Going Green for “Average” People

There are all sorts of posts out there about how you can “green up” your home or work

space but, if we’re being totally honest, very few of those posts are applicable to the

average working human.

Not everybody can afford to install solar paneling on their rooftops or redo our floors

with reclaimed wood.

Some of us rent!

Going Green for “Average” People

Some of us already take the bus to and from work every day.

If you’re nodding your head in agreement, this article is for you.

This post is for people looking for smaller, more financially feasible ways to improve

their home’s sustainability and reduce their carbon footprints.

Some of them you probably already know and likely already do, but some of these tips

might surprise you!


“This post is for people looking for smaller,

more financially feasible ways to improve

their home’s sustainability and reduce

their carbon footprints.”


Better Furniture

Going Green for “Average” People

Wait, what?

We just said affordable and now we’re going to advocate buying new furniture?

Yes and no.

While, yes, there are always some things that are better to buy brand new–like

there are plenty of deals out there that you can use to reduce the cost of mattresses made

from natural and/or hypoallergenic materials.

Going Green for “Average” People

You can repurpose your old mattress into a guest room, sell it to the guys who just moved

in down the hall or even put it up on sites like Craigslist or donate it to the Goodwill or

a local shelter.

Going Green for “Average” People

For the rest of your home, when it comes time to replace a piece of furniture or if you want

to add something new to your home, shop for gently used items at second-hand shops,

online, at yard sales, etc.

Going Green for “Average” People

Another good idea is to make your new furniture out of found materials.

There are so many ways to use found materials to create shelving, storage space, tables, etc.

You’ll save money and reduce waste.

Worm Bins

Going Green for “Average” People

If you have a house with a yard, you can easily create a compost pile outside.

If you live in a house without a yard or if you live in an apartment or condo, you can

create a worm bin.

Worm bins are basically compost piles that you keep in a container in your home.

They are really easy to make and they reduce the amount of waste you toss into the

dumpster behind your building (which always seems to be overflowing anyway, right?).

Going Green for “Average” People

So: what do you do with the compost ?

You can sell it to people who are looking for organic and natural landscaping materials

or you can donate it to a larger composting operation nearby.

If neither of these is an option, call your city and ask for suggestions.

Lightbulbs Matter

Going Green for “Average” People

Did you know that CFLs aren’t the most energy efficient and eco-friendly light bulb

you can buy?

It’s true!

That honor belongs to the hallowed LED light.

Here’s the thing: LED bulbs–in spite of their growing popularity–are still pretty expensive.

So don’t just chuck all of your current light bulbs in the bin.

Instead, replace them as they burn out.

This way you save money and reduce waste.

Halogens are another option for energy savings but you should know that halogen bulbs

give off a tremendous amount of heat.

So while they might be good at helping you keep the heating bills down in the winter,

they can make life very uncomfortable in the summer.


Going Green for “Average” People

Yeah, yeah, you already know not to put bottle caps in the recycling bin.

You know to look for the numbers on containers, too.

You also know that most containers and packaging are made out of recyclable material

these days.

But there is another way to recycle.

This type of recycling is often affectionately called “reusing,” and it is a fantastic way to

help your home be more sustainable and eco-friendly.

Going Green for “Average” People

Here’s an example: instead of tossing out that ratty shirt, cut it up and use the pieces as

dust cloths or as patches for jeans.

Here’s another: instead of recycling old food containers, rinse them out and reuse them

for your current food storage needs.

There are so many ways to reuse the stuff you probably toss out of habit.


Green Laundry

Going Green for “Average” People

Invest in a drying rack! You can find them pretty cheaply at any home goods store or you

can even .

During the summer, put the drying rack near the window to help the clothes dry quickly.

In the winter, put the drying rack closer to the heater.

You’ll use less electricity and save those precious laundry quarters (yes, some laundry

rooms still have quarter machines, we promise)!

Going Green for “Average” People
These are just a few ways to “green up” your lifestyle when you’re on a budget/living

by someone else’s rules.

What are some of the ways you’ve gone creatively green?



What are your favorite ways to “green up” your lifestyle?

What are your favorite green living tips for someone who is just getting started?

Share your thoughts and comments with us.