How to live more sustainably without spending any money

Living a more sustainable lifestyle should be accessible to everyone. Often times we can get caught up on the picture perfect low waste lifestyles we see on Instagram, but choosing to live more eco-friendly is a lot more than just mason jars and whicker baskets. A lot of sustainable habits will help you cut down on unnecessary waste and save you money in the long run, so here some tips on how to live more sustainably without spending any money. 

Choose to Reuse

1. Bring a reusable bag to the grocery store. Repurpose any cloth bags you might've gotten from shopping into a reusable tote to carry groceries, hold books, or keep tucked away in your backpack just in case. Especially thin cloth bags from stores like Urban Outfitter can be folded into a small square that fits into any pocket and be pulled out to be used anytime. 

2. Carry a reusable water bottle at all times. Fill up your water bottle at home and bring it with you to avoid buying more plastic water bottles. 

3. Reuse ziplocks. We already reuse hard plastic containers all the time, and we can do the same with soft plastic too! Most ziplock bags holding snacks and veggies can be washed with warm soapy water, left out to dry, and reused multiple times. 

4. Save packaging and repurpose it. Keep sturdy gift boxes or jewelry packaging boxes and reuse them for storing office supplies, loose makeup, or snacks around the house. Even bubble wrap can be kept to be reused in case you need to ship a package in the future. 

Choose to Refuse

1. Choose plastic free veggies and fruits when you can. When you're grocery shopping, pick loose fruits and veggies and keep them in a reusable mesh bag or cotton bag instead of buying pre-packaged groceries. 

2. Say no to plastic straws. Bring around a reusable straw if you enjoy drinks using a straw or choose to sip your drink that day. 

3. Stop accepting freebies when you know you don't need it. It's so tempting to accept freebies (from makeup brands or company booths) because we often wonder what if I could use that. However, more often than not you never end up using those mini products or notepads and you end up having to throw them out when you declutter your drawers. As nice as they are, politely say no.

4. Wait at least one night before making an impulsive purchase. We often fall prey to the shopping rush or urgency to buy a product, but if you choose to sleep on the decision the next morning you might've completely forgotten about it! That shows how impulsive our shopping habits might be at times, and simply taking time off to do something else can give us a clearer perspective on our decisions. 

Save Energy 

1. Bundle up instead of turning up the heat. Around 48% of all home energy consumption comes from heating and cooling, and the choice to wear slippers instead of turning up the heat can protect the environment and lower your electricity bill. This is especially important if your neighbourhood or the state you are living in relies on fossil-fuel and non-renewable sources for energy. 

2. Use cold water on your laundry and hang dry. Washing your clothes in cold water uses less energy, plus reduces the likelihood that your clothing's colour will fade or shrink. 

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