Environmentally friendly habits don't have to be expensive. In many cases, protecting your bank balance and protecting the planet go hand in hand! Here we've rounded up ten easy habits that save can save families money and help the environment at the same time, all suggested by Circle of Moms' Eco-friendly Mom Bloggers.
1. Buy Secondhand
2. Make Your Own Cleaning Products
"An easy, eco-friendly and FUN habit that helps save money is to make your own household cleaning products. With pantry items like baking soda and white vinegar, Castile soap, and essential oils you can make inexpensive cleaners that are safe for you, your family, and the planet." –Mindy McLaren, Sweet & Woodsy Blog
3. Reduce Food Waste
"The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that about 30 cents of every dollar we spend on food we end up throwing away because what we've bought spoils, or expires, or because we've just bought too much. The solution? Put leftovers in the front of the fridge, not the back where you might forget about them. Try to plan menus in advance, then grocery shop with an ingredients list so you buy what you really will use. Go to the grocery store just once a week - after 'leftovers' night, if possible, and when the fridge is almost empty." Diane MacEachern, Big Green Purse
4. Save Water and Energy on Laundry
“Avoid using the permanent press cycle, which uses an added 20 liters (5 gallons) for the extra rinse. New Energy Star-rated washers use 35-50% less water and 50% less energy per load. Wash your laundry in cold water — 80-90 percent of the washing machine's energy is used to heat the water. Your clothes will be just as clean — honest!" -Lori Popkewitz Alper, Groovy Green Livin'
5. Drive Less
"Drive less and walk/ride/roll more…Adopting a more active-lifestyle approach to transportation saves money on gas and car repairs, provides an "excuse" for families to exercise together, and reduces natural resource depletion." -Kimberly Danek Pinkson, ecomom blog
6. Reuse Containers
"One of the best ways to save money AND be eco-friendly is to reuse/recycle what you already have! Save tons of money on storage containers by reusing glass and plastic food containers when they are empty." Jennifer Nitzky, Sprout's Green Family
7. Start a Garden
"The taste of homegrown produce is AMAZING, and it's a great family project. When local produce is in season, you can also preserve the bounty for pennies on the dollar compared to store products. We can, dry, freeze, lacto-ferment, root cellar, and use cold frames and a greenhouse for season extension. The kids are so proud of themselves when they share ‘their’ fruits and vegetables with family and friends.” -Laurie Neverman, Common Sense Homesteading
8. DIY Gift Wrap
“Wrapping paper, tissue and gift bags are insanely expensive for something that ends up in the trash before the party is even over. Instead, use what you have to wrap gifts — a basket or a beach bucket can be two gifts in one. Or use your child's artwork to make an extra special presentation. -Amity Hook-Sopko, Green Gifts Guide
9. Cloth Diapers
"You can significantly reduce the cost of diapering by using cloth. After the initial start up cost to purchase the materials you need (in our case, it was around $150), you can save several hundred dollars each year by committing to cloth. If you plan to have more children and reuse your cloth diapers, you will have saved a serious amount of money!" -Charise Rohm Nulsen, I Thought I Knew Mama
10. Turn Off Lights & Unplug Electronics
"I know this sounds incredibly easy and almost silly, but turning off the lights when you are not using them, as well as putting your computers, TV's, etc. on a power strip and turning them off nightly [saves money]. ... Computers, TV's, DVD players, and other electronics that are plugged in 24/7 are considered 'energy vampires.' They use energy even when we are not using them." Amy Todisco, Green Living Now
Do you have any other green tips for saving money?