A common misconception about “going green” is that it’s cost-prohibitive, at least for many Canadians. But going green isn’t solely about driving the hottest new electric car or subsisting on a diet of strictly organic produce. There are several free, small and impactful steps you can take to reduce your footprint and help preserve the planet for future generations.
More than that, you can actually save – and in some cases make – money while going green. For all the Canadians out there who want to safeguard this country’s natural beauty but can’t necessarily pay out of pocket to do so, here are four cost-effective ways to go green.
Recycle Your Scrap Metal for Money
Who says helping the environment and making a few bucks are mutually exclusive? Not this leading metal scrap yard in Toronto, which pays money for your metal recycling.
If you have ferrous metals lying around like cast iron, stainless steel, old microwaves, or stoves, a metal scrap yard will buy it from you. If you’re holding on to old batteries, cable, lead, or copper pipes, you can turn that junk into money. And how about all those old electronics – the out-of-date computers, TVs, and VCRs? Yes, they take those two.
Not only is recycling your metal responsible for the environment, but it’s also a straightforward, accessible way to make cash.
Switch to LEDs and Low-Flow Fixtures
The upfront cost of switching to LEDs and low-flow fixtures is relatively minor – at least compared to flashier substitutions like electric cars. A low-flow showerhead costs between eight and 50 dollars, for instance, and can reduce your water consumption by as much as 50%.
LEDs are marginally more expensive than traditional halogens, but they last much longer and save on energy during that time. In short, if you have a few extra dollars in your pocket (perhaps from selling your scrap metal), invest in these resource-saving home essentials.
Develop a Green Thumb
Home vegetable gardens require a small start-up cost (for soil, seeds, tools, and pots), but their yield can save you lots of money on food.
With a bit of effort, you can put delicious vegetables on your plate without having to worry about sticker shock at the supermarket. Gardening also gets cheaper (and easier) the longer you do it; you can bank seeds from last year and use your already enriched soil to plant for the season. Consult this helpful YouTube video on getting started with vegetable gardening.
Phase Out Single-Use Products
On the topic of single-use items, plastic straws get the lion’s share of negative attention – but they aren’t the only disposable product people regularly use around the home. Saran wrap, plastic baggies, plastic cutlery, one-time cleaning product containers, produce bags, bottled water – the list goes on.
Slowly making the switch to multi-use items will save you money in the long run and help the environment. Grab a couple of metal straws, a beeswax food cover, linen bags for bulk items, a good water bottle and a few squirt bottles for homemade cleaning supplies.
In summary, going green doesn’t need to be costly. Save money in the long term by developing a green thumb, switching to energy-saving home essentials, and making money by recycling your scrap metal at a metal scrap yard.