Going Green at Home on a Budget

01-15-2023

vmcontent|01-15-2023

So, you’re thinking about going green at home, or you’ve started and are halfway there, or you’ve been green at home for years.  Regardless of where you are in your “going green” journey, you may be shell shocked at times by the costs associated with using reusable materials and containers, earth safe cleaning products, versus the ease of relying on less expensive traditional items at home.  Here at Verde Capital Management, we do our best to be as green and sustainable as possible in everything we do, as do several of our team members in their own homes.  This is a collection of helpful experiences on how to go green at home on a budget based on our experiences.

 

  1. Buy Bulk and Concentrated Supplies: When possible, and if you have the room to store these items, consider buying concentrated cleansers or regular detergents in bulk at your preferred warehouse store.  
    • If you plan on buying a concentrated cleanser, you can purchase a reusable dispenser or spray bottle to dilute and mix the concentrate at home.  
    • This may reduce your waste footprint and save you money in the long run.  By purchasing detergents and regular cleansers in bulk, you can reduce the number of plastic containers entering local landfills, and use them to refill permanent dispensers or spray bottles at home.

 

  1. Sustainable Brands: You can shop for regular size, sustainable, and/or refill based products at your favorite stores, like Target, which come in aluminum, glass, or cardboard containers.  Or you can buy items online through reputable vendors like Grove Co., and Zero Waste Home.
    • These materials are more easily recycled than plastic.  Brands at Target include: Everspring, Grove Co., etc.  
    • These products can be paired with reusable containers like soap dispensers and spray bottles, which you can select based on your budget and personal aesthetic preferences. 
    •  While buying these items may be more expensive than buying brands which use disposable plastic containers, you will potentially save money long term as the refills tend to be on par with traditional brands.

 

  1. Reduce Waste: You can also reduce your dependence on items like paper towels, disposable dust and cleaning wipes, and similar items.  
  • Consider buying a set of reusable cloth “paper” towels to replace usage of regular paper towels.  
  • Think about purchasing laundry detergent sheets, or a refill based system with permanent dispensers.  These items usually come in compostable or non-plastic recyclable materials.
  • Have some old t-shirts or undershirts you’ve been meaning to toss?  Cut them up and use them as dusting and cleaning rags instead.
  • Check out dishwashing detergent for your dishwasher packaged in aluminum or cardboard based containers.  
  • When grocery shopping, bring your own reusable bags or collapsible containers to pack your groceries in, rather than using paper or plastic bags.

 

  1.   Recycle: There are a lot of options for recycling most items in your home, so check out some local options before tossing items in the garbage.  
  • Clothing & Home Textiles: donate to your local thrift store, Goodwill, or Salvation Army. Alternatively, you can recycle your clothes and linens (they usually don’t take undergarments) with mail in companies like For Days.  They’ll send you a bag, you fill it up, then your drop it off at the USPS, all for a flat fee of $20.00*.
  • Electronics: most local municipalities will collect and recycle old electronics like televisions (even the old, super heavy ones!), computers, screens, e-readers, etc.  This is usually a free service.  You can also check with local office supply stores like Office Max or Staples to see if they offer recycling (there may be a fee).

 

  1.   Hosting Events: We host regular events and team lunches at the Verde Office, and have researched a number of sustainable options and practices to keep costs, and our waste footprint, at a minimum. 
  • Recycled material & Bamboo: Check out Amazon for paper plates, bowls, and napkins made out of recycled and/or sustainable materials.  Instead of purchasing plastic utensils, buy bamboo utensils.  Some companies have even committed to planting trees for every box of supplies sold!  
  • Rent: If you’re hosting a larger party and need table linens or buffet/serving ware items, think about renting items instead of purchasing disposable ones.  There are a ton of local companies that will rent everything from warming trays, linens, serving utensils, and more!
  • Reusable, recycled plastic drinkware: Like to host your friends and family at your place and don’t like doing all those dishes after they leave?  Well, there are some great brands on Amazon that sell recycled plastic, heavy duty drinkware.  They’re hard to break, can be used several times over, and can be recycled rather than tossed out when you’re done with them.

 

  1. Food Storage: If you’re like many Verde Team Members, you probably have a drawer or cupboard full of plastic bags, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and food storage containers that seemingly misplace their lids on a frequent basis.  There are a ton of budget friendly to expensive options to reduce your waste footprint in this area.  Below are some options that the team has tried and had good experiences with.
  • Silicone Reusable Bags: If you pack lunches regularly, like to take some snacks from home for a quick road trip, or use plastic sandwich/quart/gallon bags for food storage for bulk items or leftovers, consider investing in silicone reusable bags.  They come in a variety of colors, with some promising to hold liquids without leaking.  You can find these items on Amazon, Grove Co., at Target, and other national online and brick-and-mortar retailers.
  • Beeswax Wraps: You can also use beeswax wraps to keep sandwiches fresh instead of plastic bags, seal up leftovers instead of using plastic wrap, and much more.  These wraps come in a variety of sizes and designs, but can usually only be used 100 times (some last longer).  Many wraps come in sets of various sizes so you don’t have to buy them individually.
  • Reusable Fruit & Veggie Savers: If you’re like a lot of us on the team, you’ve probably tossed a partially used onion in a plastic bag in the fridge, or a half used tomato in plastic wrap in the fruit drawer.  Check out fruit and veggie savers that can stretch to cover the cut end of an item, or is made specifically for that fruit or vegetable.  Again, there are tons of options in this area, so shop and find the items that best suit you and your budget.

 

Verde Capital Management, Inc. is a federally registered investment adviser. The information, statements and opinions expressed in this material are provided for general information only, are based on data we believe to be accurate at the time of writing, and are subject to change without notice. This material does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs, is not intended as a recommendation to purchase or sell any security, and is not intended as individual or specific advice. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Past performance is not indicative of future returns. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Verde Capital Management, Inc.  and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. No advice may be rendered by Verde Capital Management, Inc. unless a client service agreement is in place.

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