When lights are on or heating/air-conditioning is blasting the electric company is happy. At the same time factories generating all that power are spewing pollution into the air harming the environment.
· Frugal & eco-friendly tips: The less electricity we use the less pollution is produced. Capitalize on sunlight to brighten the insides of your home and use energy saving bulbs which last longer and contribute fewer toxins to the environment both during their production and when disposed of correctly. For cooling the home fix drafts where warm air escapes or cool air infiltrates. The key here is better efficiency when it comes to heating and air-conditioning systems.
Jakob Barry is a home improvement journalist for Networx.com and blogs for pros across the U.S. like Scottsdale, AZ exterminators and Dallas, TX air-conditioning contractors.