The issue of climate change has never been so urgent, and although we look to large corporations and lawmakers to implement the huge changes, there’s a lot we can do in our own homes to help.
By changing our attitude and looking around in our everyday lives to see what is doing the most damage, we can seek out alternatives that are greener.
There is a blossoming market of green alternatives and eco-friendly products out there, but most you’ve already heard of. If you look further though, you’ll see there are even more ways you can reduce your footprint and make some simple changes in life, further doing your part to protect this planet.
What are some green alternatives you can use daily that don’t cost a fortune?
Small and simple changes are the best place to start with almost every area of life having a green option you can use.
Buying items like recycled aluminum foil and homewares, implementing reusable baby food pouches and washable dishcloths at home, and switching to items like recycled office paper and wool footwear are all within reach and can make a true difference.
If you feel like you’ve read every eco-friendly suggestion there is, we’ve got a whole new list for you. We’ve compiled some of the more unique ways you can switch to a greener way of living and reduce your household’s carbon footprint, and all without breaking the bank.
Affordable and Unique Green Alternatives You Can Try
The quest for a healthier planet starts at home, and while we wait for the major corporations and cities to do their part, there’s a lot we can do ourselves.
Check out some of these fun ways you can make an eco-switch and get rid of some of your daily products that are doing more harm than good.
Not many people realize it, but the sheets they sleep on can be made with materials that are harmful to the planet to produce.
Choosing organic bedding materials that have been sourced from sustainably farmed cotton is a great way to reduce your impact, and without having to spend any more than your usual mid-range bed sheets.
These sheets are responsibly manufactured to reduce their environmental impact, so you can sleep well at night knowing you’re doing everything you can to live green. Depending on the brand, a set of organic cotton bed sheets costs less than $100 and will last for years of sleep.
Recycled Plastic Rugs
Recycling is an important part of living green, but it’s also another way you can shop to reduce your carbon footprint. Buying homewares that are made with recycled items is a new and inventive option, and you can now even choose rugs for the floor that used to be something else.
Recycled plastic rugs cost infinitely less than a wool or cotton rug, and they’re far better for the environment, too.
An average area rug that’s been manufactured with items like recycled bottles and plastic can rings can save the use of new materials, come in a range of beautiful colors and designs, and is durable enough to last longer than the usual materials used to make these household items.
Biodegradable Garden Pots
If you’re already doing your part for the planet by growing more plants and even utilizing fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs that you’ve grown yourself, congratulations. However, to take it one step further, you can switch to biodegradable garden pots when you’re in the initial stages of gardening.
A biodegradable garden pot works just like any other, as a vessel to hold a living thing, but you can plant it directly in the soil and allow it to naturally decompose over a year.
Rather than wasting plastic and metal to create other pots, these are an affordable way to make a difference and save yourself the hassle of repotting them one day when they outgrow it.
Our clothing and shoe choices make up a huge portion of our impact on the world, and opting to shop for brands that are eco-friendly can be a game-changer.
One of the best options for footwear are those made of wool, as this natural material is durable and doesn’t feature any synthetic stuff.
A standard pair of wool running shoes cost around $100, making them equal to other brands, but with the eco-friendly touch that you need. There are all types of shoes including flats, slippers, and even work styles, so you can buy something that’s not just green, but stylish and durable as well.
Reusable Sandwich Wraps
If you like to take your lunch to work each day or have kids’ lunches to pack, you already know how much plastic wrap the process takes. Not only is this disposable plastic bad for the environment, but its costs add up over the years.
Investing in a reusable sandwich wrap can save you from having to purchase plastic wrap for years to come, which can make quite an impact.
Reusable sandwich wraps come in all shapes and sizes, and range from a couple of dollars up to around $10.
Although a seemingly expensive investment at first, you’ll never have to use plastic wrap again, so the savings will start to stack up. Many of them are easily hand washed or wiped clean, which makes them an easy option for everyday use.
Recycled Office Paper
When you’re looking to implement changes in your workplace that can reduce your carbon footprint, it might seem hard to do.
If you’re a company that uses a lot of printer paper and have already done everything you can to reduce your usage, choosing a recycled option is an affordable way to can make a change.
A standard ream of recycled paper costs only a dollar or two more than the non-recycled option and is made from a range of papers to create a visually seamless product.
There’s no sign that it’s been recycled, but you’ll know deep down that you’re making an eco-friendly choice that the whole office can enjoy.
Compostable Party Plates and Bowls
There are some times in life when we don’t want to have to hand wash a bunch of plates and bowls, like during the holidays or at birthday parties.
If you need to use disposable plates and bowls for an event, it doesn’t have to be so bad though, with a huge selection of compostable and recyclable options now available.
Choosing a brand that creates disposable plates and bowls means you don’t have to give up on the handiness of something you can throw away, but it reduces your plastic contribution as well.
Recycled Aluminum Foil
Aluminum foil is a staple in every home and kitchen, with uses for everything from baking and cooking to helping kids make craft projects. However, not many people realize how damaging it can be to produce this product, even if it is a major time saver and convenient kitchen item.
Recycled aluminum foil is a relatively new product on the shelves, and a simple switch you can make at the supermarket that won’t break the bank.
This unique aluminum is made of recycled foil, and by choosing a recycled option, you’re using 95% less energy than you would if you purchase the standard kind. For just a few cents more, this is a major saving and one you’ll never even notice.
