23 June 2022 | By Lending People
3 tips to live sustainably while saving money
We all know it’s important to live a more sustainable lifestyle, but it can often seem that doing so is very expensive. So here are three ways to still live sustainably without blowing your budget.
It’s become more and more obvious that our planet is being negatively affected by the actions of humans. Our wastefulness and production of harmful products, from carbon emissions to single-use plastics, is altering our environment, and not in a good way.
Luckily, we’re much more aware of this impact now than we were even 10 or 20 years ago.
Slowly but surely, many governments and businesses are bringing more sustainable policies into place, like net-zero carbon emission targets, development of sustainable energy sources and waste reduction programmes.
But change also needs to happen on the smaller end of the scale. As a whole, we’re much better at recycling now, and less wasteful, but it’s easy to feel that living a ‘sustainable’ lifestyle is very expensive. But there are plenty of ways you can still make sustainable decisions that help the planet without blowing your budget.
1. Buying more sustainable groceries
Buying organic is good, but you pay a lot for it. But there are other ways to shop sustainably, such as ordering online, bulk buying non-perishable items on sale and staying with in-season products.
Ordering online: If you’re driving a petrol or diesel car, each round trip is releasing harmful emissions. And when 100 people are also making that trip, that’s 100 times the emissions. But a single delivery van could hold many of these orders, drastically lowering the emissions produced.
Bulk buying: If you commonly use items like canned tomatoes or coconut cream, you could save yourself money by bulk buying when they’re on special. And, by increasing the volume of your shop on all appropriate items, you’ll be making less trips to the shops/placing less online orders, further reducing emissions.
Staying in-season: We’ve all seen the price of vegetables like capsicums and courgettes skyrocket during winter. We grumble, but usually buy them anyway. But you could save money and expand your palette by buying fruit and veges that are in season. Alternatively, if you have the freezer space, bulk buy your favourite items when they’re cheap, and freeze them for use when the prices go up.
Farmer’s markets: While these have gotten a little out of hand in some places, farmer’s markets can still be great spots to find high-quality produce at lower than supermarket prices.
2. Save energy, save the planet (and your wallet)
Energy is something we take for granted these days. People commonly leave the lights on, have TVs on in the background, or toss clothes in the dryer as a time-saving measure. But just a few small changes will not only save power, it’ll help the environment while also saving you money.
Lighting: It’s a little less common these days, but it’s worth checking to see if your light bulbs are energy savers. If not, leaving them on will put a heavy drain on your energy use. Even if they are energy savers, it’s a good habit to turn them off when you’re leaving an empty room.
Unplugging appliances: If you leave an appliance plugged in, it adds a slow power drain. While small individually, if you add up all the appliances plugged in around the house, that price swells. So, if you’re not using it, why not unplug it and turn it off? The planet and your wallet will thank you (metaphorically speaking…)
Sustainable washing and drying: It’s easy to just through something in a warm wash, then bundle it into the dryer. But using a cold wash and using a drying rack in the house is not only way better for the environment, it can actually be way better for your clothes, meaning less replacements needed. So that’s a double win!
3. Reuse items
For a while now, we’ve been taught that convenience is key, and single-use or short-term products have taken over, from single-use plastic water bottles to fast fashion clothing items that constantly need replacing. That means spending more money on something that doesn’t last, so breaking this cycle can do a lot of good.
Reusable bottles: Instead of shelling out several dollars every few days for a new plastic bottle of water or paper coffee cup, why not buy a reusable one. Many of them these days are insulated, too, meaning cold water stays cold, or hot liquids like coffee or tea will stay hot. While the upfront cost may be bigger, you’ll have made that back in a week or so.
Buy second-hand clothing: You can avoid the fast fashion side of things by simply visiting an op shop. There, you’ll find loads of items at lower costs than in regular shops, and likely of better quality, too. That means your new second-hand item will likely last longer than something you buy new in an average shop.
Find new uses for ‘single-use’ items: Sometimes, you just don’t want to cook. There’s nothing wrong with getting some takeaways, but you don’t need to just throw away the plastic containers once you’ve finished eating. Those plastic containers can be reused to store items, freeze stuff in the freezer with, or a number of other uses. That way, your single-use plastic has been reused before you recycle it later down the line.
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