Many consumers like the idea of living a sustainable lifestyle. Knowing you can live a happy, healthy, and comfortable life while reducing your detrimental effects on the environment is always a good thing. But then, many people think a sustainable lifestyle to be quite expensive.They believe a truly sustainable lifestyle refers to investing in energy-efficient upgrades and eco-friendly materials. In reality, a sustainable lifestyle is not just about investing in solar panels, living only on organic food, and having a big compost pile in your backyard. Although such a lifestyle involves a series of major adjustments in your life, it does not automatically mean you are obliged to spend more than what you can afford just to be more mindful of your actions.
There are lots of ways you can turn your lifestyle around to make it more eco-friendly. You don’t even need to empty your savings or live a life more than you can afford. Here are five examples of how you can live a sustainable life while on a tight budget.
Know When to Repair or Replace
Replacing decades-old appliances and electronics in exchange for newer, more energy-efficient ones may seem like the best ways to reduce your energy usage and improve your energy bills. But there is no reason to invest in brand-new appliances if these are still in perfect condition and if repairing appliances makes better sense. Knowing when it is worth repairing something instead of replacing this with another can help reduce your expenses and your waste.
Here’s when making repairs and asking a professional help for repair services is a better choice:
- If repairing the item costs more than the original price
- If the item has a sentimental value
- If disposing of the broken item cost just as much as having it repaired
- If the item is too expensive to replace
- If you can easily DIY the repair
- If there are local businesses offering repairs at a reasonable price
There are also clear signs showing you when it is now time to replace your appliances. For one, consistent repairs can mean your appliance is now breaking down. The same goes if a particular appliance keeps tripping the breaker.
Be Mindful of Your Shopping Habits
How you shop and what you shop for can make a big difference when trying to live sustainably. You can do more than just bring your own reusable bags and containers and choosing products with eco-friendly packaging when grocery-shopping. Here are some shopping habits that won’t break your budget.
- If possible, buy in bulk
- Go for less meat and processed food
- Choose a plant-based diet
- Plan your meals and cook more at home
- Grow your own produce
- Buy second-hand items
- Buy less
- Choose local stores and suppliers
- Turn weekly trips to the supermarket into monthly trips
- Consider a one-time investment of a water-filtration system and drink from the tap
Be Mindful of Your Daily Habits
Our house is our comfort space. We can do whatever we want and choose to use our resources how we want. But if you want a more sustainable lifestyle, this means you should be willing to change certain habits in exchange for better and more eco-friendly practices.
Being more mindful of how we live each involves:
- Use a smart power strip
- Fix leaky faucets
- Take shorter showers
- Wash full loads of laundry
- Use cold water settings in washing clothes
- Air-dry freshly washed clothes
- Leverage natural light
- Choose LED and solar light bulbs
- Open windows to let fresh air circulate around the house
- Use ceiling fans instead of AC units
- Turn the temperature at a comfortable level
- Skip private transport by taking the public transit, carpooling, running, walking, or riding the bike instead
These days, we can pay most of our bills online. If you can pay your bills online, this means you can turn those pesky printed bills out of your bag and into your email instead. So, consider going paperless and stop receiving those unnecessary mails that only end up in the trash.
Tell your utility and financial providers to send your bills through emails instead. Automate your payments for any recurring bills. For the important documents, you need to keep, scan these and save them as digitized copies.
Only keep the required originals. The less paper you use, the less paper waste you create. This gives you more space to enjoy and better peace of mind knowing you are not missing any payments thanks to automated bill payments.
Choosing a more sustainable life does not necessarily mean you need to make expensive investments you can’t afford. Stick to what you can do by being more mindful of the way you live. This goes to show that a sustainable life can be cheap and affordable.