Reusable Baby Food Pouches
Babies and toddlers go through a lot of food in their early years, and it’s common for parents to rely on disposable food items like yogurt, cheese, and snacks all kept in plastic packaging.
If you want to cut costs and cut your impact on the planet, making the switch to reusable baby food pouches is the way to go.
With a reusable baby food pouch, you can fill it with what you need, and then clean it out and reuse it. Many modern brands are dishwasher friendly for ease of use, and it’ll save you a whole lot of money buying snacks, cheese, and yogurt in bulk to portion out each day.
They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and with a handy spout on top that lets baby eat on the go.
Sustainable Computer Accessories
Your computer might not be the first place you look when you’re trying to choose eco-friendly products, but it should be. Rather than ditching your existing PC and switching to a more sustainably manufactured one, there are some affordable accessories you can buy instead.
Eco-friendly computer accessories include mouses, keyboards, and laptop covers, made from sustainable and ethically sourced materials.
They’re priced around the same as a quality manufacturer of plastic products, but have a guarantee that they’ll last longer and be a much greener alternative.
You can start with just one and eventually upgrade your whole setup to sustainable computer accessories, being sure to recycle the ones you no longer need.
Low Flow Shower Heads
One of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce our water usage is with a low flow showerhead. Where once these bathroom accessories used to be costly and not very good to shower with, the tables have now turned.
Low flow showerheads cost the same, and sometimes less, than your average showerhead and sometimes come with rebates and other incentives to install them.
In addition to the savings here, you’ll save a whole lot of household water usage and costs, so it’s a doubly effective way you can do your part for the planet.
When you’re performing upgrades and renovations at home, it can be easy to forget that you have sustainable options for the materials you choose. Decking is one area that uses a lot of materials, usually sourced from scratch, but switching to an eco-friendly brand puts an end to all of this.
Eco-friendly decking options are made with composite decks that feature a large percentage of recycled wood and plastic. In addition to the materials being greener, their manufacturing processes are good for the planet as well.
Although slightly more expensive in the initial installation stages, this type of composite decking comes with a lifetime guarantee, so you’ll never have to replace it again.
Plastic cutlery is a major contributor to our disposable waste problem, and when you think back on all the parties, BBQs, and picnics you have, you’ll see why. If you have an upcoming event, choosing compostable cutlery is an affordable switch that is good for the planet as well.
Made from compostable materials that will break down easily when thrown away, this type of cutlery is best. You can even throw many of them in your backyard compost pile when done, provided they’re clean, so they won’t end up in landfills causing even more problems.
Although we don’t go through a lot of watches in our lives, provided we take care of them, there are still ways we can make them a more eco-friendly purchase. Wooden watches are hand-crafted with materials like recycled wood and bamboo, giving a stylish and durable way to tell the time.
Compared to other products like rubber, plastic, and leather, all of which take their toll on the planet, a wooden watch leaves a minimal footprint.
Better still, they’re cheaper than most luxury brands because they don’t use leather, so you can save yourself some money while saving the planet as well.
Solar Powered Lawnmower
While there’s nothing we can do to get out of mowing our lawns, there is a way we can make it more beneficial for the planet.
A solar-powered lawnmower isn’t the cheapest thing on our list, with an initial investment of around $600 for a basic model, but you’ll save on fuel costs in the future and have a more sustainable option.
Solar-powered lawnmowers feature rechargeable batteries that can be powered up with the sun, so there’s no need for electricity or gas to use them.
They signal a huge change in gardening tools and appliances in the future, so if you’re in the market for a new lawnmower you should see what they can offer.
Cotton Dish Towels
Many homes are guilty of buying disposable dish rags that end up being thrown away after a few days of solid use. Investing in some organic cotton dish towels can change all that, and save you a lot of money in the process.
These cotton towels are made to be reused and washed, and will withstand years of cleaning, washing, and wiping.
Although you’ll have to spend around $10 for a packet of three, you’ll save yourself having to purchase disposable wipes and cloths in the future.
They’ll last for years to come, are made with sustainably sourced materials, and manufactured to have as minimal impact on the earth as possible, making them an eco-friendly option that does it all.
As everyday consumers, the products we purchase can make a huge difference in our impact on the planet. By showing companies that we prefer to spend a little more and do our research to reduce our carbon footprint, we aim to change the market altogether.
If you’re thinking about switching to eco-friendly alternatives, we’ve got some answers to FAQs that can help you do just that.
What is the Most Eco-Friendly Clothing Material?
Many of the cheaper fabrics used to make clothing take a toll on the environment, so choosing eco-friendly alternatives is a great way to make a difference.
Clothing options like hemp, soy silk, linen, and organic cotton are all better for the planet, and wearing recycled or second-hand clothes can greatly reduce the demand for new clothing manufacturing.
How Much Waste Does the Average Person Produce?
In the United States, the average person produces around 4.4lbs of waste each day, including food waste, clothing, and everyday use of plastics and disposable products.
By aiming to reduce our reliance on disposable items and switching to reusable and recyclable ones, we can drastically reduce our daily waste output.
What Does Eco Stand For?
Eco is a shortened term for ecology which is the system of relationships between all living things.
When something is eco-friendly it means that it aims to be less harmful to these living things and their environment, whether it’s a service, production process, and manufactured product.