I recently posted about climate charities I think are worth donating to, but not everyone has the money to donate to charity! A lot of tips about being sustainable involves spending money like buying zero-waste products or buying sustainable fashion so it’s understandable to find yourself wondering how to be eco-friendly on a budget.
A lot of the narrative surrounding the climate crisis and tackling pollution comes from a high-and-mighty place without keeping what lots of people realistically can and cannot do in mind. I would always say the greenest thing you can buy is using nothing at all (and using what you already have).
But, there can be social pressure to buy minimalist mason jars or cute reusable coffee cups. it’s just not an option for everyone to go out and buy new things. You can still be green without needing to spend a penny so I compiled a list of free things you can do to help the environment:
This post is not sponsored and does not contain affiliate links. Any brands or companies mentioned here are included based on my own independent findings.
How To Be Eco-Friendly On A Budget
1. Switch Your Search Engine To Ecosia
Ecosia is a search engine that plants trees with the funds for their ad revenue. Around 45 searches plants one tree – so get searching!
2. Add Opentabs To Your Browser
opentabs.org is a browser extension. Every 10 tabs opened saves 1 tree. They raise funds to provide poverty-reducing microloans and use the repaid funds to protect rainforests. They also promise that your data is not being collected.
3. Delete Your Junk Emails
Did you know your email inbox has a carbon footprint? I didn’t until recently!
Emails – standard emails without attachments – are said to emit around four grams of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent). Picture attachments take it up to 50g.
I was already clearing out my email because it was almost at capacity – and I’d rather not pay for more storage – but now I’m committed to limited my emails going forward.
If there are any mailing lists you don’t care about anymore, it’s a good reason to unsubscribe.
4. Use Your Voice
It’s free to vote, attend a protest and reach out to businesses and local politicians regarding how green they are or are not.
5. Walk, Walk, Walk
The oldest free sustainable living tip in the book! Getting a lift or driving is convenient but I always ask myself if it’s really necessary. Personally, if it’s bright and dry, I’m happy to walk half an hour somewhere.
6. Skip The Bottled Water
If you have perfectly clean and safe tap water, there’s not much of a reason to buy bottles of water but somehow, most people do! I completely get that not all tap water tastes the same. The water in my apartment doesn’t taste the exact same as the water at home. I’ve been adding lime water to mine (which tastes way better than lemon water).
7. Donate Old Clothes & Household Items
Fashion is a huge culprit when it comes to pollution.
I try to avoid throwing out old clothes and shoes at any cost. If it’s in good condition, there’s no reason not to donate it to a charity shop. You might not like it anymore, but someone else will.
I’ve also noticed that while people seem to be quite good with donating old clothes to charity, they seem more hesitant to donate household products. It’s odd because charity shops usually have books and homeware.
If you need the cash, you can also sell your old items. At this point, most of my clothes are probably from Depop.
8. Upcycle What You Can
My last tip on how to be eco-friendly on a budget is all about repurposing things. Before throwing something out, ask yourself can it be reused? Can you cut that old t-shirt into a cloth to clean the kitchen? Can you use food scraps as a facemask? Can those old jam jars be used as good storage. Be creative!
Do you have any tips on how to be eco-friendly on a budget? Do you do any of these green things for free?