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8 Ways to Be More Eco-Friendly (and Save Money)

Ways to be more eco-friendly

Sustainable living is on the rise – and for good reason! Simple, everyday choices can reduce our consumption and minimize our impacts on the environment. Oh, and did we mention many of the habits that are easier on the environment are also easier on our wallets? (Score!)

Here are a few ways you can go green while also saving money:

1. Meal prep with reusable containers.

Takeout is more than just a drain on your budget; it also affects the environment. Most of those to-go containers aren’t biodegradable, so they hang around in landfills or in our oceans for thousands of years. So skip the delivery fees and take a little time to meal prep for the week. When you’re packing your lunch, avoid using Ziploc bags – they create more waste and cost more money.

2. PLASTIC IS SO YESTERDAY.

We all love the convenience of a recyclable water bottle or plastic utensils you don’t need to wash, but these little things add up over time for both the environment and your budget. Switch to an eco-friendly reusable water bottle (go ahead and splurge for a cute one if you like – you’ll make up for the cost of the bottle in just a couple refills), and you’ll be well on your way! And those plastic utensils? Buy a single metal set to keep at work, so you don’t have to reach for the plastic set anymore…they’ll work a little better and last a lot longer. Another easy tip: Bring your own bags when you grocery shop – especially since some retailers will stop offering disposable bags.

3. CONSIDER FUEL-EFFICIENCY ON YOUR NEXT CAR PURCHASE.

With the fluctuation of gas prices, it’s always important to keep fuel efficiency in mind. Plus, it’s great for your wallet and the environment in the long term! Ready to buy? Make sure you are comparing miles per gallon, or maybe consider if an electric car is suitable for your lifestyle. Check out the Smart Auto Buying Resource Center. We’ve got online tools and on-staff experts to help you at every stage of the research and buying process.

4. IMPROVE YOUR CURRENT CAR'S EFFICIENCY.

There are many cheap, easy ways to get the job done. For instance, according to fueleconomy.gov, speeding and rapid acceleration can lower your gas mileage by 33%! Another easy way to improve fuel-efficiency is to clean out your car. Excess weight will make your engine work harder and in turn burn through more gas. You should also get regular car checkups. Having someone check all the small odds and ends like the gas cap seal, air filter and spark plugs can add up to big savings. Find out more fuel-efficiency hacks here: Energy.gov. Who knew it could be that easy to go green?

5. EMBRACE THE SHARING ECONOMY.

You can share everything these days, from rides and rooms to even clothes! You can also save money in your everyday life by borrowing things instead of owning. So instead of buying your own leaf blower or a fancy stand mixer, ask a friend to borrow theirs – you can even coordinate an exchange if there’s something of yours they’d like to borrow in return. Additionally, check out carpool opportunities on Wisconsin’s RIDESHARE website or in the Waze Carpool community.

6. DECLUTTER AND DONATE. THEN, THRIFT SHOP!

Ready to jump on the decluttering trend? Be sure to donate those items that no longer “spark joy.” Then, the next time you shop, start by hitting thrift stores and consignment shops in your area. You never know when a serendipitous find might become your new favorite piece. Thrifting can save you money and help reduce your contribution to the environmental impacts of the “fast-fashion” industry. Now that’s what we call chic.

7. Spend your money wisely.

When you do make a purchase, think twice before swiping your card or phone. We’re all guilty of an impulse buy from time to time, but one of the best ways to reduce your impact on the environment is to reduce your consumption altogether and aim to buy things only when they align with your values and goals. Get started by checking out these tips to bring a minimalist mindset to your finances.

8. INVESTIGATE TELECOMMUTING.

This won’t work for every job or company, but maybe it could work for you. Telecommuting even one day a week could make a dent in your car-related costs and maybe even benefit your company and your career.

Just a few simple habit changes can help you be more eco-friendly and reduce your spending – it’s a win-win! Looking for more ways to save? Check out these simple ways to save every month or schedule an appointment to meet with a financial expert for personalized tips to balance spending and saving.