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12 Ways to Live a Sustainable Lifestyle (and save money)

12 Ways to Live a Sustainable Lifestyle (and save money)


We live in a modern world where most people consume and pollute. Instead of wasting at such vast degrees, we should make a point to be as sustainable and self-reliant as possible. This effort is an excellent way to both help the earth and saves money. Here are 12 ways to live a sustainable lifestyle (and save money in the long run).

12 Tips for a More Sustainable Lifestyle

1. Grow Your Own Food

Instead of getting into the car to go to the store and putting toxins in the air and buying food that needed to be transported and possibly packaged, grow your fruits and vegetables at home.

Do your research to learn what foods grow best in your area and how to grow them. When the time comes, you’ll have the freshest vegetables possible. Plus, you will know exactly how they were raised and what they were treated with since you were the one who grew them.

sustainable
Are you planting a victory garden to live more sustainably? Here are 15 plants to try.

2. Recycle

Recycling is the process of taking used material and repurposing it instead of adding to the already overfilled landfills in the world. Not everything can be recycled, but the items that can go to a recycling center which helps bring it to a new, reusable form.

Place plastic, paper, and glass in a separate container specifically for recyclable materials. In many cases, the city will provide a recyclables bin for you. In some cases, you may even be able to make money off of your recyclable materials. The following states offer money for bottles and cans:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Vermont

If you live in one of these states, collect your cans and bottles. The recycling center will typically offer a nickel per item. You can help the environment while also earning some extra money. Talk to an employee at the center to learn about any other materials they would pay you for.

3. Ditch Your Car

Cars are a significant source of air pollution, especially in metropolitan areas. Many people drive to work or the store when they could easily take an alternative method of transportation. If you can take one car off the road every day by walking or biking to work, you are making a significant difference.

However, you should consider public transportation if walking or biking is not a reasonable method for you. If that also doesn’t work for your commute, create a carpool at your work.  You can save gas money by taking turns driving with other people at the office. It will reduce the number of pollutants in the air, too.

minimalist
Read the benefits of living a minimalist lifestyle.

4. Install Solar Panels

One of the most exciting new sustainable inventions in recent years is the solar panel. You can place these on your home to generate your electricity. Of course, you still have backup power from the electric company. However, since you are producing your electricity most of the time, your electric bill will be significantly reduced or even nothing.

The solar panels collect the sun’s rays and turn it into electricity. When you need to use it, it’s distributed throughout your house. Since this method requires the sun, it works best in sunny locations.

The solar panels generally go on top of your current roof. However, Tesla has invented a roof made of solar panels. It’s expensive, but it’s attractive and saves you money in utilities.

5. Shop From Environmentally Responsible Companies

You have a lot of options as a consumer. It’s your job to make responsible decisions about who you buy from. You shouldn’t only focus on price. You need to pay attention to the way the company packages its products and their manufacturing practices. There may be a reason that a particular product is cheaper than the competition.

These items probably won’t last as long as other options, meaning you’ll spend more when you need to be a second product. Also, specific packaging and manufacturing processes are bad for the apartment.

6. Shop With Reusable Bags

Think of all of the plastic bags used when people go out grocery shopping or shopping at the local pharmacy. Even though they are plastic, these bags can not be recycled. In fact, some countries are even banning the use of plastic bags when shopping. Think ahead and bring your reusable bags.

There are sustainable bags designed to use over and over again. This habit will eliminate the need to use plastic bags. Just don’t forget to bring them with you when you head out to shop.

7. Drive an Electric Car

If you can’t possibly get rid of your car, that doesn’t mean you can’t make responsible decisions about the vehicle you drive. Some vehicles are known for being “gas guzzlers.” They consume a lot of gas. This moniker means you’ll be stuck going to the gas station more often and spending more money. Common gas guzzlers include Hummers and large trucks. Compare vehicles before buying.

Luckily, there are electric vehicles and hybrids now that don’t require as much gas. These vehicles rely on electricity or a combination of both electricity and gas. You won’t be stopping for gas as often or putting the same amount of pollution into the air.

