7 Budget Friendly Sustainable Living Tips For 2024

Get 7 easy, money saving green living ideas to reduce your environmental impact in 2024.

February 8, 2024
min read
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Living sustainably doesn't have to be difficult or expensive. With some simple adjustments to daily habits, you can dramatically reduce your environmental impact while also saving money. This article outlines 7 budget-friendly sustainable living tips covering energy use, consumption and waste reduction suited for 2024.

From heating smarter to reusing old textiles creatively, discover easy green changes that make sense for both the planet and your pocketbook. Little adjustments multiplied by millions of households and many years will transform our shared future for the better through thoughtful conservation starting at home.

Turn off lights and appliances when not in use

The easiest way to pare energy costs while treading lighter environmentally is developing diligent power-down habits whenever feasible. Get in a routine of snapping off light switches upon exiting rooms and unplugging electronics completely when not needed for a while.

Aim to run appliances like dishwashers only with full loads and turn them to energy saver modes. Scrape dishes well instead of pre-rinsing to conserve water heated by gas or electricity. Enable sleep settings on computers, printers, TVs and phone chargers so unused devices hibernate vs staying on 24/7.

Simply training yourself to be vigilant about powering down can trim many families' energy use by 20%. This saves up to $250 yearly for the average household depending on local utility rates. Avoiding pesky "vampire" electronics that trickle draw current all day will continue paying energy efficiency dividends as electricity rates rise. Your wallet and the planet will thank you.

Heat the human, not the home

Heating and cooling toasty living spaces chews up more residential energy than anything else - over 40% of the average utility bill. Yet much of that climate control mojo warms empty rooms or gets wasted maintaining t-shirt temperatures for inhabitants bundled under blankets. Rethink heating habits with comfort and conservation in mind.

The ultimate budget saver? Set thermostats lower than usual in winter and higher in summer, then layer up or down as needed while at home. Brands like Flint Fine offer stylish merino wool base layers that insulate well. Programmable thermostats conveniently regulate temperatures to economical levels when away or sleeping.

Also focus warming efforts on spaces you occupy not the whole house. Plug in an electric throw blanket to take the chill off while reading. Use zone heating to supplement centrally only where truly needed, not for empty guest rooms. Take hot relaxed showers before bed so body heat lingers afterward. Stay cozy for less by heating the human first, then seeing if the home itself requires as much energy-draining climate control.

Repurpose your clothes as cleaning rags

Reduce waste by extending the usable lifespan of old clothing and linens now faded, stained or threadbare through converting them into cleaning and dust rags. Avoid wasting money on paper towel rolls or new microfiber cloths. Instead cleverly upcycle towels, socks, t-shirts, blankets, curtains sheets and more into multi-purpose housecleaning rags.

Cut or tear textiles into rag sized pieces suited to tasks from dusting to wiping up spills and pet messes. Have dedicated rags for floors, counters, bathrooms, windows etc and code with permanent marker by area if desired. Store neatly folded in baskets or hang neatly near their cleaning zones.

When the recycled rags get too soiled, simply throw them in the washing machine using hot water and bleach if desired to restore freshness. With basic mending, well made natural fabric cleaning cloths like Cotton Thermal towels can withstand hundreds of rewashings over years. Repurposing saves old linens from landfills and spare change learning not to waste.

Cook the correct serving sizes - no leftovers!

Among the easiest ways to pare food waste is simply preparing only what you'll realistically eat per meal. Despite best intentions, leftovers often get abandoned in refrigerators only to finally get trashed. This squanders not only the ingredients themselves but all the energy and water resources that went into producing, transporting and storing the uneaten food.

When cooking, take a moment to correctly size recipes down to suit the number of people actually eating. Creatively transform excess ingredients like half onions or potatoes into planned dishes later in the week instead of letting them languish. Portion cooked foods out onto plates rather than leaving in serving dishes where extra helpings lead to waste.

Freezing smaller leftover portions that realistically will get eaten makes good use of what remains without accumulation. Little planning adjustments like these avoid the cycle of forgetting old ingredients, then feeling guilty tossing them when unappetizing textures or smells set in. Starting with the end in mind when preparing food saves money and keeps waste out of strained landfills.

Use microfiber cloths instead of paper towels

Paper towel convenience comes at a high planetary price, with the average household plowing through 11,000 sheets yearly. Much of this ends up in overflowing landfills taking generations to break down. A reusable microfiber cloth kitchen cleaning and drying system makes an eco-friendly alternative that also costs a fraction over time.

Look for food safe microfiber cloths made using sustainable materials like ocean plastic (reclaimed fishing nets etc) or recycled cotton/cellulose. These ultra fine fiber tight weaves trap dirt without chemicals. They hold 6-7 times more than paper towels for grease/liquid absorption. Just rinse and wring after use, then wash occasionally to revive effectiveness.

Using high performance microfiber cloths instead of throwaway paper changes daily habits while saving money long run. Keep them handy near sinks, stoves and work zones for inevitable spills and messes life brings. Reduce waste without sacrificing convenience – a small swap that adds up exponentially applied across millions of households.

Use biodegradable bin bags

Household waste inevitably happens despite diligent recycling and composting. Yet most garbage bags sit in landfills decades before breaking down, lengthening waste's impact. Seek out more eco-friendly biodegradable bin bags instead as an easy upgrade.

Better biodegradable bags are made from plant starches like corn, potato, or sugar cane pulp derived plastics that decompose naturally over 1-5 years with the right microbial conditions. Leading options certified compostable through organizations like TUV Austria and BPI. However backyard composting is still often too slow.

Good polymer science allows biodegradable bags that don't rip prematurely yet reliably break down eventually in active landfills through accelerated microbial digestion processes unavailable smaller scale at home. This gives bags needed strength while used yet cuts loose overextended environmental harm afterward. Most feel and function like conventional plastic trash bags during use.

Prices are falling as demand rises and production technology improves. Small changes like using Eco Safe Zero Waste plant starch bags spare future generations from inheriting more preserved trash. Every conscious consumer choice guides industries toward innovations that heal our shared planet.

huge wardrobe

Consider downsizing

Heating/cooling smaller spaces alone provides huge savings, but reassessing needed square footage opens up even more chances for sustainable savings all around. Today's less cluttered, more mobile lifestyles offer chances to right-size living space to actual activities not outmoded norms.

Whether now empty nesters or new homeowners, take time reevaluating how existing (or dreamed of) square footage actually gets used daily. Then explore the financial and environmental benefits sizing realistically by moving or choosing more efficiently designed compact dwellings needing fewer resources all around. Smaller places consume less energy for lights and climate control while reducing possession accumulation that fuels waste.

With some creative furnishing solutions like Murphy beds and convertible furniture, much daily living can unfold comfortably in under 1,000 square feet without aesthetic or actual hardship. Savvy sustainable contractors like Utah based Sprout Tiny Homes offer gorgeous model designs maximizing space through smart construction flourishes.

The less room available, the less likely spaces remain underused or over stuffed. Small and mighty living rewards occupants and the planet exponentially, gaining equity and equity through aligning dreams with reality.

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About Wood Blocks

Our mission is to empower you with the knowledge to curate a wardrobe that not only reflects your personal style but also aligns with environmentally friendly practices. From exploring the wonders of natural mothballs and sustainable garment storage to diving deep into DIY solutions and green living, we're here to guide you on a journey towards a more eco-conscious, stylish, and intentional lifestyle.

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