We all know how important our environment is - this is the only planet we have and we have to take care of it. With materialism and wastefulness so common (especially in wealthier countries) it’s up to each one of us to choose to make more environmentally responsible, eco-friendly choices in our everyday lives. But what if one is low on time and/or money yet still wants to make climate-conscious choices? Here are 5 Easy Ways to be Climate-Friendly on a Budget:
1. Repurpose old spaghetti sauce, coconut oil, or peanut butter jars as water bottles and/or food storage
U.S citizens throw away 35 billion plastic bottles every year. Only about 25% of the plastic produced in the U.S. is recycled.
Sure, you could buy brand new mason jars from thrift or dollar stores, but why throw away a used jar when it can be put to good use? Just give them a good wash and give that bottle a whole new purpose!
2. Collect a few reusable bags
U.S. citizens use 100 billion plastic bags a year, which require 12 million barrels of oil to manufacture.
They’re inexpensive and reduce the amount of plastic bags you use. You could also collect tote bags from local festivals and events and use those for shopping. Most of the reusable grocery cloth bags we use come from Vegan Soulfest here in Baltimore!
3. Repurpose old clothing
In 2017, 16,890 tons of textiles were generated—only 2,570 tons were recycled, and 11,150 tons were landfilled.
Instead of tossing your old clothes in a trash heap, see which ones you could still use. You could make a new DIY design or use them as rags, smocks, or leisure wear. If you’re really not feeling it, just give it away to someone who could use them!
4. Actually eat leftovers
The United States is the global leader in food waste, with Americans discarding nearly 40 million tons of food every year.
Cherishing your leftovers guarantees less garbage, especially if they’re not in a wrapper. You could even use leftover veggie scraps as a broth for soups.
5. Bring your own silverware and/or buy tupperware
Containers and packaging make up a major portion of municipal solid waste (MSW), amounting to 82.2 million tons of generation in 2018 (28.1 percent of total generation).
You can bring your own utensils or tupperware if you’re going out to eat. This way, you don’t use or waste harmful plastics and can reuse them until they’re worn out. Reusable containers tend to be cheap so stock up - just don’t forget to wash them out promptly when you’re done with them or you’ll have a moldy mess on your hands!
There you have it! Being eco-conscious doesn't have to be stressful, just use what you have and it'll go a long way. Let us know if there's anything we missed or if you benefited from these tips!