I stood in front of my closet this morning, staring down ten different sweaters before slowly, tentatively, plucking a cardigan off its hanger.

Walking outside into the sunshine, my inner monologue cried with joy--

It’s really SPRING! I should buy a juicer! I’ve got to order a tent for camping! I must quit the gym and buy a bike instead! Where’s the sign up for the community garden??

I got a little over-zealous. And I realized, spring doesn’t mean I’m any less busy than I was during winter. Also, I don’t need a whole bunch of new stuff just because I feel renewed by the weather.

So, I came up with a few ways we can all ring in spring that are easy, freelancer-schedule friendly, environmentally happy, and best of all, at mostly zero cost.

My favorite ways to ring in spring are...

Host a clothing swap. Clothes can be cheap, but a clothing swap is free! It’s also a really good excuse for potluck brunch. It’s ALSO a great way to take a stand against the fast fashion industry, as you’ll be donating to your friends rather than your local landfill.

**Start composting your food waste. **Whether you live in the city or the suburbs, you can and should be composting. City organizations offer compost drop-off sites at farmers markets, in case yours gets unwieldy. Fear of flies is also no excuse when there are ways to ensure your compost stays clean (like by freezing the food you plan to compost for 24 hours before adding it to your worm bin). I feel like the internet has argued this one enough for me, I just have to remind you it’s time!

Pick up a used kitchen appliance to help you eat green. When I thought, “I should buy a juicer!” my second thought was, “Ugh, expensive.” But then I logged on to freecycle.org and found an ad for a working blender that would cost me a subway ride and 20 extra minutes after work to pick up. You could do the same with a salad spinner, colander, and a whole bunch of appliances that, bought (or picked up) used but in working condition, could absolutely help improve your health and wellness this spring!

Take a stand against plastic, and ensure spring isn’t a global warming fad of the past. You’ve probably already covered step one, by carrying reusable bags whenever you go food shopping. Steps two, three, and four are just as easy! Only one of them costs no money up front, but the rest will save you (and us all) in the long run.

Step two: Wash your plastic sandwich bags and reuse them. It’s not crazy, it’s environmentally-friendly. Don’t try to argue with me here.

**Step three: **Instead of buying plastic bags to begin with, buy glass or stainless-steel “tupperware” instead. Most glass containers are microwave safe, so you won’t even have to use the office-supplied kitchen bowls (or to go plastic containers) to heat your soup for lunch!

Step four: Buy a stainless steel water bottle. It keeps your water cold, your coffee hot, and if you clean it properly in between, doesn’t make water taste like coffee. Let’s please make plastic water bottles a fad we laugh about in a Buzzfeed post in ten years.

Any additional ideas? Add them to the comments section so everyone can find a way to ring in spring that works for them!