8. Buy Energy Star Appliances

Most modern homes utilize refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, and other appliances to help complete chores. It’s almost unheard of not to have these appliances around the house. However, these appliances use up a lot of electricity and water. As they get older, they may even require more to complete the same amount of work. Specific machines are designed to use less water and electricity than usual.

These appliances will have an Energy Star sticker on them. This designation lets you know they adhere to a certain standard of efficiency. You will save money on your utility bills. Plus, you will be more sustainable.

sustainable life9. Eat Local

Think about how food gets from where it was made to your plate. In some cases, this involves an extensive long-distance journey. The journey means putting pollution into the air. Plus, the food isn’t as fresh as it once was when it finally arrives at its destination.

Instead of eating at places that require the food to come from all over the country, eat at restaurants and shop at farmer’s markets who only use food from local farmers and butchers. This food is likely less expensive since it doesn’t require travel costs.

Plus, it will be some of the freshest food you can eat. In these types of establishments, the food probably wasn’t frozen at any point. Finally, it was perhaps picked off of the vine that same day!

10. Use HVAC System Wisely

It’s completely unreasonable to assume that people will live in hot summers and cold winters without an HVAC system. This fact is especially relevant if you live in a location with an extreme climate. However, you should use your HVAC system wisely.

First, you should get a unit with the Energy Star sticker we mentioned before. Also, you don’t need to set the unit to extreme temperatures. Instead of setting it at 68 degrees in the summer, try setting it at 78. You want to make yourself comfortable, but you don’t need to overdo it. You should also consider using a smart thermometer.

The smart thermometer can change the temperature when no one is in the home. It can even set it back when people come home for the day. Finally, get regular maintenance from a professional HVAC technician every year.

11. Vote

It’s your job as a citizen to vote about the things that matter to you. Since we can’t vote on particular legislation, we need to vote for people who put environmental issues at the forefront. Research local, state-wide, and national politicians to learn who will support you and others who want to live a sustainable lifestyle.

When it’s time to vote, you should stop by the polls and cast your ballot. Some people only vote during national elections, but it’s important to vote in every election if you expect to see a change in your area. These changes can even result in significant savings for the government.

12. Volunteer

There are a vast number of organizations that work to help environmental issues and help sustainability efforts. Make a point to support and volunteer with these organizations. You may learn things during your volunteer service. You may also be able to make a difference in your community. Look for organizations that make an effort to clean up nature and plant trees. There are also organizations designed to help animals.

sustainable livingFinal Thoughts on Achieving a Sustainable Life That Saves the Planet (and your wallet)

The world needs our help. We tend to make more from the planet than we give. It also doesn’t hurt that being more sustainable can save us a lot of money, too. These tips are a great place to start, but keep looking for new ways to help.

Lifestyle

5 Signs That Reveal You May Live Longer Than Other People Your Age

5 Signs That Reveal You May Live Longer Than Other


In a perfect world, we would all live longer and know when our life would end. This way, you’d be able to get your affairs in order and get things ready before the moment comes. On second thought, knowing when the moment was happening might be an awful thing to know.

Whether you’d want to know when it’ll happen or if you’d rather not know, we’re all curious about one thing. The thing we want to know is what makes some people outlive others. While there’s no exact science to figure it out, there are some ideas of what leads to a longer life.

Each of the ideas relates to your overall wellbeing. It seems that taking care of your body and mind is the ultimate key to living a long life. Since wellness is such a vast topic, it’s essential to narrow it down. Once you narrow it down, you can understand some of the signs that reveal you may live longer.

5 Signs You May Live Longer Than Others

live longer

Remember that there is no exact science to determine how long anyone will live. Many factors determine the length of life, but these signs are ones that anyone can work on.

1. You’re Organized, Make Plans, and Budget

Studies show that those who are organized, disciplined, persistent, and hard-working typically outlive others. This indicator is because they take fewer risks, are healthier, and have regular check-ups and doctor visits. Since they are more conscientious about their health, this benefits them in the long run.

Those aren’t the only reasons that organizers, planners, and budgeters live longer, however. Since these things go along with cognition, it can help prevent degenerative cognitive diseases.

