Combating climate change has been a hot topic for years, and a 2020 Pew Research poll found that 65 percent of Americans think more needs to be done to address the issue. While a host of legislators, scientists, and other experts debate as to how to best tackle the problem, we as consumers can do our part by making smart choices that are good for the environment, and our wallets.

Here are five simple lifestyle hacks to help you save cash and be more eco-friendly.

1. Reduce your reliance on plastic

The fact of the matter is plastics and other single use items are easy to produce, and as a result, omnipresent. Although initially cheap, single use cups, plastic water bottles, bags and straws can add up, costing you hundreds of dollars annually. What’s more, they wreak havoc on the environment. Completely eliminating them from your life may be difficult, so focus on making small, easy product swaps first.

5 Easy Product Swaps

  1. Choose reusable grocery totes over plastic bags.
  2. Swap plastic produce bags for a mesh alternative. Mesh bags are fully reusable and can be used for storage at home.
  3. Swap plastic water bottles for a reusable canteen.
  4. Replace plastic shower products for sustainable soap/shampoo bars.
  5. Buy reusable metal straws.  

2. Use less water

If you’ve already got a plastic bottle hanging around, there is a novel way to use it for good, put it in the toilet. You read that right, let me explain. If you don’t currently have a low-flow toilet and no budget to buy one, you can take an old plastic bottle filled with sand or small rocks and sealed, then place it in your toilet tank. The bottle will displace some of the water needed to flush, and potentially save up to 10 gallons of water daily, and up to $100 over per year!

3. Choose more sustainable foods

You might be surprised to learn that your next meal could come with a big environmental and cost expense. Livestock, for instance, has an immense effect on the planet, ranging from greenhouse gas emissions to waste in waterways to high land, resource and water usage. So reducing your beef, pork and poultry intake with beans, rice, and similarly protein-rich foods can also help reduce negative environmental impacts, while saving you a few bucks along the way.

4. Eco-proof your home

In addition to reducing your carbon footprint, eco-proofing your home can positively impact its value. If you’ve got the budget and the time, consider tackling large improvements such as replacing old windows and opting for energy-efficient appliances. Otherwise, focus on small improvements such as installing energy-efficient light bulbs, caulking around doors and windows, and installing insulation. For added savings around the house, consider repairing broken items over tossing them in the bin, saving them from the landfill, and in turn, reducing your environmental impact. Check out our list of seven tips to increase your home’s value affordably, for even more insights.

5. Plant a tree

Recent wildfires across the Western United States and deforestation across the globe have highlighted the critical need for more trees. Tree planting can be done at home, on the cheap, and can have an immense impact on your immediate surroundings and the environment. FirstBank has even partnered with world-renowned nonprofit One Tree Planted to make tree planting easy for our customers. Through the end of August, FirstBank will plant 5 trees for every FirstBank Bloom Package opened. We’ve already planted over 40,000 trees as part of this effort and are well on our way to our goal of 50,000!

Visit to learn more or stop by your local FirstBank today.

Why trees?

“This page may contain links to external websites. These links are displayed for your convenience. FirstBank does not manage these sites and assumes no responsibility for the content, links, privacy policy, or security policy.”