What is “green spending”? To me, green spending means buying products that are environmental friendly. On a wider scale, it also means living in ways that are not damaging to the earth or to the green environment (surroundings).
For example, when building a house on a plot of land, the house is built with minimal damage to its surroundings where the surrounding trees are preserved instead of cut down. Starbucks made a move towards green building when it opened a new drive-thru coffee shop made out of four recycled shipping containers in Washington, USA.
Are you able to go green and save money at the same time? Yes, it is entirely possible to adopt a healthy green life that is friendly to your budget. Below are several examples that are easy for anyone to adopt and practice.
1. Recycle / create less waste
Recycling your products or things in the house is one example of creating less waste. For example, instead of buying new furniture like a sofa, you can reupholster it to look new again. A chair can be repainted or get the cushion covers redone. Old curtains can be used to make cushion covers, table cloths or even floor mats.
2. Use fewer products
It is common to buy various products that promise to deliver certain performances. For example, an eye cream that specifically reduces wrinkles around the eyes and another cream that reduces wrinkles on the face and neck. A hair shampoo that is supposed to encourage hair growth while another shampoo promotes strong hair and prevents split ends. You get the picture here and the list is not limited to personal care products only. It stretches to kitchen gadgets, car products, health products, etc. Limiting your usage of products can save the environment and is also less damaging to your wallet.
3. Use less energy
Switching off and unplugging all your unused appliances and turning off lights can save energy. Use energy saving light bulbs such as compact fluorescent light bulbs, or change to LED lights.
Reduce petrol consumption by limiting your car usage. For example, combine all your errands into one trip instead of running several trips.
If you are an avid DIY (do-it-yourself) kind of person, you can make your own products for your home or personal usage. For example, making scrubs out of baking soda and water. The paste can be used to clean your counter tops, sink, oven and refrigerator. A mixture of white vinegar, lemon and water can be used to clean your windows.
What about beauty products? A mixture of sugar and some olive oil can be used to exfoliate and moisturize your skin. Surf the internet to find great ideas on various DIY product creations using all natural products (ingredients) that can be found in your kitchen. It won’t take you long to find a few favorite products that suit you and that do not bust your tight budget.
Jacquelyn is the co-author of the books “Teaching Your Kids About Money” and “Top 93 Personal Finance FAQs in Malaysia” with KC Lau. Jacquelyn is the pseudonym used by Amy Sipagal.