People who have these characteristics are also less likely to smoke cigarettes and consume an excessive amount of alcohol. Plus, they’re more likely to have a steady job and a healthy marriage, leading to less stress and health problems.

In total, those who are organized, planners, and budgeters are expected to live around four years longer than others.

How You Can Work on This

Luckily, it’s not too late to develop this type of lifestyle. For those who aren’t naturally organized, a planner, or a budgeter, it’s still possible. It may just be a little tougher and will take more determination.

You can start by practicing writing schedules and budgets for yourself or your family. Start with a plan for the day, and then stick to it. Once you have a routine of planning your day and stick to it, you can begin planning for longer things.

If you wish to live a life like this, it’s crucial to consider relationships, careers, and friendships before jumping in. By doing so, you’re giving yourself a chance to review what may come from life change. If it might be toxic for you or cause overwhelming stress, think of your wellbeing before deciding.

2. Your BMI is Normal

Being overweight can decrease a life span, so an abnormal Body Mass Index (BMI) could mean a shorter life. With a healthy BMI, however, you are likely to outlive others.

Keep in mind, however, that an abnormal BMI calculation isn’t always a cause for alarm. If yours is too high or too low, you should discuss it with your doctor.

An average BMI calculation is between 18.5 and 24.9, and the index for being overweight is between 25 and 29.9. Then, an obese index is between 30 and 34.9. If you are above the obese calculation, you must change your lifestyle habits.

To calculate BMI, you have to divide your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared. If this is too complicated, it’s easy to find accurate BMI calculators on the internet.

BMI tape measure
Read about the connection between BMI and overall wellness.

How to Reach a Normal BMI

The only way to change your BMI is to change your lifestyle. If your BMI is too low, you can work to gain weight or muscle. On the other hand, if your BMI is too low, you will have to do the opposite.

There are two natural ways you can successfully reach a normal BMI. One is by eating healthy foods and sticking to a nutritious diet. The other way is by exercising regularly and leading an active lifestyle.

It seems that the most critical factor for those who are overweight or obese is to eat less. Try leaving some food on your plate at each meal. A study performed at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis proves that this can help you live longer.

In the study, researchers determined that a diet that is low in calories yet high in nutrition is the best option. This is because that type of diet decreases the number of T3 hormones in your body. T3, a thyroid hormone, not only causes a slow metabolism, but it also speeds up the aging process.

3. You Look Younger Than You Are

When scientists conducted a study on twins, they were able to determine one of the signs of a longer life. The twins were monitored over the course of 12 years. In the end, scientists decided that the twin who looked younger lived longer.

The Secret to Looking Younger

Take care of yourself. Things like cigarettes and alcohol can make people appear older, proving that they are not suitable for the body. Eating healthy foods will help, along with regularly being active. Another way to look younger is by getting enough sleep.

4. You Have Regular Social Interaction

Healthy social interaction doesn’t have to mean there are many people in your life. Even a small group of people, you have a meaningful relationship with can help your overall wellness.

When you have people that you can trust in tough situations, you’ll have more help through the hard times. This increases the chances that you’ll have support when you’re sick, hurt, or just need a companion.

Other reasons that regular social interaction leads to a longer life are health-related. Studies show that those who aren’t regularly social tend to have more negative health patterns than others.

These negative health patterns include inactivity, obesity, hypertension, and increased blood clots. Those who are social also get sick less often when exposed to viruses than those who are generally isolated. They also have less inflammatory markers than those who don’t have regular social interaction.

Another health issue that stems from social interaction is that those who are isolated are more likely to smoke tobacco. Plus, those who have social interaction are less likely to have high blood pressure and increased heart rate from stress.

social distancingHow to Become More Social

Be careful not to let social media become your only form of communication with friends and family. To get the full benefits of social interaction, you have to have people in real life.

Make plans with the people you care about and follow through on them. Don’t wait for them to call you to make plans. Instead, reach out and let them know you’d like to spend some time together.

