How to Go Green on a Shoestring Budget

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Yesterday I shared some easy ways to live a “greener” lifestyle. Today, contributing writer, Prerna Malik shares tips on how green living can save you time and money.

Does going green mean tossing out all the plastic in the house and replacing it with glass or steel? Does ‘eco-friendly’  imply expensive? Will green living eat into your limited time?

Read on to find out how going green is actually easy when you’re on a shoestring budget and in fact, can end up saving you money AND time:

DIY Does Save Money and the Planet

Yes, going the DIY route is not only eco-friendly but also economical. From making your own homemade all-purpose cleaner to washing dishes by hand, you’ll end up saving money and protecting the planet. Plus, most eco-friendly activities don’t need a LOT of time or money. In fact, some, such as organic gardening, can become fun family activities as well and be a good substitute for too much television or inactivity.

Reusing is Easy and Economical

Like DIY, reusing is another great way to go green and save some green too. From reusing sheets of paper to turning old t-shirts into art smocks or cleaning rags, you can find a way to reuse just about anything. It doesn’t cost you anything and hardly takes any time. I, personally, am a big fan of reusing glass jars and random small containers to store craft and office supplies and jewelry.

Take Green Baby Steps

Going green does not mean taking giant steps, everyday. Baby steps work. Wonderfully. Here are a few baby steps that you can start taking today to save the environment and your hard-earned money:

  • Switch off the lights each time you leave the room.
  • Unplug the laptop and other electrical appliances when not in use.
  • Encourage kids to turn off the faucet when brushing their teeth.
  • Switch to e-versions of bank and credit card statements as well as other notifications. Feeling ambitious? Stop buying paper magazines and read them online instead! I do it and love it.
  • Walk to the grocery store instead of driving, at least once a week, if not more.
  • Use cloth to clean spills and kitchen countertops instead of paper towels.
  • Spend an hour a day outdoors, away from the television, laptop and other gadgets. Give them a rest and get yourself some exercise.
  • Line dry your laundry.
  • Get Jessica’s eBook and save paper on your homemaking binder!

How can you go green on  a budget and without spending too much time?

— Prerna Malik is a mom, a wife, a writer and woman who believes in parenting with love, being postively productive, and creating a home that invites you to put your feet up and relax. Find her sharing her simple tips and easy-to-do ideas at The Mom Writes or follow her on Twitter.

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  1. One of my favorite ways to be green is to shop at garage sales and second hand stores for my kids’ clothes. Not only are you preventing items from going to the landfills, but also there are no new resources that go into making the clothes that you buy. Economical and Simple.

  2. has been wonderful. Useful stuff I don’t need anymore gets passed to others. If I need something, I can see if someone else has one just sitting around. It keeps stuff out of the landfill and money in each of our pockets (or fills a need that the person simply could not afford to purchase even if truly needed).

  3. These are all great tips, and I was going to suggest what Carla did – I shop second hand a lot. I also try to be efficient about any driving that I do, especially with gas prices rising and rising. We also garden, and now that our farmers’ market has started again, we will be doing a lot of shopping there.