Everyone aware of the consequences of climate change wants to know how to save the planet, but not everyone has the money to invest in it. For this reason, this post is dedicated to eco-friendly ideas that are free or don’t involve spending money you normally wouldn’t. It’s a common misconception that we need money to make a difference. In fact, there are so many things we can do to lower our carbon footprint without spending money. For instance, raising awareness, voting, refusing to buy certain products, educating ourselves, activism, etc. Here’s how we can make some eco-friendly changes without spending money.
How to Save the Planet Without Spending Money
For those of you that haven’t already heard of Ecosia, it’s an innovative search engine you need to know about. Each time you search the web with Ecosia, the company plants trees where they are most needed around the world. In fact, their sustainable projects will blow your mind as they plant alternatives to palm oil to help affected wildlife, help save chimpanzees, and even have reforestation projects carried out by experts. With over 125 million trees already planted, join over 15 million users save the planet with a search engine. What’s more, Ecosia runs on renewable energy as clean solar plant energy powers this carbon-neutral search engine. So how exactly does it work? Well as the company earns revenue from each search, that money is invested in planting a tree to help reach carbon-negative goals. Spread the word because “if Ecosia were as big as Google, it could absorb 15% of all global CO2 emissions.”
Find Local Sustainability Events
The beauty of volunteering locally is that it shouldn’t cost a penny. Invest time in a cause close to home by finding local sustainability events. The question of how to save the planet unites us on a global scale, and can also bring us together as a local community. Search, on Ecosia of course, local sustainability events in which you can lend a helping hand. From beach clean-ups or how to grow crops and upcycle, check out what’s available in your area. If there aren’t any events coming up, you can even create and register an event via Earthday.org. And, if planning an event isn’t your cup of tea, with the current climate there are plenty of virtual events courtesy of Earth Day that we can join from the comfort of our own home.
Education is a powerful tool. Read books, watch documentaries, and follow experts and leaders in the field of sustainability. Nowadays, thanks to the diversity of information available online and in print, we can learn without spending a penny. Take a trip to the local library to find books on sustainability, or if you’re subscribed to Netflix educate yourself with these inspiring documentaries on how to save the planet. The more we understand about climate change, the more we can do to help reverse it.
Adopt a Minimalist Approach
Minimalism is intricately connected with sustainable living. Why? Because it entails having as little as possible in terms of possessions. It involves making conscious choices when shopping and asking ourselves, “do I really need this?” or “will I still use this a year from now or is it just a trend?” What we buy takes a toll on our carbon footprint, and the planet. Of course, in a capitalist society it’s completely normally to be surrounded by adverts that leave us lusting for the latest trends. With these ideals ingrained in our society, it takes some serious discipline to say no to unsustainable purchases. The good news is that, by saying no to non-essentials, we save money and help save the planet.
Meatless Monday is a movement designed to encourage people to reduce their meat intake for the sake of our health and the planet. Started in 2003 by Sid Lerner, this global campaign helps preserve land and water resources to fight climate change. Interestingly, this concept actually originated in World War I in a time of food scarcity to preserve certain food like meat for the troops and their war effort. Nowadays, Meatless Monday invites us to skip eating meat once a week to adopt a more plant-based, sustainable diet. Giving up meat isn’t viable for everyone, so this is a great place to start for those looking to be more eco-friendly without diet sacrifices. To find out more about the impact animal products have on the environment, check out this article on sustainable diets.
What is it about showers and indulging in high-quality thinking or karaoke? Though I’m all for shower thinking and singing sessions, the ugly truth is that we probably use way more water than needed. According to US studies, the average shower lasts 8 minutes. Cutting it back by three minutes is definitely doable and will help lower energy costs and conserve water. The water we save will ensure that ecological and geological cycles conserve more water to run efficiently. If you’re a shower thinker, why not set a timer of 5 minutes? Or if you’re a shower singer, time it with the length of a couple of your go-to shower songs.
OK, so it’s safe to say that this is a well-known eco-friendly tactic that many households employ. However, the question is are you recycling the right way? Firstly, we must wash anything dirty before we recycle it. Think containers, cans, bottles, etc. Secondly, each area and country actually abide by different recycling rules. Educate yourself on your local recycling and food composting rules to ensure that you recycle effectively.
Charging and Powering Devices
How often have you left your phone charging overnight? Or how about leaving unused devices plugged in? Though there are certain devices that we conveniently leave plugged in, like the Wi-Fi router or the TV, for some it’s not necessary. Unplug devices when not in use or when you leave the room. These electrical appliances actually require some “standby” power despite not being in-use. Try to avoid charging devices overnight. Learn approximately how long they take to charge to unplug them when fully charged. Not only is it a waste of money in terms of the electricity bill, but it also has an unnecessary impact on the planet.
Use Colder Water
Did you know that by turning the water temperature down we actually save on electricity? This is because it takes energy to heat the water up. From a sustainable perspective, cold water will lower your carbon footprint as well as cut back on electricity bill costs. Interestingly, it provides therapeutic benefits for our health too. According to academic studies, the benefits include “weight loss stimulation, increased circulation and stress reduction.” Turn the temperature down for personal hygiene rituals like brushing your teeth, washing your face, etc. Also, from an environmental standpoint, it’s more sustainable to turn the washing machine cycle down to 30 degrees.
Governments can create laws and introduce sustainable objectives. Governments can promote green energy and limit or ban the use of non-renewable or polluting resources. They can combat climate change with other nations and inspire change globally. Vote wisely, in addition to political interests, consider voting for parties with the planet in mind. Governments with aims to go carbon neutral, and protect wildlife and ecosystems, and use green energy will provide us with a greener future. Make sure your vote counts.
Thankfully, we as individuals can make a difference. Sustainable lifestyle changes reduce our own carbon footprint and help reverse climate change. By spreading the word, we are also more likely to inspire others to do the same. Here are just a handful of tips on how to save the planet without spending money. The less energy we waste, the less carbon footprint we produce. Likewise, the more consciously we consume, when shopping or our diet, the more sustainable we will become. Let’s help, not hinder, the planet by searching on Ecosia, educating ourselves, joining local environmental events, and voting wisely. What are your top tips for how to protect the environment without spending money? Let us know in the comments below.