Free & Easy Changes
Often, when people talk about being more environmentally friendly and buying better products, they inevitably bring up the common misconception that environmentally friendly products are expensive, and therefore an environmentally sustainable lifestyle must be as well. This is far from true, as most environmentally conscious changes are actually cheaper and an environmentally sustainable lifestyle involves purchasing less, not more. However, companies looking to make a profit often Greenwash their products and increase the price to make consumers purchase those items.
This is why people believe environmentally friendly products are more expensive. True environmentally friendly products may be more expensive, but they are usually meant to last several years to a lifetime as they are often made of metal, glass, wood, and other materials that to not degrade or break as much as plastic.
Oftentimes though, the best changes people can make are free. This page will list free resources and guides to becoming more sustainable without spending money.
Easy Changes –
- Say no to to unnecessary single-use plastic like straws, cups, plastic bags, and to-go containers
- Bring your own bags when shopping anywhere (grocery store, mall, farmers market, etc.)
- Use the library
- Turn old sheets, towels, and clothes into cleaning rags, produce/shopping bags, handkerchiefs, or napkins
- Wash your clothes less (obviously excluding underwear and socks)
- Wash your clothes on cold (tap cold) and dry on the lowest heat setting (hang dry if you can)
- Avoid products with palm oil
- Buy unpackaged when possible
- Walk and ride a bike more if possible
- Bundle up when it’s cold instead of turning the heat up
- Use your leftovers
- Regrow food scraps
- Grow your own herbs (start a garden!)
- Unplug electronics when not in use
- Repair before replacing
- If you have a yard, start composting food and yard scraps
- Learn useful skills like sewing, soap making, gardening, or mechanical repair from places like YouTube
- Reduce your meat and dairy intake. Try meatless Mondays or go vegan for one week out of each month
- DIY skin and other beauty/body care products
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, etc.
- Go paperless on all your bills
- Pick up litter as you walk to places
- Make your own coffee and tea
Alane Ertel is a graduate from the MPH program at the University of North Florida, and was an Intern at their Environmental Center during the creation of this project. Alane’s goal in creating this project is to increase awareness of environmental issues, spread zero/low waste practices, and improve environmental and human health by utilizing her passions for the environment and for creating a healthier society.