Every day, headlines provide frightening new statistics about climate change and the deterioration of our natural resources. So, it’s no surprise that many of us are looking for ways to improve the environment and reduce our carbon footprints.

Some of the new technology looks intriguing — electric cars, solar power, and smart home systems. But, a lot of it looks expensive too. What can we do to help the environment without spending a fortune?

5 Easy Ways to Improve the Environment

You can create a better environment without spending money. After all, reducing your impact on the planet means using fewer resources, not more. You can help improve the environment and save money at the same time.

1. Reusable Grocery Bags

The average person uses a plastic grocery bag for a total of only 12 minutes, yet they remain in the ocean forever. You don’t have to buy fancy reusable bags — any sturdy bag will do. You can even recycle an old T-shirt into a shopping bag and spend no money at all.

2. Switch to Efficient Lighting

One of the best ways to help the environment and your wallet at the same time is to switch to LED light bulbs. Not only do LED bulbs use 75% less electricity than incandescents, but they also last 25 times longer.

3. Stop Wasting Food

Your mother isn’t the only person who hates to see you waste food. This isn’t just an expensive bad habit, it also wastes precious natural resources like water and fuel. According to the USDA, Americans waste as much as 40% of our food supply

Only buying what you need and store it properly. Rather than dumping leftovers into the landfill, start composting.

Even if you don’t have a garden, you can compost your kitchen scraps to feed your lawn and your houseplants. You can even compost in an apartment. You can return the earth’s bounty back to nature, where it belongs.

4. Get Sentimental

Too often, we become enamored of the latest shiny gadget. Instead of chucking old electronics and appliances, consider repairing them. Not only will you keep that old stereo out of the landfill, but you’ll also learn some critical new skills.

Although old electronics don’t account for a large volume in landfills, they are considered toxic, and only about 25% gets recycled.

And if tinkering isn’t for you, how about supporting your local businesses with the repair? Choosing repair over replacement is better for the environment and will save you money, as well.

5. Mindful Motoring

This seems like a no-brainer, but walking instead of driving will save money and reduce your impact on the environment. It can also help you live a healthier life.

Countries around the world struggle for energy balance while trying to grow their economies. Relying on fossil fuels can drive progress, but it can also deplete the environment.

So, using your car in a more thoughtful manner is one of the best ways to improve the environment. When you must drive, plan your route carefully and moderate your driving habits to reduce fuel consumption.

Saving Money, Saving the Planet

For most of us, the best ways to improve the environment don’t cost money. What it does require is paying attention to how we use the earth’s resources.

Are you taking more from the earth than you’re giving back? These five simple steps will help restore the balance.

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