Budget Friendly Ways to go Green

There’s no question that striving to live a more sustainable, environmentally conscious life benefits both the planet and our health. And though many people are afraid to start, afraid to change and step up from their comfortable and easy way of living that they are used to.

Maybe, they are afraid of the work and time that they have to put into it – but is it really that much?
Maybe, they fear the reaction of friends and family when they talk about there changes – but isn’t that a great way to spread awareness and make more people jump on the eco-train?
Maybe, they are afraid of the higher costs and extra expenses that come along with the change of lifestyle – but are those really necessary?

No! This post is here to shop you FREE or BUDGET FRIENDLY tips & tricks for a more eco friendly and green way of living, so get your pens and notebooks out and start cooperating these into your daily live to save our beautiful planet.

And some tips actually save you money! How awesome is that?!

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Credit.com created a detailed guide that goes over budget friendly ways to go green, from shopping to pet care to household and technological improvements and it gave me the inspiration to talk about a few things on here with you.

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Sustainable Eating

Plant Based

You want to know why a plant based diet is the most eco friendly diets and one of the biggest changes you can make to save our planet?

I could talk hours about this topic and tell you hundreds of reasons, but here are a few very important ones:

Our earth is majorly influenced by animal agriculture through

  • greenhouse gas emission (one of the big reasons for climate change!)
  • destroying of natural habitats through deforestation and the animal extinction going along
  • ocean dead zones caused by global warming (climate change!) or leaking of animal excretes into rivers and oceans
  • wasting water and grains (and the agricultural land that is needed to produce it) to produce meat and dairy (1kg beef needs 15000 litres of water and 16kg grains, 1kg cheese needs 5000 litres of water)

And there are many more reasons to cut out meat, dairy and eggs for your health, the animals and our planet! Watch this video to find out more.

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@designsbyariana

So please, EAT MORE PLANTS and save our future (and your health & the animals). It is not as hard as you might think and you don’t need to do it 100% right away. You never have to, it’s about steps into the right direction. Meat only once a week, only on special occasions, only with friends and family.

Read more into it, learn more and if you actually WANT to eat fewer animal products and more vegan it will get easier because you have a good motivation behind it.

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You think eating vegan is hard? Complicated, expensive and boring? Look at these simple, quick, healthy and budget-friendly Dinner recipes!

You think cake, muffins and all the sweet things in life need eggs, milk and butter? I prove you wrong with these mouthwatering vegan sweets and treats (that are pretty healthy too!).

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Shop Local & Seasonal

I know it can be hard when you live in a colder climate and don’t want to only eat apples, potatoes and beets.

But try to be more reasonable: Fresh berries in winter? That’s not necessary when you can eat them in abundance locally in summer. Mangoes? Have them only as a treat when they are in season from the country you purchase them from.

And we also often forget that rice, sweet potato, bananas, nuts and more – staples in most diets aren’t local as well and have long distances until they end up in our supermarkets.

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@aniahimsa

You don’t need to cut out on imported products completely (that’s often not even possible in some countries), but eat more of what you can shop local and that is in season and have tropical fruits and exotic products as treats.

Shopping on markets makes it also much easier. Find stalls that sell from local farmers and you will support your region and the seasonal products they are harvesting in that time of the year.

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Less Plastic

I don’t really need to explain why this is important to save our earth from plastic waste. But my blog post ‚We drown in Plastic‚ gives you some more information on it.

  • choose plastic free produce over wrapped ones and use cotton bags
  • reusable shopping bags
  • fresh produce over ready-made meals
  • bulk food sections and stores to refill your reusable containers with rice, grains, beans, pasta…

Melbourne Travel Guide

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@mari.linni

Make it Yourself

Many products we buy contain so many chemicals, unnecessary ingredients and are much better ‚do it yourself‘ for your health and body as well as for the health or our earth, the soil and the environment.

  • Cleaning supplies: contain heavy chemicals and sents, better make them from vinegar, lemon essential oils (here you can find simple and natural recipes for cleaners)
  • Beauty products: no need for fancy body lotion, deodorant, shower gel, hair and face masks… it’s actually possible to recreate these products very naturally. I want to get more into that as well and show you easy DIY’s but until then, have a look at these recipes. And if you are too lazy to make them yourself, buy soap bars and package free beauty like I use
  • Food: soak and cook beans, lentils and chickpeas yourself avoid the nasties of cans and the energy that goes into producing them, make plant-based milk yourself and store in reusable glass bottles (recipes here), hummus, bread, vegan yogurt, falafel… can all be made yourself pretty easily
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@ellenfisher
  • Grow your own food: it’s not just fun and exciting to harvest your own products and care for your plants to provide you with yummy crops, but it also saves energy and water because you can be more conscious than most big food producers, you can harvest just what you need for one meal so nothing can go bad and you will become more aware of things that are in season. And don’t argue with not having a garden, you can grow herbs, salads, carrots, strawberries, tomatoes and more on a balcony!
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@aniahimsa

Less Waste

  • only buy what you need and can actually eat, that lasts long or can be frozen for later
  • go through your fridge, pantry and freezer regularly and make sure that your food doesn’t go off – eat it in time
  • try avoiding printing and have as much as you can on your laptop and phone
  • Opt out of junk mail. You don’t read it anyways and if you do, it’s not just a waste of trees but also of your time
  • Buy less. It will save your money, time (because you work for the money that it costs) and you don’t really need it anyway. Every product needs so much water and energy to produce only for you to wear it once? Use it for a week and then realize its garbage?
  • Buy quality. Rather spend a little more on something proper that lasts you forever instead of buying new every two years.
  • Compost food scraps in your garden.
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Second Hand shopping in Sydney

Recycle, Repair, Reuse

  • Recycle everything you can correctly
  • Repair instead of buying new
  • Reuse. Give things new lives by giving them makeovers or giving them away to people that actually need, use and want them
  • Buy second hand to reuse and not support the production of new products

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Share

  • take public transport to cut CO2 emission
  • share a car with your partner and family or use share cars in the city
  • borrow books, clothes or things you only need occasionally from friends, neighbours or family

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Technology

The key is to use less energy and be efficient. Don’t use them if not necessary.

