6 Simple Ways to Save Money and Live More Sustainably

Derek Ma May 30, 2024
6 People Read
Money sustainable
Table of Contents
  1. 1. Cut down on electricity usage
    1. Light Fixtures:
    2. Thermostat:
    3. Energy Star:
  2. 2. Reduce water consumption
  3. 3. Use Public Transportation or Carpool
  4. 4. Avoid single-use items
  5. 5. Grow your own food
  6. 6. Circularity: Upcycle and repurpose items
  7. Wrapping it up

There is a common misconception that often discourages individuals from embracing sustainable living.

Some people think living sustainably is not affordable because they associate it with expensive eco-friendly products. 

While it is true that some sustainable products may come with a higher price tag, it is not just about buying eco-friendly products. 

Sustainable living is about making conscious choices in all aspects of our lives, from the food we eat to the clothes we wear to the way we even commute.

I have found that by making small changes in my daily habits, I can live a more sustainable lifestyle without breaking the bank.

In fact, I have saved money in the long run.

In this article, I will discuss six simple and effective ways to save money and live more sustainably.

1. Cut down on electricity usage

One of the easiest ways to save money and more sustainable is to reduce your electricity usage. 

There are several simple changes you can make in your daily routine that can greatly reduce your energy consumption. 

For example, turning off lights and appliances when not in use, using energy-efficient light bulbs, and unplugging devices when they are fully charged can all make a big difference. 

I have personally made it a nightly routine to spend a couple of minutes turning off all the lights and appliances before I go to bed.

Light Fixtures:

Keeping lights on overnight can cost you up to $6.60 for every 1,000 hours, depending on the lightbulb you leave on.

Incandescent light bulbs are one of the least efficient lighting sources.  90% of the energy is consumed as heat and only 10% goes towards creating light.

Using LED bulbs is the most energy-efficient of the various light fixtures.  

LED light bulbs are about 80% more efficient than Incandescent and can cost you as little as $1.32 to operate for 1000 hours.


Another way to lower your electricity usage is to be mindful of your heating and cooling habits. 

The average monthly electric bill in the U.S is $135.25.  

Heating and cooling systems account for about 55% of the total energy consumption in the home.  

The cost of a thermostat adjustment of one degree is about three percent of your total energy bill.

Adjusting your thermostat a few degrees lower in the winter and higher in the summer can lead to considerable energy savings.

Energy Star:

Energy Star is a certification program created by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce energy consumption and protect the environment.

Energy Star-certified products, such as appliances, electronics, and even buildings, are designed to use less energy, save money, and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

You can learn more about this program in my Energy Star article, here.

Households and businesses can greatly reduce their energy consumption by purchasing and using Energy-Star certified products.

Since the creation of the program in 1992, Energy Star products have saved consumers and businesses an estimated $500 billion on their energy bills.

2. Reduce water consumption

Water is a precious resource that should not be wasted, yet many people unknowingly use more water than necessary in their daily routines. 

Simple changes such as fixing leaky faucets, installing water-saving devices like low-flow showerheads and toilets, and being mindful of how long you leave the water running can all make a big difference in your water usage. 

Additionally, consider collecting rainwater for outdoor use, such as watering plants or washing your car, instead of using treated water from the tap. 

By reducing your water consumption, not only will you be saving money on your water bill, but you will also be helping to conserve this essential resource for future generations.

To learn more about how to save money on your water bill, visit my article, “Simple Ways to Conserve Water in Your Daily Routine and Save Money on Your Water Bill.”

3. Use Public Transportation or Carpool

Using public transportation such as buses, trains, or trams can significantly reduce your carbon footprint and save money on gas, parking, and maintenance costs for your vehicle. 

With the ever-rising cost of gasoline, switching over to public transportation seems more and more attractive every day.

I have recently moved closer to my professional workplace, cutting my commute time from 20 mins to only 2 mins.  

I am planning on eventually walking or biking to work.

Carpooling with coworkers, friends, or neighbors is another great option to save money on gas and reduce the number of cars on the road.

As a resident of Southern California, near LA, decreasing traffic congestion and air pollution would be a welcome change. 

By sharing the cost of transportation and reducing the number of vehicles on the road, you are not only helping the environment but also saving money in the long run. 

So next time you need to travel, consider using public transportation or carpooling to save money and contribute to a more sustainable future.

4. Avoid single-use items

Avoiding single-use items such as plastic water bottles, disposable utensils, and paper towels can not only save you money in the long run but also reduce your environmental impact. 

Reusable alternatives like stainless steel water bottles, bamboo utensils, and cloth towels can be purchased once and used repeatedly, eliminating the need for continuously buying and disposing of single-use items. 

Making these small changes in your purchasing habits can have a big impact on both your wallet and the planet.

5. Grow your own food

One of the best and most rewarding ways to save money while being sustainable is to grow your own food. 

By growing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs, you not only save money on grocery bills but also reduce your carbon footprint by cutting down on the transportation and packaging involved in store-bought produce. 

Setting up a small vegetable garden in your backyard or even just growing a few herbs on your windowsill can make a big difference in your budget and environmental impact. 

Plus, there's nothing quite like the satisfaction of harvesting your own fresh, organic produce straight from your own garden. 

Gardening also provides a fun and rewarding hobby that can help reduce stress and improve mental well-being

Whether you have a green thumb or are a gardening novice, there are plenty of resources available online and in your community to help you get started. 

So roll up your sleeves, get your hands dirty, and start growing your own food today!

6. Circularity: Upcycle and repurpose items

Instead of buying new items, take a look at what you already have and think about how you can give them a new life. 

For example, old jars can be turned into stylish vases or storage containers, while worn-out furniture can be revamped with a fresh coat of paint. 

To learn more about Circularity, visit my article, “Circularity and Beyond: Exploring the Future of Sustainable Practices.”

Not only can upcycling save you money, but it also reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. 

There are endless ways you can repurpose items for a new use.

By getting creative with the items you already have, you can not only save money but also have fun reducing your environmental impact. 

So next time you're tempted to buy something new, consider how you can upcycle or repurpose items instead.

Wrapping it up

Finding ways to save money while also being sustainable is not only possible, but it is also necessary in today's world. 

By making small changes in our daily habits, such as reducing energy consumption, repurposing old items, and using public transportation, we can not only help the environment but also save money in the process. 

It's important to remember that being sustainable doesn't have to be expensive; in fact, it can often lead to cost savings in the long run. 

With a little creativity and commitment, we can all do our part to create a more environmentally friendly and financially secure future for ourselves and generations to come.

Table of Contents
  1. 1. Cut down on electricity usage
    1. Light Fixtures:
    2. Thermostat:
    3. Energy Star:
  2. 2. Reduce water consumption
  3. 3. Use Public Transportation or Carpool
  4. 4. Avoid single-use items
  5. 5. Grow your own food
  6. 6. Circularity: Upcycle and repurpose items
  7. Wrapping it up