Live Green w/o Spending Green

Live Green w/o Spending Green

June 15, 2020

Published by Aakanksha Nair

It’s expensive. It’s inconvenient. It’s impossible to go all in. Sound familiar? This is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the excuses we make to not live green. What if I told you, it can be inexpensive, it can be convenient, and it doesn’t have to be all or nothing? Living green isn’t like switching from coffee to boba. It’s a lifestyle and it, therefore, takes time to adapt to. Here are a few ways in which you can level up in your journey to go green:

1. Reduce Waste

Waste is a relative term - one man’s waste can be another’s food. Restaurants like Instock are proving this to be true by turning food surplus into delicious meals and products (more here). Need more inspiration? Check out these amazing recipes that use food waste as their core ingredients (click here to try one). Waste expands beyond food and one magical word can help you reduce the waste you create: up cycling. Things that usually end up in the trash can actually be reused before you send them on their way to a landfill. That empty wine bottle can become your new decor piece by putting a string of fairy lights in it. Empty plastic bottles can become pots for planting. Eggshells, coffee grounds, and vegetable peels can become compost. Old cardboard boxes can become storage containers. Basically, your so-called waste has a lot of potential so utilize it to its fullest before you head to the trash disposal.  

2. Minimize Energy Use

Crack open that window and breathe in that fresh air. Too hot? Draw the curtains. Too cold? Wear your partner’s favorite hoodie. There’s a lot of ways to keep ourselves in a comfortable temperature that does not involve consuming copious amounts of energy. Thinking of air-conditioning as a nice-to-have instead of a must-have will not only help you live greener but also save you money in energy bills. In fact, this is just the tip of the quickly dissolving iceberg (#climate change pun). Switch off lights when you leave a room, unplug devices once you’re done using them, take shorter showers, hand-wash clothes when possible, and keep finding more and more ways in which you can reduce your energy footprint. Every small step you take to live green is going to count towards making a big impact.

3. Replace

A lot of things we buy actually contribute negatively to the environment: Sanitary napkins and tampons amount to 3.2M kgs of waste annually at a global level and those plastic bags and bottles we use for convenience amount to 8 million metric tonnes of waste in the ocean. Shocking, right? Well, there’s a lot we can do to reduce this number. For starters, use a re-washable cloth instead of cotton swabs, switch out paper towels for sponges or rags, bring your own bags instead of using plastic bags, try menstrual cups instead of sanitary napkins or tampons or start using home-made cleaners instead of industrial ones. There are a million small things you can do to start living a green life. Best part? Most of them don’t leave your wallet lighter.

4. Shop Local

Local shops have a much shorter and simpler supply chain than your larger brands. When it comes to food, local produce is relatively more organic, hormone-free, and pesticide-free. All this makes shopping local an eco-friendly and sustainable choice. Moreover, local brands put a lot of thought and care into offering quality produce and service. This ensures that when you buy local you’re making a choice that is great for the environment, society, and economy.

For a lot of us living green equals spending green. The notion around this lifestyle is that it requires higher purchasing power and extreme commitment. While living green can seem daunting it is actually super simple if you break it down into smaller steps. If we take one step towards a greener life we’re still doing better than before. So it doesn’t matter if you start late or start small as long as you start. Need more perspective? Check out what some trailblazers in the green space have to say about living green at the Pitch It Green conference.

Expert Thoughts

Toronto-based marketer, Aakanksha, is a story-teller by profession and passion. When she's not working on marketing campaigns, you'll find her immersed in passion projects around animals, sustainable living and of course, story-telling.

- Aakanksha Nair -

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