  • only use dishwasher, washing machine and dryer when they are full
  • avoid using the dryer and air dry your clothes
  • use eco programmes if available
  • unplug devices if they are not in use
  • overthink the necessity of your technology (do you need all those extra special kitchen devices/ several TV’s in your household?)
  • print double-sided (if at all)
  • don’t leave your charger plugged in (even if your phone is unplugged, it still uses energy)
  • recycle old technology like batteries, phones, radios…

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This ended up to be a pretty long post as I wanted to squeeze as much information and tips in as possible. I hope you could learn something new or got reminded on a few things to change in your own daily life!

Do you have more tips? What is important to you when saving the planet?

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We Drown in Plastic

Every single piece of plastic made, still exists.

It takes about 450 years for synthetic material to decompose and since 1950 we’ve already produced 3,8 million tons of it. If we continue or even increase the use and waste of plastic it won’t take long until we drown in plastic.

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There are plastic islands as big as France and Germany together in every ocean on our earth.

Sea animals die of starvation with their stomach full of plastic they mistake as food.

Beaches at the most beautiful places in the world are overfloated with garbage that gets thrown into the sea by ships or into rivers that flow into the oceans.

You wonder what it has to do with you?

You put all your garbage in trash bins and it gets recycled – that’s only one part of the truth.
We produce so much waste in the industrial countries that we export it to other countries to get rid of it. 2015 Germany exported 600.000 tons of synthetic waste to China. Now that our waste is not in our country anymore we can’t control what is done with it.
55% of our waste gets burned. A great way to get rid of it quickly, without needing huge landfills or risking that it lands in the ocean – But on the side, toxic chemicals emit and pollute our air.

I know that the garbage from developing countries mostly ends up in our oceans, but I am sure that even small changes and being attentive to our own consumption can help.

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It’s not just them

70.000 m³ waste from ships and fishing boats end up in the North Sea every year.

Synthetic clothes lose 2.000 pieces of fibre per wash and 500 tons of microplastic from peelings and other beauty products ends up in our sewage.

Wastelands in nature – not just in developing countries but in our neighbourhood and at our beaches. Takeaway food packaging, cigarette ends, candy wrapper, chewing gums, drinking bottles and more.

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What can we do?

Be aware of your consumption.

If you use less, you can waste less. Especially try to avoid single-use plastic. 78 million tons of plastic packaging is produced every year – one-third ends up in our nature. I know it’s super hard to reduce something that seems to be EVERYWHERE and I am not super good at it myself and I really want to work on it more and more, but there are small things that are not hard to change and that have an impact as well. Start small and get better!
I already made a blog post about 5 eco-friendly swaps everyone should use. Things that really aren’t that hard to incorporate in your day to day life. I’ll soon make another post about reducing plastic in our bathroom and using sustainable, zero-waste products – stay tuned!

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Talk to others about this problem.

When more and more people start to make small changes they add up to great results. For example, share this blog post or my 5 eco-friendly must-haves so that more people can learn and improve!

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Take your garbage with you.

I’m pretty sure that you, my readers, are intelligent enough to not throw takeaway food containers out of your car window on the roadside. And we can’t convince others if they are not willing to understand, but we can be a good example. And yes that sometimes means cleaning the disgusting garbage of others…but you can feel great about it afterwards!

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Stop using chemical beauty products.

Products that contain synthetical peeling pieces, glitter and such. It’s not just very unhealthy for your body (because our skin absorbs them as well), but it’s also so small that it easily ends up in our groundwater and until now it’s not sure what consequences it has for our nature and organism. But it has already been linked to bad fertility.

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Stop supporting wild fishing.

Until recently my family thought wild fish is healthier than farmed fish. On one hand that’s true because it has less fat and ate more natural than farmed and fed fish. But on the other hand, wild fish lives in our oceans, seas and lakes that are polluted with microplastic and waste. Our oceans contain 6 times more plastic than plankton and the marine life easily mistake it. And so do we mistake these animals as our food and the plastic ends up in our body as well.
But you should not only refuse fishing for health reasons. It is a major reason for garbage, chemicals and oils in our oceans and sea animals, as well as reefs, get killed/destroyed by lost fishing nets.

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These pictures are made by Katja from amoureuxee and I am very proud that we could transfer this topic into these wonderful and aesthetic pictures!

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This subject is very important to me and I want to better myself and take you guys along with me on my journey to more sustainability here on my blog. I hope you are interested in more information, DIYs and tips!

 

Plastic is a huge topic and everybody that loves nature, animals, is aware of their own health or the health of mother earth needs to occupy oneself with it. So start yourself now, every little change is an improvement and together it will be huge.

We need to change, otherwise, we’ll drown in plastic.

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Source for the numbers and facts: here.