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Going green without breaking your wallet

Maya Hayakawa

The world is moving towards getting more eco-conscious by the day with many people interested in living a greener life. However, there is a perception that living an environment-friendly lifestyle is too expensive and out of one’s monetary reach.

That perception is about to change. Not only can you now reduce your carbon footprints, but also save more cash. Here are some money saving ideas to help you get started.

COMMUTE SMARTER

You can reduce your monthly expenditure by being smarter about how you commute. If you can’t afford the newest hybrid car, why not car pool instead? Are you using your car more often than you should? Why not take a stroll to a quick stop at the shops located only 10 minutes away from home and avoid the stress of heavy traffic?

TURN THINGS DOWN

Save money on your monthly bills by reducing use of utilities in your home. You can for example turn lights off when leaving the room or open curtains and rely on natural sunlight as opposed to electricity.

You can also consider using LED or CFL bulbs that last 10 to 25 times longer than ordinary incandescent light bulbs, and use 75 per cent less energy. Wash clothes using automatic washing machine to help reduce water you use on clothes.

BRING YOUR OWN BAG

The plastic ban that is soon to be effected will probably catalyse this tip. As you go about your day-to-day business, keep a stash of reusable bags in your car or carry on bags ready for use. Having reusable bags also reduces the expenditure of having to constantly buy one when shopping.

USE LESS DETERGENTS

There are many cleaning products in the market. However, instead of buying any of these, why not use simple home ingredients. They are green, cheap, and do the job just as well as detergents would.

Baking soda, vinegar, lime juice, salt, soda, peroxide, toothpaste and even ketchup are all products that can be used to clean anything and everything from toilets to sofas. Recipes for these homemade detergents can be found online. USE REUSABLE

WATER BOTTLES

They say water is life. Doctors recommend eight glasses daily. If you are buying bottled water, this is not only unfriendly to the environment, but also to the pocket and health.

Given that the average one litre bottle of water costs Sh70 and the average person will buy 167 a year, you will spend Sh11,960. Buy a few reusable water bottles you can fill and carry wherever you go, save some cash, and while at it, leave the world a little greener! Maya Hayakawa

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