Being eco-friendly doesn’t have to cost an arm or a leg. In fact, implementing sustainability practices that don’t cost you anything are often the most eco-friendly thing that you can do.
So in this post I’ll share 10 free things you can do to help save the environment without breaking the bank. Let’s go!
1. Switch off the Lights During the Day
Leaving lights off until needed helps reduce power plant fumes and conserves natural resources. Why not rely on the natural sunlight throughout the day, and switch on the lights when the sun goes down?
Also, a lot of indoor lighting sucks. I much prefer natural sunlight over bright florescent indoor lighting any day.
2. Eat Less Red Meat
From the production to the distribution, red meat is one of the top polluters of our environment. So if you aren’t already vegetarian or vegan, reducing or eliminating red meat is a great and inexpensive way to be more eco-friendly.
3. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle ..and Most Importantly Refuse
Reframing your mindset as a buyer is paramount to laying the groundwork of sustainability. Simply refusing unnecessary products, in conjunction with the “R’s” we already know, helps make you a more conscious consumer.
4. Borrow Instead of Buy
Before making a purchase, see if you can find a way to borrow it instead.
For example: imagine you need a toolbox for a bookshelf that you want to build. You rarely build things, so you know you won’t get much use out of it after this project is through. So why not ask around to see if a friend, family member, or neighbor has one that you can borrow instead?
There’s also a great app called Olio that connects you to people looking to share or give items (and even food) away in your area. Go see what you can find!
Similarly, don’t forget to abide by the 24 hour shopping rule. If you see something you want to buy, wait 24 hours. After the 24 hours is up, you may find that the feeling has passed and that you no longer want to buy that item.
5. Donate, Resell, or Swap Items
Donating to your local charity shop is a great, but obvious, option. But you can also get a bit creative with where you donate, resell, and even swap your items. I talked more in-depth on my What to Do With Your Old Products After Going Cruelty-Free post.
This helps keep your products out of landfill by giving them a new home.
6. Read Digitally (and for Free)
As a self-described bookworm, I feel like I know all the tips and tricks to reading affordably and sustainably. In fact, I did a whole post on how to become a more eco-friendly reader. Which also means finding books for FREE! Yes, for real. Here’s how:
- Visit your local library.
- Download your library app (My favorites are Libby and Hoopla).
- Borrow from a friend.
- Host a book exchange.
- Visit a Free Little Library in your area.
7. Receive Bank eStatements Rather Than Paper
See if your bank offers eStatements rather than paper. Not only does this save on paper and postage, it is also way more convenient.
8. Opt Out of Junk Mail
Not only is receiving junk mail annoying as hell, it is also super wasteful. If you’re in the U.S, you can write an application to a Mail preference service asking them to remove your name from companies mailing lists.
Check out this post for 7 more ways you can opt out of junk mail.
9. Use Ecosia Instead of Google
Ecosia is a search engine that plants trees for every search that you make. It’s super simple to set up on your computer or laptop, and it works just like any search engine.
10. Spread the Eco-Friendly Message Online
Social media can be a great tool to share your thoughts and connect with like-minded people. Why not join some online eco-friendly spaces to help spread the word?
A Final Note
Being eco-friendly doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, implementing these zero-cost practices can be the most sustainable option of them all.
Do you have anymore ideas on how to be eco-friendly for free? Share your thoughts below..