Making Money Moves; How Switching to My Eco- Friendly Lifestyle Saved Me Money
By: Jordan Johnson
Before I start this blog, I wanted to make note that I am still in what I consider the beginning stages of my eco friendly journey. Even though I have been on a committed journey for about 2 years now, I am still learning and making silly mistakes everyday.
So, if you are looking into changing your routine to be more green, but also not damage your pockets, keep reading!
I think most of us have heard the myths about how choosing to be sustainable and eco- friendly can be more costly than a lifestyle surrounded by waste, which is just not true at all. In this blog, I will be sharing my personal steps, tips and a few products that not only made my journey easier, but also saved me money.
The first step I took in my journey was paying attention to how I spent my money.
In the future, I will be doing a long and in depth blog about compulsory consumption, so today I am just briefly going to touch on it.
Compulsory consumption has been implemented into our minds from things such as ads to social media posts to tv shows, where we feel the NEED to always have the newest items and keep up with new trends.
While that can be damaging to our pockets, it can also be damaging to our environment. Now, I'm not saying you’re not allowed to buy yourself new clothes or a new computer, because meeting our needs is still very important.
This step is more about not spending so much money on material things, maybe buying a new dress every month instead of every week, and to not impulse buy.
A someone who is interested in fashion, I use to buy from fast fashion stores periodically. I began to realize I didn’t need all the clothes I was buying. Once I stopped avidly spending money on fast fashion, I had more money to spend on sustainable fashion and thrift store products.
Making the switch not only made me feel good about my purchases but saved me hundreds of dollars in the long run!
Tip #1: I started making lists of items I really need rather than want and it has helped me tremendously. Before I make a purchase, I look at my list of essentials I am saving for, and I almost always end up not making the purchase. The result? I spend less on wasteful products, I am able to buy the essentials I need, and I save money!
Tip #2: Budget budget budget! The more you stop your impulsive buying, the more you have the money to buy sustainable clothing, eco- friendly products and money just to save!
My next step is switching out products.
This step can be so, so simple if you don’t overthink it.
Switching out non- eco- friendly products to eco- friendly products does NOT always mean buying expensive products. Recently, I switched out paper towels for reusable rags and microfiber cloths, making a huge cut in my spending and a huge cut in my waste.
The microfiber cloths cost me about 2 dollars a piece, and in the long run I will be saving around 200 dollars a year (just on that one switch!).
Switching out sponges for reusable dish cloths also helped me tremendously. Now, I do not have to consistently replace sponges, and I personally love using the dish cloths more!
My dish cloths cost me around 15 dollars and I will save around 150 dollars a year just by not buying sponges!
If you want more small yet impactful switches, check out our ‘Easy Eco- Friendly Switches For Beginners’ slide on instagram (we will be posting an updated one soon!)
Tip #1: When switching, never think the switch isn’t enough. No matter how big or small, the switch is more impactful than you think!
Tip #2: Start with easy switches first. The more small and easy switches you make, the more of an impact you have!
My third step is to stop getting take out food as often.
This step has probably been my hardest, for many reasons. The main reason being how busy I can be between college, work, and my everyday errands/ chores. However, this year has challenged my take out food habit exponentially.
The more time I spent inside, the more aware I became that I had bought take out almost everyday pre- pandemic. Around June, I began planning meals ahead, getting crafty with the food I bought so I wouldn’t get bored, and I began budgeting my grocery list.
I started meal prepping again, which helped my main cooking problem, time commitment.
While cooking at home and meal prepping helped me save money, the switch lessened the waste I produced tremendously. We don't really pay attention to how much trash we produce when we buy take out, especially fast food.
Now, I did not stop ordering take out all together, however, I want to say I only eat out twice a week, which is a generous drop from the beginning of this year. When I do order take out, I make sure to not use plastic utensils and instead use the utensils I have at home. If I'm taking the food somewhere else, I make sure to bring reusable utensils with me. I always recycle what I can out of the cardboard and plastic that comes with take out.
Tip #1: Buy local! If you’re going to make the choice to order take out, buying local will not only help put money back into your community, but making that choice always helps me feel less guilty.
Tip #2-: Pinterest and Youtube have been holy grails for me when it comes to food prepping and new delicious yet easy meals. Like I’ve stated, I stay on a pretty busy schedule, so the easier the food is to make, the better, but I always want to make sure what I am putting into my body is good for me.
You do not have to be perfect! It seems that every day I still make mistakes in my journey. At first I was very down on myself about every little mistake, but now I hardly let them affect me. Once you decide to begin your journey, you’re already making the right choice. I loved writing this blog and I hope you enjoyed the read! I would love to make a part two in the future as I continue my journey, so please let me know if you enjoyed this blog on our instagram and my personal instagram account.
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