It’s true – sometimes going greener and cleaner can be expensive, but this article will show you how to live eco-friendly on a budget.

Living a more environmentally conscious life is essential for our planet’s future. We’re all responsible for doing our part, and with these ten tips below, you’ll be able to go green on a budget and save some money too!

Is it expensive to live eco-friendly?

Unfortunately, living a sustainable life is typically more expensive than being wasteful. The reality is that there isn’t a big demand for eco-friendly products.

While it’s the better way to live, most homes choose convenience over more sustainable practices and zero-waste products. Many also deny the idea of climate change and feel that they have no reason to change their current ways.

A lack of demand, high manufacturing costs, quality sustainable materials, and fair and equitable business practices all play a role in the price of eco-friendly products.

However, sustainable living on a budget is still possible.

gift ideas for sustainable living

How to Live Eco-Friendly on a Budget

In this list, I reveal my top ten ideas for living more sustainably on a budget.

Shop Organic by Supporting Farmers

Supporting farmers at a market is a great way to save money while living more environmentally conscious. You also get your hands on organic produce that’s fresh and grown sustainably.

When you buy produce from local farmers, you help feed their families, keep their livelihoods afloat, and show big corporations that you won’t settle for anything not produced in a sustainable manner.

Switch Your Lights

Using eco-friendly light bulbs in your home is good for the environment and your pocket! Changing your light bulbs is one of the most common sustainable-living-on-a-budget hacks. If you pair new light bulbs with open curtains during the day, your electricity bill will reduce, and the planet will thank you.

Natural Cleaning Products

You don’t have to buy into all the newly available natural cleaning products on the store shelves. Making your own is an easy way to get into green-living when you’re wondering how to live eco-friendly on a budget.

Everyday items you probably already have at home, like vinegar and lemon juice, make great cleaning agents, and if you pair them with essential oil, your house will smell wonderful. Making DIY cleaning supplies will help you control your air quality, what goes back into the environment, and save you money.

ways to save energy at home

Buy Multi-Use Items

Stop buying disposable items. While they’re cheaper, they don’t last, so they’ll cost you more in the long run.

Cloth bags, reusable straws, cloth dish towels, beeswax food wraps, glass storage jars, and reusable water bottles are some zero-waste household items that can be used again and again.

READ NOW: Our top sustainable gift ideas!

Use Cold Water

Using cold water to wash your clothes saves on electricity bills and helps the environment. Unlike garments from years ago, clothes don’t need hot water cycles anymore. 

Another excellent way to save, is by taking cold showers. Giving up one cold shower a week will already make a difference, and your energy levels will reap the benefits too!

Drive Less

If you live near your workplace, consider walking or cycling instead of driving in your own car or taking a cab. If this isn’t an option, try a bus.

Not only will you reduce your carbon footprint, but you’ll also save fuel money.

Thrift Shopping

Whether you’re selling or buying, you should pop into a thrift store! Buying second-hand items are cheaper, better for the environment (by cutting out the manufacturing process of new things), and you can find rare pieces that are far more valuable than their price tag.

Although you won’t get much for selling your items at a thrift shop, you’ll keep them out of the trash and cut someone else a bargain.

sustainable apartment living


This old tune will never be outsung – recycling is one of the simplest ways to partake in sustainable living on a budget. While your goal should be to live with no waste, recycling waste is far better than trashing it.

Find out if there are any recycling programs in your area, or better yet, start one! Collect your plastics, papers, and glass separately and hand them in at a recycling facility. You’ll feel great doing it, and many centers compensate you for your recyclable goods.

Plan Your Meals and Cook from Scratch

Meal planning is free, saves money, and eliminates the need for takeout. If you start planning your meals, you’ll begin to buy only what is needed, saving you a lot of money and unnecessary trips to the grocery store.

Planning meals and making them from scratch also eliminates the need for takeout, which can be incredibly wasteful. An added bonus is that you’ll learn how to prepare delicious food!

If You Can, Fix It

Instead of throwing things away, see if you can fix them first. Many things we usually trash can easily be fixed with the help of a tutorial video.

Live in an apartment? Read our Complete Guide to Eco-Friendly Apartment Living

What is the Cheapest Way to Go Green?

Sustainable living on a budget is definitely possible. Although going green can have a high initial cost, you will save a lot over the months and years that follow.

However, if your budget doesn’t allow high-cost eco-lifestyle changes right now, there’s still lots you can do to go green.

You can start by:

  • Recycling
  • Thrift shopping
  • Driving less
  • Ditching takeout
  • Unplugging more

These five no-extra-cost eco-lifestyle ways are the perfect place to start your sustainable living journey.

how to start sustainable living

Final Words

Trying to make lifestyle changes with an empty wallet can be challenging. If you’ve ever felt discouraged from living a more environmentally conscious life because of eco-friendly product tags, you’re not alone. The high prices of sustainably manufactured products are a big reason why many people can’t afford to go green.

However, if more people start living with the environment in mind, this can change. All it takes is one person to start, and before long, your actions will create a ripple effect.

Hopefully, now, with the advice in this article, you won’t be wondering how to live eco-friendly on a budget anymore.