It’s easy to find eco-friendly products, but it’s not always easy to afford them. A recent article by Alexis Benveniste of Bloomberg, highlighted the issues many of us have when trying to “go green.” There is no shortage of metal straws, tumblrs, and reusable grocery bags in today’s markets. Almost anywhere you go, you can find a more eco-friendly version to all your favorite disposable products. However, these items come at a cost. It may start with products like straws and cups that are fairly inexpensive, but it only continues from there. When you go even further into the “go green” movement, you start to see why many people are overwhelmed by the prices. Benveniste highlights that buying a metal straw is a gateway into the world of environmentalism and gets you thinking about other ways to reduce waste. While this is a beneficial conversation to have, it becomes challenging when many Americans simply can’t afford it.

Photo By Ira Shpiller

For example, it costs $20 to use reusable beeswax instead of plastic wrap to keep food fresh. Or let’s say you wanted to buy a pair of shoes made entirely from recycled materials. While these are amazing for the planet, but will cost upwards of $150 a pair. The possibilities are endless for these green products spanning from $200 recycled blankets to a $95 recycled and reusable purifying water bottle. So, how do we solve this issue of unaffordable eco-friendly products vs. keeping the earth clean? More demand. “The more we can make it easy for consumers to pick eco-friendly products, the more there will be a demand for those eco-friendly products and the more the prices for those products will fall,” said Joe Sanberg, co-founder of Aspiration, a financial firm that lends to sustainable companies. As more people use them, the more affordable the products will become. Until that time comes, you may be wondering how to be more eco-friendly without breaking the bank. The key isn’t necessarily in what you buy, but rather what you don’t buy.

Things to limit buying to save the environment:

  • Plastic dishware
  • Plastic water bottles
  • Straws
  • Red meat
  • Pre-packaged foods
  • Take-out food
  • Animal tested beauty products
  • Candles

With just a few swaps you can help the environment without putting a hole in your wallet. While it isn’t in everyone’s budget to get all the bells and whistles associated with, “going green,” there are still plenty of cheap ways to preserve the planet.  Next: 5 Grocery Hacks That Will Save You Thousands