22 Ways to Save Money & the Environment
While I love saving money I also think that it’s super important to save our planet! With the awful reality that up to one half of all plants and animals species (on dry land) could face extinction by the year 2050 due to global warming we really do need to do better! Here are some ideas to help you reduce your impact on the environment.
Saving on Food & Drink
Invest in a reusable water bottle and coffee cup – reduce the amount of money and plastic you use on drinks by investing in an eco-friendly water bottle and coffee cup.
Prepare lunch in advance – you’ll spend less on lunch, reduce the amount of packaging you consume and know exactly what it is that you’re eating!
Reduce your meat consumption – not only is meat quite expensive, but avoiding meat and dairy has been named as the “single biggest way” to reduce your impact on Earth. Give veganism a go (you’d be surprised how cheap vegan food can be!).
Grow your own fruit and veg – growing your own fruit and veg will mean regular fresh food delivered straight from your back garden!
Go foraging – foraging is the acquisition of food by hunting, fishing, or the gathering of plant matter. This way you can easily collect berries, nuts and greens. If you feel like becoming a foraging pro try this beginners guide to foraging.
Saving at Home
Switch to a renewable energy provider – I recently switched to the energy provider Bulb, not only do you get £50 when you switch through a friends referral link but they use 100% renewable energy to power their electricity. Want to find out more? Get £50 free credit from Bulb.
Heat & cool wisely – turn the heating down in winter buy getting cosy with blankets and hoodies (you’ll shave 1% off your heating bill for every 1 degree lower); use fans rather than nonstop A/C in the summer; insulate around doors and windows to protect from drafts; and always put heating and cooling systems on a timer so that you only use them when needed.
Substitute light bulbs – old light bulbs are another source of wasted energy. They use most of their power to produce heat rather than light. The average household spends in the region of around £200 on lighting every year. A switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs, which are about 75% more efficient, can massively reduce the average home’s annual lighting bill. Though incandescent bulbs are more expensive than the traditional variety, they last up to 6x longer, so it will be a while before you’ll have to replace them!
Unplug & turnoff – your appliances still use power when you are not using them if you keep them plugged in all the time. So unplug your appliances until you really need them and you will save energy and your dollar! Invest in a power strip – not only do these prevent phantom power usage, but if you flip the switch on a power strip, power will be cut off to all devices that are plugged in. Easy-peasy!
Saving when Shopping
Switch to an ethical bank and shop at ethical retailers – Consider switching to a bank that only invests your money in good (sustainable) causes. Some retailers have also started to do their bit for the environment, support these retailers!
Reuse shopping bags – supermarkets now charge 5p per bag, that’s 5p that you can avoid spending by bringing your own reusable bags. cut your plastic use by keeping a reusable bag in your bag or in the trunk of your car.
Buy second-hand – you can often find clothes that are in decent condition on peer to peer sales sites such as ebay, vinted or gumtree.
Visit Freecycle.org – One person’s trash is another’s treasure. Find a local group on the site and search for furniture, technology & more that other people want to give away. The site is also perfect for recycling your own rubbish. Freecycle is free to join, and it’s a win for both you and the environment.
Earn money for Gwent Beekeepers’ Association through Topcashback – Bee’s are the world’s most important pollinator of food crops & Gwent Beekeepers’ Association work to represent beekeeping both nationally and internationally and actively promote bees and beekeeping to schools, WI’s, church groups and other organisations. You can donate money to GBA just by shopping through TopCashback!
Save by Recycling
Which bin? Depending on where you live you will have been provided with 1 or more different coloured bins. To make sure that you put the right waste/recyclables in one right you’re best checking with your local council.
Upcycle – Instead of throwing outdated or worn clothes them away and contributing to landfill waste, upcycle them into different things. A pair of jeans could become a skirt and a baggy blouse could become a flirty tank top. Look online for ideas and sewing tutorials. You will keep your closet fresh without spending money and you reduce your contribution to landfills.
Take unwanted clothes to H&M – when you drop off your unwanted textiles at your local H&M store (just ask for the garment-collecting box, often located next to the cash desks), you’ll get rewarded with a £5 gift voucher (for your next £25 spend), win-win!
Sell things you no longer use – if you have clothes or gadgets that are in decent condition that you want to get rid of then you should consider selling them. There are a few free options for selling such as Gumtree and local forums, but if you want to sell them quick you might want to consider paying a small fee for using sites such as ebay or Depop.
Recycle plastic bottles – Iceland has become the first UK supermarket chain to install a ‘reverse vending machine’ in its Fulham (London) store that will give customers 10p per plastic bottle that they return. This deposit return scheme will also be featured at Latitude, Reading and Leeds Festival this summer.
Save when Traveling
Walk/Cycle instead of driving – You’ll get some exercise, save some cash and help the environment. Even better, it will make you happier; research suggests that people who walk or cycle to work are generally more satisfied with life. Here are some apps that pay you to walk.
Lift share – find drivers and passengers to share with, save money by sharing travel costs & cut congestion and pollution. You can either organise this yourself or use a website like liftshare to help you find travel buddies.
Holiday in the UK – Jetting off on just one summer holiday is so bad for global warming that it can wipe out the benefits of 20 years of recycling! Book a holiday at a home away from home to save the environment with airbnb.
Got a great money (and environment) saving tips that we all need to hear, share it below and I’ll pop it on my list and you give you a shout out for it! I’ve recently written about the super easy sustainable swaps that I’ve introduced into my lifestyle too!