Already swapped out paper towels for cloth rags? Do you always have your reusable bags at the ready for your next shopping trip? Congratulations, those are fantastic first steps towards living a green life. But what else could you be doing to green the rest of your lifestyle? How about spending a few bucks on small items that make a big eco-impact without breaking the bank? Look no further, as I have rounded up 7 ways for you to invest in a green lifestyle and a healthier environment without spending more than $7 at one time. No more excuses!
Check out the following list and see which action makes sense for you to tackle first in your own life. Once you are done with the first one, you can come back and visit this article each month to check another green tip off your list. In just 7 months, you can easily make an enormous difference without spending a lot of money while really doing your part to help preserve the only planet we call home.
Install a Toilet Bladder Bag – These rubber toilet bladder bags are an amazing invention for those of us with older toilets which send a lot more fresh water down the drain than they need to. All you have to do is fill the bag with water and hang it inside your toilet tank, and it displaces several quarts of water that would normally be flushed. Saves you money and saves you water, so it’s a win-win in my book, especially at around $4.00.
Clean with Vinegar – While grocery stores try to fill an entire row with different cleaning products, there is really only a need for one – and chances are you already have it in your home. Cleaning with a vinegar and water mixture costs just a fraction of “green” cleaners priced at $4 and up and does a better job of cleaning and disinfecting your home. A store brand or Heinz will do, and it costs just $2.50 or less at most stores. Buy a bottle and mix up a solution of half vinegar and half water, and voila – you have an all-purpose cleaner that you can use almost anywhere and will last for months.
Put Electronics on a Power Strip – Your cable box, stereo, television, microwave, and cellphone charger are constantly drawing energy from the wall whether you are using them or not. Why pay for electricity you aren’t even getting any benefit from? Put all those electronics on power strips, which make it easy to turn everything off at once and can be found at the local big-box store or Amazon.com. I saw one in Target for $5.99 a few months ago, so there is no reason that all your electricity-sucking electronics shouldn’t be turned off when not in use.
Switch out the Shower Head – Typical standard-flow shower heads pump water out at a whopping rate, wasting our most valuable resource while costing you money in return. By replacing a shower head with a newer low-flow model, you reduce water waste while still getting that water pressure that we all love so much. These shower heads are available almost everywhere, but there are models at Amazon for around $5.99. You don’t need the latest and greatest or the one with all the bells and whistles; you just need a simple low-flow shower head to make a big difference.
Buy a Refillable Pen – Everyone buys plastic pens, but where do we think they all go once the ink runs out? Next time you are at your favorite office-supply store, pick yourself up a refillable pen instead of a disposable one. For a very small investment of around $6.00, you can prevent yet another plastic pen from ever sitting in a landfill forever.
Lay Down Some Weather Stripping – A roll of weather stripping can do wonders for keeping your heating bill low. All the cracks and crevices around your doors and windows can let a lot of heat out and cold in, so spending a few dollars to seal them up makes a big difference. Twenty feet of weather stripping usually costs just $2.00-$3.00 a roll, which could easily take care of several sources leaks in your home.
Sign up for Green Power – The last time I had electric service at my house, I had the option of purchasing electricity derived partially from green sources. These sources include wind, solar, and hydro, and the company let me choose how I wanted to participate. For just $7 more per month, I knew that I was helping them invest in cleaner energy sources for the electricity I need to live a comfortable life. Check with your local utility to see if they offer anything like this near you.
So there you have it, 7 ways to go green for under $7.00. At that price, there really is no more excuse for not going green. Take your time, make these small investments and changes, and pretty soon you will be amazed at all that you have done to help save the planet.
Have your own favorite way of going green for just a few bucks? Be sure to fill us in down in the comment section!
This post was written by David.
If you want to spend even less, you can just fill a pop bottle up with water and put it in your toilet tank instead of purchasing a ‘toilet bladder’.
You can, of course, use plastic soda or water bottles. Beware of what size you use, as if it is too big then your toilet won’t have enough water in it to move the waste out. I myself have used plastic bottles, but for some a toilet bladder would be the easier route in terms of deciding how much water to displace.
I’ve heard of putting a brick in your toilet, but never a bag! At first, I thought you were going to tell me to put the toilet paper in there or something totally crazy. I’ve tried your nos. 2-6, but haven’t done #7, although I keep meaning to.
I’ve gotten kits for free in the past from either the city or gas etc. companies that have low flow showerheads and those bags for your toilet. They’re great!
Some very good tips as usual. A handkerchief for $1 would be a nice fit in this list.
Great tips 🙂
When I get home I’m getting that empty soda bottle and filling it with water for the toilet. Can’t wait to see how much it saves! I also bought a shower head that reduced water usage.