How to be More Sustainable Without Spending Any Money
You guys know that even while being an “influencer”, one of my biggest priorities with my platform is using it to promote and support sustainability more and more each day. It’s one of the reasons I’ve shared ideas for capsule wardrobes and try to balance out my shopping content by supporting sustainable brands and products like I did in this post. Although I think it’s fantastic to shop more mindfully, there are also plenty of ways to keep the Earth and sustainability top of mind in your daily life without buying anything at all! In fact, it’s the best way to be sustainable. I find it’s the simplest actions (like the ones below) that can turn out to be some of the most impactful things you can do.
It feels like being more eco-friendly has become kind of “trendy” and lots of brands are coming out with some great products ,which I love, but I don’t want anyone to feel like they can’t be more sustainable if they can’t afford fancy silicone reusable bags or something. So here are a few ideas to get you started so that you can also be sustainable without having to spend any money.
Recycling is one of the most basic foundational steps to take if you’re trying to build a more sustainable lifestyle. However, unfortunately, having a service come to your house and pick up your recycling once a week isn’t free. Luckily, you can still take advantage of public recycling sites that do offer free recycling services. I suggest simply googling your city and state to find out where the nearest public recycling location is. Of course the downside is that you’ll have to set aside time to take it there yourself, but it’s free and good the Earth!!
Reusing grocery bags
There are lots of great affordable options out there for reusable grocery bags these days – you can even snag some at the grocery store for as little as a dollar! But if you’re working with a serious budget, don’t forget you can always reuse the plastic or paper ones you get for free from the store when you buy groceries! And for any you don’t need, remember you can bring back the plastic ones to most big grocery stores and use their free recycling program.
One of my favorite things to do is upcycle! If you’re not quite sure what this means, in a nutshell, it’s basically taking something old and making it new again. So if you’re a thrifter, you’re already doing it but there are so many fun ways to get creative with it using items in your home that you might typically get rid of/throw away.
Here are some ideas for upcycling off the top of my head!
- Sewing old denim into a pillow or blanket
- Saving jars from food and using them for homemade candles or for vases
- Hot gluing old wine bottle corks together to create planters/vases
- Customize/DIY flea market and thrifting finds (paint, sand or repurpose them)
- Use an old TicTac container to hold your bobby pins – this is especially genius when traveling!
Reusing Ziploc baggies
Shout out to all the amazing moms and grandmas out there who inspired this idea. Like I said above, because being sustainable has kind of become a bit trendy, there are a lot of great companies popping up with amazing products, but they aren’t always affordable or fall into everyone’s budget. Don’t let that discourage you! Simple things like reusing your Ziploc bags counts just as much as buying reusable. You can prop them up in the dishwasher or simply rinse them out by hand in the sink – easy peasy. Every little bit helps. The whole point is to minimize that waste so the more you use something, the better.
Donating/selling or upcycling your clothes
This option might present a way for you to earn some cash instead of spending it! If you’re currently just tossing your old clothes, consider donating or selling (if they’re in good condition) instead. You could find a local thrift shop that has a buy-sell-trade policy (lots of them do!) or you could find a non-profit that accepts donations of gently worn items. You can also check out this post to see how to make your closet more sustainable.
A third option is you could upcycle your clothes to make what’s old new again! Some ideas for this include cutting hems on old tees for that cropped look that’s so popular right now or cut the neckline to make something off the shoulder. Something that I saw recently that I think is cute is learning to embroider and doing it to a couple plain tees! You can also check out a few of my DIY videos here and here for inspo.
I hope this is helpful for anyone looking to add a bit more sustainability to their life! I’d love to hear any ideas you guys have too so feel free to share in the comments!