10 Easy Things You Can Do Right Now to be More Eco-friendly (and not spend a dime!)

April is National Earth Month, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make some eco-friendly changes right now! Here are 10 easy things you can do immediately to be more environmentally conscientious without spending a dime. And they might even save you some money!
10 Easy Things You Can Do Right Now to be More Eco-friendly (and not spend a dime!) | Musings of a Modern Hippie

10 Easy Things You Can Do Right Now to be More Eco-friendly

(and not spend a dime!)

10 Easy Things You Can Do Right Now to be More Eco-friendly (and not spend a dime!) | Musings of a Modern Hippie

1.  Turn off the lights when you are not in a room. Sounds simple right? They say it takes something like 21 times to form a habit. It might take little sticky note reminders on the switches to get the family to remember to do this, but once it become a habit, you won’t even think twice about it.

 
10 Easy Things You Can Do Right Now to be More Eco-friendly (and not spend a dime!) | Musings of a Modern Hippie

2.  Turn off the water when you brush your teeth. Super easy and can save you gallons per person each day. That adds up quickly.


10 Easy Things You Can Do Right Now to be More Eco-friendly (and not spend a dime!) | Musings of a Modern Hippie

3.  Turn your thermostat down in the winter and up in the summer. Even just a few degrees can make a difference in your energy bills. Throw on a blanket or sweatshirt in the winter and wear lighter clothing in the summer. Your body will adjust over time to the temperature changes.

 

10 Easy Things You Can Do Right Now to be More Eco-friendly (and not spend a dime!) | Musings of a Modern Hippie

4.  This is one that people love to hate. Don’t use fertilizer, pesticides, and weed killers on your lawn. I never understood suburban America’s obsession with the perfectly manicured lawn. Yes, that expanse of uniform greenery looks pretty, but it’s such an effort in futility to me. Nature will always win and monoculture is not natural. I’m not saying that everyone needs to plant gardens on every square foot of their yard, or let the yard go completely wild, but you can let it get a little wild and still look nice. Or even plant a low growing species of plant that doesn’t require mowing. If you are not one to harvest all the wild edibles that grow well in yards (never harvest from lawns that have been sprayed for at least 5 years after last administration), you can easily dig up weeds by hand with a weeder tool. Another way to easily keep weeds out is to mow on the highest setting to allow the grass to block out sunlight from reaching the weeds.


10 Easy Things You Can Do Right Now to be More Eco-friendly (and not spend a dime!) | Musings of a Modern Hippie

5. Recycle. An oldie but still relevant and easy to incorporate once you get in the habit. Many cities actually require recycling by law, so check with your local government if your trash pickup doesn’t already include recycling bins. You can recycle just about everything these days including pizza boxes, aerosol cans, milk cartons, juice boxes, plastic grocery bags, books, and gift wrap. And for random things that your recycling center won’t take, check out this list.



10 Easy Things You Can Do Right Now to be More Eco-friendly (and not spend a dime!) | Musings of a Modern Hippie

6. Use your bath towel more than once. You use it to dry off an already clean body, so why not get a whole week’s use out of it?

7.  Wear clothes for more than one day. I’m obviously not talking about undies or socks, but if you have a day job that doesn’t require a lot of physical energy, is in a climate controlled environment, and doesn’t get covered in some sort of external dirt, there is no reason you can’t wear that pair of pants a few times before washing. We wear our shoes many, many times and those are on our feet! Same with jammies. Generally, you can get at least a few days wear out of a pair of pajamas before washing.


10 Easy Things You Can Do Right Now to be More Eco-friendly (and not spend a dime!) | Musings of a Modern Hippie

8. In keeping with cutting back on laundry, why not wash your lessened load in cold? There are many eco-friendly detergents that work just as well in cold water. Can’t get past that hot water to sanitize mentality? Try washing only one load in hot – towels, socks, and undies – and wash everything else in cold (your colors will thank you by staying brighter longer, and your cottons won’t shrink as quickly).

9.  Hang clothes up to dry. There’s nothing like the smell of freshly washed clothes that have been line dried in the summer sun. UV rays from the sun are a wonderful alternative to bleach as well – think brighter whites, and a free sanitize cycle!


10 Easy Things You Can Do Right Now to be More Eco-friendly (and not spend a dime!) | Musings of a Modern Hippie

10. Make reusable napkins from old clothes. This tutorial shows just how easy it is to cut up old clothes to use as napkins – no sewing required. We used scraps of old tee shirts for ours.

Looking for a few more easy changes at minimal cost?