If you don’t know anyone in your area that you can reach out to, look for friends in other places. Join a group or start spending time in places that interest you. By doing this, you’re likely to find friends like yourself.

5. You Often Exhibit Positivity

Positive people experience less stress in their daily life and outlive negative people. Since there is less stress, blood pressure and heart rate tend to stay more regular. Both of those things are a vital part of living a long and healthy life.

The most crucial topic to remain positive about is aging. It’s believed that being positive about aging and life can lead to living up to 15% longer than negative people. Plus, you’ll have a better chance of making it 85 years old than those who can’t see the positives.

The Way to Become More Positive

Work on staying positive in your life each day. When things aren’t going as planned, look for a positive in the situation. There is always going to be at least one good thing going on, no matter how insignificant it may seem.

One way to remind yourself that life is good is by keeping a gratitude journal. Write one thing each day that you were grateful for. You can also say positive affirmations to yourself and surround yourself with other positive people.

live longerFinal Thoughts on Signs That Reveal You May Live Longer Than Other People Your Age

Even though there is no definite answer, there are signs that you may live longer than others. These signs are based on scientific evidence and research, so it isn’t just speculation. The best part is that anyone can achieve all of the signs mentioned.

If you struggle with any of the things listed, you can change something about your life today. Your wellness is the most significant part of life length, and each sign focuses on wellness in some way.

Take care of your mind and body, and you’ll become one of the people who may live longest. You only have one life, so you might as well make it the best one possible.

Lifestyle

21 Tips You Must Know To Live Frugally

21 Tips You Must Know To Live Frugally


The importance of living frugally is a major concern in every household. Even if you make a comfortable living, saving for the future is wise. Popular books, magazines, and websites admire the benefits of thriftiness.

Have you ever read cookbooks or watched shows hosted by the late Jeff Smith, The Frugal Gourmet? Smith was quick to emphasize that being frugal does not mean cheap. It involves stretching your dollars to buy the best quality your budget allows.

If you imagine being thrifty makes you one of the extreme examples from a popular reality show about cheapskates, you needn’t be. You can manage your spending habits wisely while still enjoying an abundant life. How is that possible?

With careful planning, research, and reevaluating your priorities, frugal living is possible for your family or anyone else. Along the way, you may meet others who have success with thriftiness and will share pointers with you. Here are twenty-one tips that give you some helpful suggestions.

21 Actionable Tips to Live Frugally

live frugally

1. Establish a Household Budget

No doubt you have worked from a budget for years. Has it helped you pay bills while providing money for savings? If not, consider revising your budget to reflect what you earn and how you can eliminate unnecessary items.

2. Keep a Spending Journal

It’s easy to whip out cash or card all day and not realize how much you are spending. If you keep a journal, you may be shocked at how these little changes add up. Even more sobering is that many of these could be impulse buys you don’t need.

3. Reevaluate Your Family’s Spending Priorities

Some bills, like mortgage/rent, transportation, utilities, and other basic needs, are inevitable. However, you have some financial wiggle room to monitor these needs closely. Study your spending journal and see where you can eliminate frivolous items or reduce the cost.

4. Reduce or Eliminate Your Debt

Did you know that most Americans are seriously in debt? Has society’s mandate to “keep up with the Jones family” kept your bank accounts in the red? Unfortunately, interest and late charges can compound and leave you destitute for years.

If you are struggling with debt, seek a qualified debt counselor to learn how you can reduce, and eventually eliminate it. Your counselor can advise you on how to pay off high-interest credit cards and loans, usually without resorting to bankruptcy. With a clean slate, you can better manage your money and avoid the pitfalls of debt.

5. Shop Smart with Coupons

When you pitch those store circulars and coupon packs from the Sunday paper into the recycling bin, you may be throwing out cash. Clipping coupons is still a reliable way to save on your grocery bills. You can also sign up for free coupon exchanges online.

Pay attention to local store circulars advertising sales. Correlate the deals and coupons with your grocery list for optimal savings. Remember, don’t buy things you don’t need just because they are on sale or you have a coupon.

If you want to save on the cost of the Sunday paper, you can also install couponing apps on your smartphone.

