Affordable Alternatives to an Eco-Sustainable Lifestyle

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Opting to live an eco-friendly lifestyle can be expensive at times. When you make the right decision to shop with grocers and stores that don’t cut corners and provide only the best, highest-quality sustainable goods for your family, they often have to charge more than their cheap, non-organic and non-eco conscious alternatives to stay in business. But that doesn’t mean going green will cost you an arm and a leg.
 
Whether you’re just starting your healthy, eco-friendly journey or you’ve always been interested in saving money and the environment, here are some easy tips to get started.
 
Give up the Bottle
According to Treehugger, the US consumes 1,500 bottles every. single. second. So on any given day, more than 60 million plastic water bottles are being discarded. And while some make it into recycling bins, most are thrown away and added to landfills. Opt for BPA Free portable drink options rather than a bottle. Not only will you save lots of money, but you’ll help save the planet, too.
 
Essential Oils
We’ve all heard about essential oils and their miracle like powers. Great for treating everything from sunburns headaches to pest control, these good smelling oils can be used to ditch chemical filled cleaners. Real Simple put out an extensive and comprehensive guide to 66 Natural Cleaning Solutions.
 Use Them to Clean Your…
Combs and brushes: Fill a container with 1½ cups water, ½ cup distilled white vinegar, and 20 drops tea-tree, lavender, or eucalyptus oil. Soak combs and brushes for 20 minutes. Rinse and air-dry.
 
Scuffed floors: Apply two to four drops of tea-tree oil to the spots. Wipe excess oil with a cloth and rub in distilled white vinegar.
 
Gum-encrusted items: Orange oil is great at removing this sticky offender from various materials. (Don’t worry: It shouldn’t stain fabrics. But do launder immediately.) Apply with a cotton ball.
 
Shower doors: Wipe scum-covered glass doors with a few drops of lemon oil twice a month. It will protect them from grime buildup.
Toilets: Add 2 teaspoons tea-tree oil and 2 cups water to a spray bottle. Shake, then spritz along the toilet’s inside rim. Let sit for 30 minutes; scrub. You can also place a few drops of your favorite oil on the inside of the toilet-paper tube. “Every time the paper is used, the scent will be released,” says Siegel-Maier.
Windows: Mix 2 ounces water and 10 drops lavender or lemongrass oil to wipe grime off windows. Bonus: These oils may repel flies.
 
Check it out the full list here.
 
Know the Dirty Dozen
It is pretty safe to say, we’ve all stood in the grocery isles pondering if organic really is worth it. I mean, both apples look the exact same, could they really be that different? The answer is yes… and no. The truth is, while it might be better to buy everything organic all the time, sometimes that is just not an option for your family.
 
Dirty Dozen
The EWG, Environmental Working Group, a non-profit dedicated to protecting human health and the environment, released a listing of the Dirty Dozen, the top 12 foods shoppers should opt for organic, if at all possible. These are foods that are more heavily doused with chemicals and pesticides than others. As you might recall from our last blog post, pesticides and chemicals have been linked to carcinogens.
 
If you’re up against a tight budget start by adding these 12 foods to your organic or local farmer’s market shopping list.
 
Listen instead of Read
Audible has a great selection of audiobooks
Can’t wait to get your hands on the latest New York Times best seller? Instead of buying another book, opt for an audible version. Not only does it pass the time while you commute around town, but reddit user Brody10123 estimates nearly 2,324,634 trees died in the making of the Harry Potter series.
One tree can yield 942 100 page books, or 94,200 pages. The Harry Potter series has 3407 pages. 450 million books have been sold from the series, and there are seven books. Assuming that each book of the series has the exact same number of purchases, that's 450 million books that are 487 pages long. 450 million x 487 is 219,150,000,000 pages total. Divide that by 94,200, and you'd get 2,326,433.12102 as your answer. Round that up to get a full tree, and the number of trees killed to make the Harry Potter series is 2,324,634.
 Checkout Audible.com for their incredible selection of audiobooks.
BYOM (Bring your own Mug)
Along the same lines as the aforementioned bottles, paper cups with the iconic green two-tailed mermaid are in approximately 8,070,428 caffeine lover hands a day. But did you know that Starbucks, as well as many other other coffee shops, offer a discount if you bring in your own cup? Yup, 10 cents a cup – That’s savings for you and mother nature.
 
Do you have a few cheap tricks to going organic without going broke? We would love to hear from you in the comments below!

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