Leonardo DiCaprio made the news when he pledged 5 million dollars to save the Amazon rainforest, donating it to local groups and indigenous communities to help fight the fires ravaging their home. Obviously, this has gotten him a lot of green brownie points.
And while we’re not all multimillionaires with pockets full of money, most of us do have money. We all spend money one way or another, whether it’s on food, transportation, traveling, entertainment, or literally anything else that requires you to open your wallet.
Being environmentally-friendly doesn’t mean you have to give up spending money or buying things. In fact, you should feel free to buy to your heart’s content! The most important part of living an eco-friendly life is loving an eco-friendly life.
So we’ve put together a list of ways for you to funnel your leftover spending cash into a force for good, and save the planet with money! Let’s begin.
Donate to Charities
We’re starting this list off with a no-brainer. Obviously, if you have the money, consider donating to local charities dedicated to serving the environment. Even if it’s just a little, it’ll go a long way in contributing to the fight against pollution and climate change.
A useful resource to finding the best local environmentalist charities (and charities in general) is Charity Navigator. We suggest doing your due diligence and researching the charities you decide to donate to first, as the world is rife with scammers and frauds. If you’re going to spend some extra money, it should at the very least go towards something meaningful.
Support Local Produce
When grocery shopping, it’s important that you aim to buy from farmer’s markets or organic stores that support sustainable food production practices.
That means the food you buy is more than likely ripe, nutritious and fresh, not to mention free of potentially harmful chemicals and GMOs found in traditional commercial produce. It’s also a lot better for the environment, as production of the crops utilizes less fuel and creates less waste thanks to proper green techniques employed by the farmers.
And if all that isn’t enough incentive, it also costs less to buy from local farmers. So actually, you’re saving money by shopping organically.
Buy Eco-Friendly Alternatives
Speaking of shopping, the simplest change you can make is to buy products from eco-friendly companies. You can buy eco-friendly alternatives for just about anything, from basic items like clothes and soap to even phone cases.
And not only are they good for the environment, in the case of certain products like cosmetics or bath products, many contain toxic substances that can lead to many health problems like fertility issues or hormone disruption. Some have even been known to cause cancer.
So do yourself and the environment a favor by purchasing eco-friendly alternatives to your favorite products. It’s worth the security and satisfaction you get after making the purchase.
Adjust Your Mode of Transportation
Motor vehicles are extremely notorious for the massive amounts of CO2 they release into the atmosphere. In fact, they make up more than 50% of all air pollution in the United States.
That’s why instead of putting your money on your car, get yourself a bicycle to ride to work, especially if it’s not that far away from home. The exercise is great for your health and there are zero carbon emissions to worry about.
If getting a bicycle just isn’t in the cards for you, no worries. You can still reduce your carbon footprint by getting a eco-friendly car. There are several modern models that run on electricity and other energy-efficient fuels.
Get Some Plants
If you can, create a garden in your backyard by growing some new plants. Not only does it look nice, but it helps the environment as well by reducing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen through photosynthesis. Bonus points if you get yourself a flower; bees rely on flower nectar to feed their colonies, and we rely on bees for the survival of our crops.
Even just a potted plant on your balcony or even desk goes a long way in contributing to the environment. Indoor plants have also been shown to increase air quality and lower the risk of airborne diseases. Who doesn’t want to stay fresh and healthy?
We recommend getting plants that are well-suited to absorbing carbon dioxide and other toxins for maximum benefits. Rubber figs, lady palms, philodendrons, Dracaenas, and peace lilies are all excellent choices to improve your home. To learn more about them, we suggest reading this article from Gardening Fever.
Hold on a Second…
Before you march on forward, wad of cash in hand, remember that these are simply small changes you can make in your life to be more environmentally-friendly. Doing the above does not mean you get to run around littering or leaving the electricity on longer than you need to.
Remember to stay green in other areas of your life. That’s how you leave a positive impact on the environment.
With love and compassion,