Simple Lifestyle Habits to Save You Money and Protect the Environment

by Melanie Lockert · 8 comments

Saving money often means you are spending less — but did you know that you can also save money and protect the environment?

Many times, what is good for our wallets is also good for the environment. It all starts with the idea of consuming less and having less waste.

Here are some simple strategies you can use to save money and reduce your environmental impact.

Drive Less

Even though gas prices are currently at an all-time low, driving is still expensive. By driving less, you are saving money on gas, and lessening the wear and tear on your car, making it last longer.

Not only that, but you will be able to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions that are harmful to the environment. You can opt for biking or walking places, which have the added bonus of giving you a jolt of exercise.

Get a Water Bottle

Water has become a hot commodity for which you will pay generously for in certain situations. Instead of buying disposable water bottles each and every time you are on-the-go, or traveling, invest in a reusable water bottle.

The brand Kleen Kanteen has a nice water bottle that is sturdy, durable, and has no chemical linings or weird aftertastes. You can find a number of other brands out there as well.

The key is to get something you can use again and again. It’s wasteful and quite expensive to drink water out of disposable bottles every time you want to hydrate. Make the investment to get a reusable water bottle and see your water expenses decrease dramatically  — as well as your waste!


A great way to save money on beverages like wine, soda, and more is to actually make money back through recycling. While it may seem like a hassle to keep your cans and bottles, if you have a designated place for it, it’s pretty easy to manage.

Start by saving all your bottles and cans, and when you are ready, bring them to a local recycling center to cash them in. I’ve been able to make as much as $40 from cans and bottles. Essentially, they are paying you to recycle! It’s good for you and it’s good for Mother Earth.

While you may not get a ton of money from recycling, it all adds up. You can use it to pay down debt, pad your emergency fund, or simply put it towards a fun fund just for you.

Conserve Energy

If you want to cut down on your electric, gas, and water bills, conserve energy in your daily life. I’m not saying to do anything drastic and start only lighting candles and showering once-a-week. But you can do a few things to conserve costs and energy:

  • Turn lights off when not in use
  • Don’t let the water run without a reason (also watch for leaks)
  • Unplug electronics that are not in use

You can also think if there are ways to cut down on water usage and overall electric use. That is a personal decision, but think for yourself if there are places to cut back.

Buy Used

We live in a consumerist culture that nearly demands that we buy everything new. But buying new can be so expensive and also wasteful when there are so many things out there already. Instead of jumping to buy the next new thing, consider buying used.

Your local Goodwill or even Craigslist can have great options. I have furnished nearly all of my apartment with used furniture! For me, it has seriously cut my costs in half and I feel good about reusing and not creating more waste.

There are so many ways that you can save money and help the environment, and it doesn’t have to be a lot of work either. Use these simple strategies and feel good about the money you are saving — as well as your environmental impact!

What lifestyle changes have you made that save money and help the environment?

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Emily @ The Work at Home Zone says:

    I wish everyone would read this article! It’s so disheartening to see a focus on $$ overtake a focus on the environment. Things we can do to protect the environment seem like such small steps (ie get a water bottle) yet unfortunately too many people never take them.

  • Jess says:

    Great post! We also hang out our laundry, most Australians do thankfully. And try to be more strategic about our purchases.

    • Melanie says:

      Interesting! I didn’t know that most Australians hang their laundry. Learn something new every day. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

    I love these side benefits of frugality! I’ve been so happy to see us “green” our lives as we’ve frugalized–environmentalism and frugality really do complement each other in almost every facet. Like Emily, we hang most of our laundry out to dry. And, we keep our heat set low, rarely use our AC, don’t waste food (that’s actually a big one–there’s so much food in landfills!), and just generally try to use and reuse all of our stuff. We even have a used dog ;)!

  • Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom says:

    We hang our laundry now, have cut back our electricity usage a lot, we’re a one car family, we wear slippers and sweaters in the winter. Small habits add up!

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