6. Live Frugally by Shopping Online

Before you purchase an item at a store, you should look it up online. You may find it on the company’s website for a lower price, and many of them offer free shipping. Some offer impressive online sales that aren’t available in stores.

Online auctions and buy/sell websites are another excellent source for purchasing things inexpensively. While most items are gently used, you can often find new ones in their original package. Be sure to read all item descriptions, shipping information, and guarantees before buying.

7. Discover the Joy of Thrifting

Thrift stores were reusing and upcycling things long before it became popular. If you can find something in good shape that you need at a high price, why buy new? Also, you are kinder to the environment.

You can find almost anything you can imagine in a thrift store. You can also scout out local garage sales to buy great stuff for pennies on the dollar. Check out your local thrift store before buying new.

8. Learn to Upcycle at Home

Use a creative eye around your house to reuse things you already have. Before you pitch or recycle something, ask yourself if you can repurpose it. Kids enjoy learning how to upcycle old stuff into other useful items.

For example, you can cut up worn out towels and soft clothes and turn them into free cleaning rags. Clean food jars and lids to turn into handy storage containers. These are just a few of the countless ideas you can try for frugality around the house.

9. Visit Your Local Library to Live Frugally But Still Read the Latest Releases

Have you noticed the astronomical prices of new books and periodicals in the bookstores? Don’t spend your hard-earned cash for something you will probably read once. Instead, borrow them for free from your local library.

Modern libraries are a treasure trove of books, periodicals, and other media material that is available with your free library card. For your copies, consider joining a local book/magazine exchange group and stay well-read without breaking your piggy bank.

10. Eat at Home More Often

It’s shocking how much you can spend on fast food, and it’s also impressive how much weight it can add to your waistline. While dining on the go is convenient when you’re pushed for time, it’s seldom economical. The same offerings at your local restaurant would be a fraction of the cost if made at home.

Plan your meals each week and resolve to minimize restaurant visits. Try nutritious recipes that your family will love for meals or snacks. Homemade food is usually tastier and healthier, plus you spend more quality time with your loved ones at home.

11. Grow a Victory Garden

Long before the farm-to-table movement, our ancestors knew how to grow and preserve their food. No paltry produce in the grocery store can compare to the taste and quality of something homegrown.

Consider cultivating a small vegetable patch in your back yard with your favorite ones. Don’t have a yard? You can quickly grow tomatoes, strawberries, and other tasty produce in pots on a sunny patio.

plant lemon

12. Keep Your Wardrobe to a Minimum

Is your closet bursting to the seams with clothes you hardly ever wear? Purge your wardrobe and keep a minimum of quality clothes that look attractive to you. Shop thrift stores for beautiful clothes and accessories and avoid trendy items that won’t match several things you already have.

13. Live Frugally by Firing Your Cable TV Provider

Your cable television bill probably bites a big chunk of your income each month. Not only is it usually a waste of money, but too much television is an unhealthy waste of time. Nix the cable and opt for streaming channels on your computer or smartphone.

14. Try Homemade Cleaning Products

With some of the potentially hazardous ingredients in many household cleaning products, mixing your own makes sense. The Internet is full of free recipes for everyday cleaning products. Most use natural ingredients, clean just as well, and are a fraction of the cost.

15. Start a Bartering System in Your Neighborhood

Recruit some like-minded neighbors to start a money-saving bartering group. Trade quality items you no longer need to your group for things you can use. You can also do the bartering system with homegrown produce and handcrafted items.

16. Walk for Health and To Save Cash

Health experts say that walking is one of the best exercises. Instead of driving short distances, consider walking. You save fuel and wear on your car, plus you are doing your body a favor. The environment will also thank you for reducing your carbon footprint.

pop meme

17. Learn How to Do Things Yourself

Do you watch the popular DIY reality shows with envy? With time and practice, you can learn to do many of the same things around your house. While some more complicated things require a professional, you can watch online tutorials and learn how easy it’s to make simple home repairs and updates.

