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Eco-Friendly on a Budget: 5 Hacks for Millennials and Gen Z

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With the rise of #SustainabilityTok, Millennials and Gen Z are more environmentally conscious and aware of their impact on the planet. So PosiGen turned to an expert for some helpful tips.  Our social media Manager and resident Zillennial, Lauren Buchanan discusses 5 Ways Millennials and GenZ can help the planet and their wallets. 

From the Zillennial Lens

We have the power to shape a sustainable future now more than ever. But making small changes in our lifestyle to be more eco-friendly can seem daunting, especially when you're on a budget. Finding solutions to fit our budget is a crucial step towards a greener future. Fortunately, there are practical and affordable ways for Millennials and Gen Z to become more eco-friendly without breaking the bank. In fact, living sustainably can even save you money in the long run! 

5 Simple Hacks To Be More Eco-Friendly On A Budget 

1. Save Money by Conserving Energy
Reducing your energy consumption not only benefits the environment but also helps trim down your utility costs. A few energy-saving tricks to start today include: 

  • Turn off lights and unplug electronics when not in use. Pro-tip: Use smart power strips. Electronics and appliances can still use energy when turned off, so using smart power strips easily turns off power to multiple devices.
  • Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs. LED lights are a great option. While LED bulbs may cost a few cents more at the register,  they use 75% less energy than traditional bulbs and last longer.
  • Lower your thermostat. When you aren’t home, adjust your thermostat back 7°-10°F from its typical setting. By doing this, you can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling. If possible, use a programmable thermostat that can automatically adjust your temperature settings to cool off or heat up your home before returning home. 
2. Cut Down on Water Usage
Water is a precious resource that we can't take for granted. By becoming mindful of our water usage, we can contribute to conservation efforts and save more money by going green. Implement these steps to be more environmentally conscious and save water: 
  • Take shorter showers. Reducing your shower time by just one minute can save hundreds of gallons of water annually and reduce the associated heating costs.
  • Turn off the faucet. When brushing your teeth or shaving, turn off the tap to not unnecessarily waste water. 
    Fix any leaks promptly. One of the most common ways water is wasted is through leaks. Even a small drip can waste gallons of water over time. Search for dripping faucets, showerheads, hoses, and sprinklers.
  • Reuse water when possible. You can save water by reusing it in a variety of ways. For example, you can collect rainwater in a barrel and use it to water your plants or garden. You can also reuse the water used while boiling eggs or cooking pasta to water your plants as long as it’s not salted or seasoned. 
3. Create Less Waste 
Living a zero-waste lifestyle may seem out of reach, but even small, eco-friendly actions can make a big difference. By creating less waste, you can contribute to a healthier planet and save money by reducing unnecessary purchases. A few ways to make an impact:
  • Use reusable products. Invest in reusable water bottles, grocery bags, and food containers. These eco-friendly products help reduce waste and help you save money in the long run - plus they can be really stylish! Avoid single-use products including straws, coffee cups, and plastic cutlery, when possible.
  • Recycle properly. Proper recycling ensures products can be reused and reduces the need for new resources to be created. Check out your local recycling program to ensure you’re recycling effectively and efficiently.
  • Repurpose items. Donate clothes and furniture, use old toothbrushes to clean, or even get creative and turn old wine bottles into lamps and candle holders

4. Shop Secondhand 
Fast fashion and excessive consumption take a toll on the environment. Thrift stores, consignment shops, and online platforms offer unique and affordable items that add character to your home or wardrobe while reducing waste and saving resources. As Gen Z and Millennials, we’re already fans of thrift stores and online marketplaces. Who doesn’t love a vintage GRWM tiktok, right?! By giving these pre-loved items a second life, you'll reduce waste, support a circular economy, and add a touch of personal style to your wardrobe.

However, if you’re new to the game, here are some tips to help you navigate the secondhand market.

  • Focus on quality over quantity. Buying one high-quality item that lasts longer than a cheaper alternative is a better investment for the environment and your wallet. Look for items made from sustainable materials such as organic cotton or bamboo. 
  • Keep an eye out for gently used electronics and appliances. Save money with a refurbished laptop or phone and prevent these items from ending up in landfills.
  • Think outside the box when it comes to home décor. Vintage furniture, artwork, and even kitchenware can add character to your home without harming the environment. Plus, you can often find unique pieces you wouldn't find in mainstream stores!
5. Invest in Renewable Energy.
Renewable energy is a game-changer in our fight against climate change and becoming more environmentally friendly at home. Solar power is at the forefront of this revolution.  Did you know that solar panels can save up to $20-$75K throughout the life of the system? But, the cost of investing in solar power can seem unaffordable on a new Millennial or Gen Z homeowner budget. But it doesn’t have to be. Companies like PosiGen offer affordable solar leasing solutions that empower homeowners to make a positive impact while saving on energy costs. A solar leasing program allows you to install solar panels with no money down and no credit check while only paying easy to manage monthly installments. Switching to solar energy not only helps reduce your carbon footprint but also offers long-term savings and energy independence.

Being eco-friendly on a budget doesn’t have to be complicated. You can save money and protect the planet by conserving energy, cutting down on water usage, creating less waste, shopping secondhand, and investing in renewable energy solutions like solar energy with companies like PosiGen. So start today, and let’s work together to adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle that nurtures our planet and our financial well-being. Together, we can create a brighter, sustainable future for all.

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