How to be Eco-friendly on a Budget

Updated: May 31

I am the definition of a broke college student, and I'm super thrifty, so I'd say you have come to the perfect place to find this information!

Also check out: ECO Alphabet: Week 13: Money (Save the Planet & Save Money)


You will always hear people say how it's really not that hard to go zero waste. But, if i'm being honest, it is and it takes some dedication: a change of lifestyle.


You will NOT be zero waste over night. But I do think the transition is easy if you break it down into baby steps and little goals. This way you're not breaking your bank account getting a ton of Earth saving products at once.


Below is a year long journey to going Zero Waste!


Month 1: No plastic straws or water bottles.

Sometimes smoothies and milkshakes need straws: so order yourself some reusable ones from amazon (~$10).

If you don't already have a reusable water bottle...get one. Try to avoid plastic. The glass ones are nice, but could break. I recommend the metal water bottles.(~$10-30)


Month 2: Bring reusable shopping bags

Keep these in your car so you don't forget them. There are also some that you can roll up really small and keep in your purse. If you forget your bags, it happens, ask for paper bags as soon as you get to the register - these you can recycle!


Grocery Shopping: Avoid plastic as much as possible. Buy a whole pineapple instead of the pre-cut, avoid the plastic wrapped fruit/veggies, instead of buying prepackaged mixed veggies, buy them separate and cut them yourself. They're cheaper per ounce this way too!


Month 3: Bring your own to-go boxes

Keep some clean Tupperware in your car, so if you didn't finish your food you can take it home in a reusable container.


Month 4: Quit Fast Food

As much as possible... lol

You'll save money from not randomly going to McDonald's or Zaxby's all the time, and you'll probably loose a few pounds too... The reason for this is because of the packaging.


If you must stop by, then try to go to a place that puts their food in paper, instead of plastic or Styrofoam.


Pack your lunch: Because you're not buying as much prepackaged food at the store anymore, you'll have some delicious goodies to prepare. When you cook dinner, cook extra so that you can take it with you for lunch the next day! Click here for some easy, quick, and zero waste recipes!


Month 5: What are you cleaning your house with?

It's time to check the toxicity of your household cleaning products.

Anything that gets sent down the drain, ends up in our environment. They also usually come in a plastic, single-use bottle. Check out Clean Cult and other sustainable cleaning products!


Month 6: What are you cleaning yourself with?

What chemicals are you putting on your body? Now this will be the most expensive part.. I personally make my own toothpaste. And I'm interested in making my own shampoo in conditioner.

You have two options here: You can invest in all the ingredients to make your own products but end up saving money in the end or you can purchase some sustainable hygiene products that may cost a bit more.


Month 7: Start getting non-plastic products

What I mean by this is instead of plastic sponges or plastic toothbrushes, get bamboo brushes. Instead of plastic cooking utensils, get wood. Don't replace the products you already have! - That is a waste of money! But when it is time to get a new one, choose the sustainable option!


Month 8: Fashion