There are certain things that many families have in common. Among these are concerns about saving money, and saving the environment. Saving money is important, because it gives us an opportunity to provide more fun stuff for our children. And as for the ennvironment, don’t parents want their kids to have a world to grow up in? Some ways to go green are expensive; for example, organic foods can be substantially more expensive than conventional foods.
Fortunately, saving money and being green can often go hand-in-hand. Here are some of my favorite ways to save money, that happen to be very eco-friendly.
1.) Cloth Diapers. Organic,unbleached, eco-friendly diapers tend to be more expensive than regular diapers. However, using cloth diapers instead of disposable (eco-friendly or otherwise) is much better for the environment, and your wallet. I got into cloth diapering initially to save money. I hate buying something that is specifically going to be pooped in and thrown out. But I’ve learned to love cloth diapering. It’s easier than I expected, and definitely better for the environment than disposables. You can expect to save $1500 or more over the course of 2 years cloth diapering one child. This amount increases with subsequent children, since you don’t have to re-buy your diapers. Plus, you would be keeping 1,000’s of diapers out of landfills.
1a). Of course, there are many other commonly-disposable products that can be replaced with reusable items, to save both money and the environment. This includes paper towels, cleaning rags, menstrual products, facial tissues, napkins, water bottles, and even toilet paper.
2)Buying Used. Babies and kids can be expensive. They need/want lots of stuff. Clothes, toys, food. These things add up quickly! And they outgrow these things very quickly! But that’s good! Exclamation point! Because kids outgrow toys and clothes very quickly, second-hand stores and parents alike are overflowing with plenty of very gently-used (many may not have even be used at all) items. This is a tried-and-true method for parents to save money, but it’s also very green. Buying used means that one less item is manufactured. This saves raw materials, fossil fuels, and packaging materials. Of course, there are certain items you shouldn’t buy used, or should be very careful about buying used, including car seats, cribs, mattresses, and stuffed animals.
3) Selling Used. While it doesn’t technically save money, it can help you recoup your initial investment. You’ve certainly got many items laying around you don’t use or want. Why not give someone else a chance to save cash by buying it used, and prevent them from using up all those resources to get a new object?
4) Picnics. We love being outside. We love having fun. Picnics are a great way to do that. We pack up our favorite foods in reusable containers, head outside our porch door, spread out a blanket and on the ground, and enjoy! This is much cheaper than going to a restaurant. It also saves fuel, because we’re not going anywhere. And we all know that eating on the ground is way more fun than eating in a chair. Cooking at home in general is a great money/environment saver.
Anymore ideas? We’d love to hear them!