Add timers to your lights.
Swap out your old thermostat for a programmable one.
Switch to an eco-friendly laundry detergent like this one.
Swap the dryer sheets (they can cause fires) with wool dryer balls like the ones we love.
Start a compost pile or bin for food waste.
Switch to reusable grocery bags or boxes like these.

Feel free to comment and add your own favorite suggestions or ideas below!

10 Easy Things You Can Do Right Now to be More Eco-friendly (and not spend a dime!) | Musings of a Modern Hippie

 

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Braintree Clothing
 

18 comments for “10 Easy Things You Can Do Right Now to be More Eco-friendly (and not spend a dime!)

  1. April 15, 2014 at 1:14 am

    Although I need to pay attention to my thermostat more, I really wish I could do #9. It was my goal last summer to have a clothes line by this summer. but now the weather is warming up and I am not sure it will happen. At least not soon enough. I think I ight just have to stop thinking about it and go buy one of those umbrella ones.

    Great tips!

  2. April 15, 2014 at 1:42 am

    Love this post–and thanks for the shout-out!!!

  3. Krystal Bernier
    April 15, 2014 at 6:14 am

    I’m happy to say I do most of these. I agree with you about lawn, I can’t stand it, such a waste of energy. My husband and I have been slowly eliminating our lawn one section at a time. We only have two small patches now that we will keep, I use an old reel mower (not sure if that’s the right word), and I never fertilize. Leaving the cuttings behind is enough to keep the lawn growing green.

  4. April 15, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Love this! I wish that people thought about these things year around! The BEST part of being eco friendly is it saves us money too! Less electricity and water use = a smaller bill!

  5. April 15, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    Love them all, and you are right, they don’t cost a thing!

  6. April 16, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Great tips for anyone hoping to get started going green!

  7. April 18, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Great tips for people starting out 🙂 You showed how easy it is to start going green!

  8. April 18, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    Wonderful tips indeed – free and easy ways to green up!

  9. April 21, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    These are great and so easy…anyone could do all or a few!

  10. April 22, 2014 at 12:41 am

    I love these tips! We do most of these and I’ve learned a few new tricks, too!

  11. April 22, 2014 at 3:25 am

    These are easy, we already do most of them. My Parents used to make us kids weed the grass by hand and I hated it. But now that I have my own yard, I understand why.

  12. Anonymous
    June 10, 2014 at 1:18 am

    I put all my used kitchen clothes – like the Chux wipe type or J cloth type clothes into a delicates bag and was them – saves buying more. I also don’t put my fruit into plastic when I buy it, I leave it loose in the shopping trolley and just place it on the conveyor belt in groups according to type so it can be weighed easily. It has skin and will be washed before being eaten, so I don’t see why it needs to be put into individual little plastic bags just to go through the checkout. We also keep re-useable shopping bags and take them grocery shopping to avoid more plastic bags. If we do get any plastic bags, we use them as doggy poop bags to pick up after our dog on walks or to put our rubbish in. These are generally the very thin plastic bags used by supermarkets these days. When clothes shopping or shoe shopping etc, I usually take a bag to put my purchases in and specify to the store assistant – no plastic thanks – I have my own bag. The plastic bags are more for their own purposes of advertising their store anyway. Providing you have the receipt with you for your purchases you won’t have a problem with the store detective thinking you have been shop lifting! We also pick up autumn leaves from the local streets near the local dog park to add carbon to our compost. We keep a bin of leaves by our compost bins so we always have leaves to add to the compost to balance the kitchen scrap (nitrogen) with carbon.

    • June 10, 2014 at 1:57 am

      Brilliant ideas! I love my reusable grocery bags. I have these fantastic reusable bags for smaller loose produce as well (like pea pods), but I agree, why use a bag for produce that’s just going to get washed or peeled anyway? I do need to get better at bringing my bags to other stores as well. I usually keep a few in the car but I still forget!

  13. Mike
    May 4, 2015 at 12:18 am

    Love it….. please tell me two things though – what is a tap? and what is a thermostat? LOL

    I made the move to the countryside about 5 yrs ago and this May bank holiday moved to a farm that previously a 94 yr old lived in. Her family have given me a lifetime lease for the cost of my electricity (3.90 euro).

    No plumbing, unless you call a well ‘plumbing’ the closest thing to a tap is the bucket I pull the water out with 🙂 and my thermostats are the wood burning stove (for cooking and heating) and the windows (very effective at cooling a room LOL).

    The fruit garden is well stocked with bushes and trees that I’m guessing were planted over a decade ago. And, I’m sat deep in the Latvian countryside where modern farming techniques haven’t reached – my little bit of paradise on earth.

    Like the blog, looking forward to reading more but I have to let the goats out first!

    • May 14, 2015 at 9:12 pm

      It truly does sound like a little bit of paradise on earth!

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