Spending Less with Sustainability
While adopting sustainable habits into your life is a great way to do your part in helping the environment, it also makes an impact on your money management. With the current rising costs of living, saving where you can is imperative.
Luckily, you can save both money and the planet by practising sustainable living. It’s a win for everyone — including the environment and your wallet — in the long run. Here are some sustainable changes you can make today to save money and care for the environment.
1. Minimise Food Waste
Do you remember a time when you might have ordered too much food? Or made too many rations of your favourite pasta? Let the leftovers go to waste? Unfortunately, you’re not alone. A family can waste up to $1600 per year on food that goes uneaten.
Practice mindfulness when you’re doing meal preparation. Buying the groceries you know you’re capable of finishing or using food delivery apps less will result in less food waste. On the off chance that there are leftovers, try out a new recipe online.
2. Utilise Renewable Energy
Renewable energy is now responsible for 20% of America’s electricity and around 35% of the UK’s, and it’s projected to only grow from there. As a result, renewable prices are decreasing. Investing in wind or solar energy now can help out with household bills and support the movement.
Getting an electric car can be useful if you have the means to do so, but there are other ways you can start to integrate renewable energy technology into your life. For example, install solar lighting options in your house.
3. Choose Staycations Over Vacations
Flying on a plane can increase carbon emissions and decrease your funds. While it can be good to have a vacation once in a while, try investing in home improvements that make a staycation as relaxing as a trip. After all, there’s no place like home.
You can visit local attractions like parks or museums, or just take a few days off work to relax at home. Either way, you can enjoy a staycation without the emissions. And if you live in the UK or Europe, why not try out long-distance train travel for the first time?
4. Switch to Sustainable Fashion
Some clothes can seem like quite a steal until they tear and break apart. The quality of fast fashion brands focuses more on quantity, which exhausts environmental resources and creates huge amounts of waste.
Shopping from local and ethical fashion brands means making a conscious decision to support sustainability. By switching, you can support people who have the same vision of environmental friendliness and have clothing that can last you years of wear. While potentially costing more at the beginning, these investment purchases will ultimately save you the money of replacing items in the long run. Plus, why not try second hand for more accessible and more sustainable options?
5. Take a Bike to Travel
Instead of paying for fuel and parking fees for your car, look at ways to make the commute more sustainable. Public transport is a good option when you’re going the distance to lessen your carbon footprint and overall spending. For shorter journeys, a bike is a refreshing way to travel since it’s relatively free once the bike is paid for!
6. Prioritise Reusable Products
Another way to spend less through sustainability is going for reusable products rather than disposables. You’re likely employing the same plan in your household already with reusable plates and cutlery rather than getting the paper and plastic variety. Look at other cost-effective alternatives like period products, batteries, water bottles, rags and more.
7. Shut Off the Electronics
When we were kids, adults taught us to turn off and unplug any electronic devices that weren’t being used to conserve energy. It’s good to recall that lesson when you want to be sustainable and save money. After all, less electrical consumption, lower bills and higher savings. You might want to take this a step further and consider intentionally arranging a tech-free day to have some time off your screens and get outside instead!
8. Start a Garden
Growing your own food is a great way to minimise your impact. Whether you plant veggies in your backyard or grow herbs in a windowsill, you can help cut down the waste generated in the production, transportation and packing of food.
9. Wash Clothes Mindfully
Laundry is a necessary chore that uses up quite a bit of water. To conserve those resources and lower your water bill, be meticulous about when you wash clothes. Wait for your basket to fill up before you turn on the washing machine so that you maximise your water usage, opt for cold washes and shorter cycles where possible, and try and wash less often and simply spot clean any stains. A study from Levi’s found that washing every 10 times a product is worn instead of every 2 times reduces energy use, climate change impact, and water intake by up to 80%, while washing in cold water reduces climate impact by 24% and 21% in America and the UK respectively.
Also – ditch the dryer! Not only does it damage clothes and reduce longevity, but opting for line drying instead reduces non-renewable energy use by 64% in the US and 65% in the UK.
10. Try to Go Paperless
Paper can require plenty of space to store and organize, and so much of it still heads to the trash. Making an effort to go paperless at home can help lessen your waste and spending. However, don’t chuck everything into the garbage can. Start with small steps like scanning the documents to have online copies instead or writing lists on your phone instead of sticky notes.
Make Savings with Sustainability
Integrating sustainability into your life needs effort and resolve, but it’s worth making the shift. It can make a mark on the world and a positive influence on your bank account. Use the tips above and become a sustainable saver. And, as fossil fuel profits continue to skyrocket egregiously, let’s remember that moving to a sustainable future of climate justice will save us all money and quality of life long term, as we move away from prioritising shareholder value and towards quality of life for all.