Buying clothes can consume a big chunk of your budget – especially if you have kids and teenagers. New clothes also take their toll on the planet, given how much water, pesticides and energy required to produce cotton, polyester and other fabrics (NOTE: 10% of all agricultural chemicals and 25% of insecticides in the U.S. are used to grow cotton. It takes almost 1/3 of a pound of chemicals (pesticides and fertilizers) to grow enough cotton for just one t-shirt.) Meanwhile, “out of style” clothes can end up in the trash even though they still have a lot of life left in them.

How can you green your Wardrobe?

First, make clothes last longer.

1. Buy gender-neutral clothes. Young children especially are usually willing to share shorts, t-shirts and sweatshirts, or wear hand-me-downs.

2. Clean less frequently. Washing, drying and dry cleaning your clothes can wear fabric out and fade colors while using excessive amounts of water, and energy. Don\’t wash clothes unless they\’re actually dirty; hang on a line or on hangers to dry.

3. Hold a swap meet. You may be tired of your clothes, but your neighbor, work colleague, or girlfriend might love them. Invite a group of friends over who are about the same size (or in a couple of close size ranges). Ask each to bring three to five items they\’re ready to rotate out of their wardrobe for something different. Each person could leave with at least five new designs that they\’ve swapped for their own old clothes.

Here\’s the entire “top ten” list:

Diane MacEachern, the author of Big Green Purse: Use Your Spending Power to Create a Cleaner, Greener World, is passionate about empowering women to use their marketplace clout to protect the environment.