Feeling the financial pinch of the recession? You’re not the only one. For many folks, that means a lot of their green choices are falling by the wayside as they seek to save money. Over the past few years, the explosion in the green marketplace has given shoppers lot of ways to choose green versions of their favorite products. While it certainly helps to support businesses that are making eco-savvy products, that is not the only or best way to go green.

So how do you decide which products will really make a difference? It turns out that you don’t need to buy green to go green after all. In fact, the essence of going green is to simply use a little less ... and that actually saves you money. But that doesn’t mean you have to do without either. Here are four great ways to go green, and do more, by using just a little less.

Energy: You don’t need solar panels to go green. Simply adjust your thermostat by a few degrees "greener" and you could save big bucks and make a substantial difference when it comes to protecting the planet. Aim for 78 degrees during the summer months and 68 degrees in the winter.

Water: Do more with less water by multi-tasking. Use the same water more than once while grooming, cleaning, washing dishes and playing. (eg: let your kids play in the sprinkler while you water the lawn.)

Beauty: The average adult uses approximately nine personal care products each day, for a total of 126 unique chemical ingredients. That’s a lot of chemicals that wind up in your body and down the drain. The good news is you don’t have to give up washing your hair or smelling good in order to go green. Do more with less by revaluating your beauty regimen. For each product you eliminate, you’ll save money and reduce the chemicals in your body and in the environment.

Fashion: Want to go green? Don’t worry about replacing your entire wardrobe with organic blends. In fact, the greenest stuff is the stuff that’s already in your closet. Get the most green from your wardrobe and your wallet by fixing or tailoring the clothes you already own. Learn how to sew a button or stitch a hem (or make friends with someone who can) to increase the lifespan of your family’s clothing. Too boring? Give new life to old clothes by tailoring worn out duds. For a fraction of the cost of new, you can turn wornout pants into shorts or a pre-pregnancy dress into a shirt or skirt.   

More eco-savvy money-savers:

  • Make your own green cleaners
  • Turn out the lights
  • Turn down the heat
  • Buy gently used goods
  • Drive less
  • Walk more
  • Eat less meat
  • Start your own garden
  • Make your own beauty products

Photo: some bo

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