There are few global issues currently considered more important than the climate crisis. All of us try our best to do our part and recycle as much as possible or switch the lights off when we don’t need them, but sometimes it feels as though it just isn’t enough.
Many people don’t realise that there is money to be saved by taking a more environmentally friendly approach to your life. There are a variety of easy steps you can take towards a more sustainable lifestyle for both yourself and the planet.
So read on to find out five easy ways of helping both your bank account, and the environment.
1. Simple household swaps
One of the first things to consider when tackling the environment is your own daily habits. This way, you can analyse what you can swap for more environmentally friendly options.
Take, for example, your morning coffee. If you prefer to head to a high street name for your daily dose of caffeine, consider purchasing a reusable cup.
Chains like Pret a Manger and Caffè Nero offer significant discounts and rewards for using disposable cups. Plus, it helps to cut down the 2.5 billion coffee cups that iNews report are thrown away each year.
If coffee isn’t your thing, then there are other options available. Look for environmentally friendly alternatives to standard household items and look for products with recyclable packaging.
For example, clingfilm is notoriously bad for the environment due to the time it takes to decompose, and you could buy new packs at least a few times a year. So, finding reusable alternatives could save you money and help keep plastic waste out of landfill.
Other options include reusable freezer bags and water bottles and buying products with packaging you could use as storage in the future.
2. Grow your own vegetables
Gardening might not be for everyone, but the benefits certainly could be. Growing your own vegetables can be much cheaper than buying them packaged from the supermarket.
Plus, packaged vegetables are often wrapped in an unrecyclable plastic film, and some are also stored in unrecyclable plastic containers as well.
Shop-bought vegetables can be packaged and shipped from anywhere in the world. This then requires large freight ships or planes, which pump out huge amounts of greenhouse gases.
By growing your own produce, you are cutting down your own expenses and helping to cut down on food miles. Plus, nothing feels better than eating food you’ve grown yourself, and maybe you can learn a new skill, too!
3. Walk or cycle to work
There has been a recent increase in the promotion of environmentally friendly transport methods such as electric cars. However, there is no option cheaper or more environmentally friendly than simply using your legs.
Whether walking or cycling, you will be bringing the carbon emissions from your commute down to zero, and you could be saving on petrol and maintenance by leaving your car at home.
There are also various Cycle to Work schemes that could help put money towards your purchase of a new bike and biking accessories.
Even if it isn’t feasible for you to get to work by walking or cycling, then public transport is always a more environmentally friendly option than driving. By taking a bus or train, you’re taking one more car off the road, and helping ease the traffic in your local area too.
Plus, a season ticket for a bus or train could easily work out cheaper than what you were spending on petrol each month, depending on how far you are travelling.
4. Consider your energy usage, especially if you work from home
With rising energy costs and working from home becoming more common, many Brits are seeing their energy bill increasing month by month. With the winter season fast approaching too, now is a great time to consider how much you’re currently spending on energy.
Think about ways in which you can insulate your home to reduce energy consumption or replace your older, less energy efficient appliances to lower your bill. The less energy you use, the less emissions you produce, and the more money you can save.
If you’re working from home, your energy usage may be an even bigger concern. Leaving the lights on though the day, keeping your computer running, and needing the heating on through the winter can really add on to the monthly cost.
5. Don’t throw useful things away unless you absolutely have to
There is almost always going to be a use for that old item you want to throw away. Whether torn clothes, faulty electronics, or an unwanted present, you should always try to avoid placing it straight in the bin.
Damaged clothes can usually be repaired, and you or someone you know may have the sewing capabilities to do it themselves. This saves you going out and buying another fancy top and helps reduce waste at the same time.
The same could be said for broken electronics. It’s entirely possible that you could fix them yourself or hire someone to have a look at it for you. The handyman fee could be cheaper than buying a replacement.
There are also plenty of people who like to break down old electronics for spare parts who would gladly accept the donation.
Also, unwanted gifts can always be regifted, saving you the money on a new gift for whoever you give it to.
Even if none of the options above are available to you, most items can be recycled if you find a local recycling centre. Some recycling centres and high street shops offer reward schemes for recycling with them, but even if you aren’t directly being rewarded, it’s still good to know that you’re helping to save the planet.