03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

10 New Ways To Go Green (And Save Money While Doing It!)

From Associated Content, by Meg C.

Having a green lifestyle can be a lot of fun. You don't have to settle for secondhand junk or sacrifice your quality of life.

Eco-friendly lifestyle choices and sustainable living have become more and more commonplace. As you pursue your own green lifestyle, chances are you will be searching for green living tips that go beyond changing your lightbulbs and lowering your thermostat. Here are 10 new ways to go green, and to save some green at the same time.

1. Buy from environmentally responsible companies. This may cost you more up front, but you will save money in the long run. Companies that take the time to evaluate their impact on the environment typically make higher quality products, and have better customer service.

2. Make your own cleaning supplies. Baking soda, peroxide, vinegar, lemon and gentle soaps are all effective cleaning supplies. Cleaning your home with these common items is easier on your home's interior, and your wallet.

3. Install eco-friendly window treatments. Eco-friendly window treatments such as Roman shades made out of bamboo are a great way to redecorate your home, save money on energy bills, and to live a sustainable lifestyle. Purchase secondhand draperies or other window treatments made out of recycled goods.

4. Volunteer. Instead of heading out of town for vacation, volunteer at a nearby animal shelter, children's home or retirement community. You will still be experiencing something outside of your normal routine, and you will save money that you would have spent on travel and accommodations. In addition, you will brighten someone (or something) else's life.

5. Create your own home decor. Repurpose items that you don't have any use for anymore. You would be amazed at what you can create with a few seemingly useless items and a dash of creativity. Repaint worn items using eco-friendly paint. If you don't have a creative streak, purchasing art made out of recycled goods can be less expensive than buying other items for your home.

6. Use reusable aluminum water bottles. Aluminum water bottles are a healthier alternative to plastic water bottles. Once you purchase an aluminum water bottle, you can use it over and over. This will save money, since bottles of water are very expensive over time.

7. Compost. Composting is not a new idea, but it's a great way to save money and contribute to an eco-friendly lifestyle. You can even add milk and juice cartons to your compost piles. Making your own compost will leave you with fertile soil for free.

8. Recycle rainwater. Use barrels to trap water to use outdoors. This water will save you a considerable amount of money on your water bill each year, as it is perfect for your outdoor water needs.

9. Send e-cards. Replace traditional greeting cards with e-cards, and you will save time and money. E-cards are also better for the environment. Many greeting cards end up thrown away, adding more waste to already overloaded landfills. During the holidays, create a family blog or simple Web site instead of sending out family newsletters. This will also save you money and reduce paper waste.

10. Experiment with urban homesteading. Urban homesteading typically starts by growing your own food, then extends to catching your own rainwater, and even installing your own energy sources. Urban homesteading provides a peace of mind, as this makes you less dependent on public utilities.

Having a green lifestyle can be a lot of fun. You don't have to settle for secondhand junk or sacrifice your quality of life.


Urban Homesteading