18. Dry Your Clothes Free and Naturally

Clothes dryers use a lot of expensive energy to run. With a simple clothesline and a couple of poles, you can hang your clothes to dry outside as your grandparents did. There’s nothing like the delightful fragrance of wind and sunshine from line-dried clothes.

19. Conserve on Your Water Usage

Water is another expensive utility that can be minimalized. Consider using timers for shorter showers and use stored rainwater for your garden and lawn. Replace faucet washers that drip and waste your water by the gallon.

20. Practice Frugal Giving

Frugal giving does not mean you turn into the Grinch. Learn to buy or make gifts that show you put thought into them. A gift lovingly made by hand will be cherished long after the department store afterthought is gone.

21. Learn to Entertain on a Budget

When your friends or loved ones come to visit, spending time with you is more important to them than an extravagant meal. Find recipes for delicious appetizers and dinners that are delicious and don’t cost a fortune.

live frugally

Final Thoughts: You Can Live Frugally But Still Enjoy Life

Living abundantly doesn’t have to bankrupt you. A frugal lifestyle can keep your debt minimalized while maximizing your joy. You will have more time to enjoy things money can’t buy when you live frugally.

Health

5 Self Improvement Tips You Need to Try to Live Your Best Life

5 Self Improvement Tips You Need to Try to Live


5 Self Improvement Tips You Need to Try to Live Your Best Life

According to a recent study, a shockingly sad 85% of people say they suffer from a lack of self-confidence.

To make matters worse, only one out of every three Americans say they’re currently happy with where they are in life.

Worldwide, only 13% of people say they’re enthusiastic about going to work everyday. 

These statistics all point to one thing: most people seem at least somewhat unsatisfied with their lives.

Are you one of them?

If so, you need to read this post. We’ve collected 5 of the top self improvement tips you need to try to start seeing your life — and yourself — in a better light.

1. Enroll In A Self Improvement Course

Sometimes, you need the support of a group environment to help you propel yourself forward.

A group mentality doesn’t just hold you accountable. It also allows you to listen to the stories of others who may have faced the same challenges as you — and came out on the other side.

Look at options like the avatar energy master target course or even look for local mental health support groups to get started.

2. Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

It’s natural to want to see how you stack up in comparison to those around you. Social media has made it easier than ever.

It’s so simple to get stuck in a cycle of self-loathing, anxiety, and jealousy when compare where you are in life to your friends of family members.

Doing this will only hold you back. Remember, no matter how it might look on Facebook, these people also have their own challenges.

Plus, everyone has their own set of circumstances that influence the choices they make.

Our best advice? Log off, and celebrate your own accomplishments.

3. Ask Yourself This One Question Every Day

Many of us set lofty goals for ourselves — and we want to achieve them quickly.

However, get realistic about your pacing, and the actual attainability of these goals.

Before you fall asleep every night, ask yourself this question:

“What is one thing I did today that got me a step closer to my goals?”

This way, you’ll be able to clearly see that, even if all your dreams didn’t come true overnight, you’re well on your way to making them happen.

4. Give Back

Many of us struggle with a sense of self-worth. However, very few of us realize just how important we are to so many around us.

One way to start understanding how much you matter is by giving back.

Get involved in local volunteer work. Assist in taking care of your community garden, or volunteer at a local soup kitchen.

Even donate some of your own clothing to a shelter, or office your design services to a nonprofit.

This will help you to see the value in your life, and you’ll understand that even small actions can make a big difference.

5. Remember: You Deserve Success

Many people wrongly feel that the reason they aren’t successful is because they don’t deserve to be.

Stop beating yourself up over past choices and wishing you’d done things differently. You know in your heart that you’re just as worthy of success as every else.

Changing your mindset — and even repeating positive mantras to yourself in the mirror — will boost your self-confidence.

Use These Self Improvement Tips To Boost Your Self-Worth

We hope these five self improvement tips have reminded you about the importance of self-care.

No matter where you are in life, it’s always important to check in with yourself. Taking some time to focus on you is far from selfish — in fact, it can help you be more productive and more empathetic to the people around you.

Looking for more tips on how to improve your life? Check out our website for more helpful articles.

Make today the day you start moving forward.