Why Lower Income Households Are Already Green

By TaKeshia Brooks

Sustainability seems impossible for many when resources already appear scarce. However, many households with low incomes may not realize that they are already living in ways that help create a sustainable environment. This is because those with lower incomes are already stretching their resources and on a budget. They do not waste what they do not have and know how to preserve what little they do. Any household can take a lesson from the ways of financially strapped households to live more sustainably.

Turn Out the Lights One of the most common ways lower income households try to save on energy is to reduce the amount of artificial light used, especially during the day. Many homes opt to use natural light through windows and doors in order to save on the amount of electricity used. Furthermore, energy efficient light bulbs are becoming much more affordable, so not only do these households use a more efficient energy source, but they also use them less.

Keep Cool Without an Air Conditioner Air conditioning continues to be a luxury for many, but lower income households can create their own energy efficient cooling units with two simple things: a fan and a bowl of ice water. Place a bowl of slightly salted ice water can create an effect that cools nearly like an air conditioner. It is a good idea to place a plate under the bowl so that the condensation does not damage furniture or whatever surface upon which the bowl is placed.

Grow a Personal Garden Even in urban settings, many people with low incomes are looking into growing at least some of their own food. This is not only to reduce the grocery bill, but they also understand how important it is to take care of the earth. They know that using the earth to grow plants is good for the environment and they also know sustainable techniques such as composting that keeps the soil healthy.

Using Natural Cleaning Products Of course, cleaning the home is very important and low income households have long known the benefits of products such as baking soda when they want to clean and maintain their homes in sustainable ways. It is possible to make multi-purpose cleaners from regular household products as well as variations of popular products like Febreeze. Fruits can provide a natural scent for these cleaners to make the home pleasanter without the use of harsh chemicals.

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