16 Ways to be Green and Save Money in 2014

be green

Every year I like to find different ways to be environmentally friendly… well and save money. I love the idea of being able to reuse something over and over again and not putting it in landfills. These ideas are not the most original, but they are ways I’m striving this year to be greener.

1. Organic gardening. I’m so excited about starting our first real garden! I already have my non-gmo seeds ordered from Baker’s Creek and I can’t wait to get my hands dirty! I also started composting by throwing my scraps (and my neighbor nicely tosses in her scraps too) into the chicken pen for them to eat, poop on, and rotate the dirt for me.

2. Reusable Sandwich and Snack Bags. (Affiliate link) These are wonderful! Pack your snacks and sandwiches in these cute bags and then just throw them into the dishwasher to clean. I have some like these and I need to get better at using them.

3. Eating real and local foods like pasture raised meats, butter, etc. I’ve been big into eating as close to natural as possible, but this year I want to take it a step further and strive to eat more real and local meats. Pasture raised meats and eggs from pastured chickens are better for you and more humane than factory farm raised animals.

4. Purchase a reel mower (affiliate link) like the one pictured aboveYou have no idea how exciting this is. I really want a reel mower! The previous owners of our new house graciously left us their old gas mower. I know we will probably use the gas one at times or for tricky uphill spots but I bribed my hubs that if we got a reel mower I would mow the lawn. That was all that needed to be said for him to agree haha.

Not to totally sound like a brat but writing this made me realize I’ve never mowed the lawn before ha. Growing up I wasn’t allowed to mow the lawn because my dad was the king of lawns, no grass would go untrimmed, we had perfect lines like it was a major league baseball field, and then we moved into an apartment and it was provided! Wow that is really sad… I will give you an update on my first ever mowing experience.

5. Install an clothesline outside. Now don’t get me wrong I fully intend to use this, but on a practical side I know I won’t use it all the time. With working full time, blogging part time, and raising 13 animals (I swear we’re not hoarders and most of those are chickens) it’s silly to think we would be able to use the line for the majority of our clothes. If we could use this 50% of the time I would be happy. Anything is better than nothing right?

6. Purchase a Berkey Water Filter. (affiliate link) My hubs is all about water and silly me have been brushing it off like its no big deal. Well that changed when we saw the previous owners Berkey water filter (they loved it so much they took it to Switzerland with them) and after living in our new town for a little while we noticed that the water has a lot of sediment in it. So I threw in the towel in and said agreed to get one. We are saving up and plan to purchase one in a month or two.

7. Use no heat hair styles moreIn the mornings I am always running around like a crazy person trying to get ready. No heat styles are great because I shower at night so I have more time in the morning. Plus, my hair is healthier since I’m not using heat and I’m using less electricity.

8. Make cloth napkins. In my opinion paper towels are a huge waste of money! We’ve been using reusable dish towels for years now but never made the switch to cloth napkins for some odd reason.

9. Limit plastic use as much as possible. Plastics in landfills can last thousands upon thousands of years. Mason jars and other glassware are the way to go! They are super versatile. I use some for water bottles and coffee tumblers (you know the things you use to bring coffee with you. That’s what they’re called right?). I even pack some food mason jars or pyrex to bring to work. My friend/boss recently laughed and called me a hippy for bringing my soup in a mason jar haha. She may be a little right lol.

DIY Natural Powder Foundation

10. Create new homemade natural makeup recipes. Talk about saving money right? Homemade makeup is super cheap and you get to control all the ingredients in it. No fake ingredients you can’t pronounce.

11. Make more food from scratch. Around here we go through fazes. We get really good at making whole food meals from scratch. Then life gets crazy and we getting lazy with food. This year I’m making it a goal to be better at preparing from scratch meals and hopefully making freezer meals too.

12. Teach others how to be more sustainable. I am only one person and can only do so much to make less of an impact, but if we start teaching others to be more sustainable we will have a greater impact.

13. Install more insulation in our house to keep it warmer when it gets cold. Nobody likes to wake up to a 56 degree house right? Yea we learned that the hard way when it was super cold this winter.

14. Learn to can and can some fruits and vegetables we grow in our garden.  Less waste

15. Eat out less. Think about when you eat out or even buy microwaveable meals. There is a lot of extra boxes, container, plus a lot of the ingredients come from factory farms. When you do eat out try to fine sustainable restaurants. There are a few restaurants in southern Illinois that use local ingredients and even pack to go containers in biodegradable boxes.

16. Utilize batch cooking more. This can help save energy. If I make multiple things at once I can utilize the oven while its hot once rather than 3 or 4 times. Plus it saves time allowing my time to go into other eco-friendly things.

There you have it. 16 ways I am trying to be more sustainable this year. What are some ways you are trying?



  1. We have a small organic garden each summer! It is fun and a great way to save money. I’ve never canned before, but as you said it can help save money and make the most of your garden. Thanks for sharing these tips.

  2. LOVE all these ideas. Those reusable lunch bags are cute! I am a huge fan of making your own food. I would like to add more recipes this year too. Also, I would like my first sewing project to be napkins. Maybe we can make some together.

  3. Check it- only wash your hair with shampoo every other time you shower (which hopefully is daily ;))
    In doing this you preserve the natural oils in your hair so- your hair is happy and you save some cash $.

  4. Loved my reel mower when I had a smaller lawn. Great exercise and no noise. Also love the reusable bags. And, batch cooking keeps me from eating out on those days where I work late and time is crunched. Always looking for more ways to save money and go a little greener.

    1. That’s so great to hear because a lot of people were telling me I was crazy for wanting a reel mower. Glad you had great experiences with it. Thanks for sharing

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