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If you, like many others, are looking for ways to go green without spending too much money, there are a number of easy changes you can make that won’t cost you much at all. Going green on a budget is all about finding little changes that add up to have a big impact. Here are some tips that can help save money and the planet.
Take shorter showers
An easy way to keep you water bill down and help the environment is to take shorter showers. In fact dermatologists say your shower should only be about 5-10 minutes anyways, and wasting water is bad for the environment that many people don’t think of.
One way to help you do this is to create a short shower playlist (only about 2-4 songs) and finish up your shower before/when it finishes.
Reusable straws, cups, bags, everything!
Reusable straws have gained some traction recently as an easy way to help the environment by creating less plastic waste. Buying a reusable straw is good. The more reusable stuff you use, the better! Plastic is horrendous for the environment and cutting disposable plastic out of your life is a great way to help the environment and save money over time.
Buying reusable bags and cups may be more expensive than a plastic one in terms of their upfront cost, but over time, you’ll find it to be a more cheaper and convenient option. There are greats reusable shopping bags, cups (some restaurants and cafes will even offer you a discount if you bring a reusable cup!), straws, and more to help you live greener while also inspiring others to follow in your footsteps.
Some people believe because they are recycling they’ve done their part. Recycling is definitely great, but even better is to reuse! On top of that, try and adopt a habit of not buying anything unless absolutely necessary. That’s the key ingredient in ‘going green on a budget’. Whenever spending money, always think about whether you actually need what your buying and is there perhaps a more environmentally friendly option for it.
Turn it off
A surprisingly simple way to save money and help the environment is to make sure you turn off lights and unplug chargers when you leave a room. This can help you save money on your energy bill and help you save the environment.
Buy second hand clothes
We are buying so many clothes these days from fast-fashion stores, and so much of it ends up in the landfill and hurts underpaid and mistreated workers. Even the UN has spoken on this issue, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that fast-fashion is a massive social and environmental issue. A real easy way to help is to simply not give those companies the time of day. If you really want new clothes and don’t have the money to shop from an ethically and sustainably sourced clothes store, maybe go to the thrift store. Also, if you want to get rid of some clothes, donate your clothes to a thrift store to keep it out of landfills as well.
Changing the way you eat
Every day, more and more evidence and research keeps popping up proving that the production of meat and dairy is a major contributor to climate change. If going vegan or vegetarian is hard for you, simply eating less meat and diary than usual could majorly help the environment. Also consuming more sustainable foods and supporting local farmers instead of buying from large super markets can help. A recent research article in dietary changes proved how a vegetarian diet can actually save you around £600 a year! So cutting out meat is good for both the environment and your wallet.
Don’t waste food
About ⅓ of edible food is wasted globally, and although a lot of that is due to the people who produce the food, there are some things you can do to help create less waste. As stated in the article above, food comes at a big environmental cost today, so being mindful of how much you are eating and ordering/cooking accordingly can help reduce these effects. Don’t shop for more than you think you’ll consume in a week thus leading to food going to waste. Also when ordering food at a restaurant, some places do tend to bring out massive portions that lots of people struggle to finish. But don’t be shy to ask for your leftovers to be packed. They’ll save you money on your next meal while also avoiding it to go to waste as the restaurant is just going to bin what you leave behind on your plate.
Meal prepping is a great way to reduce food waste and saving money. When you have more control over the portions that you are going to eat, you can actually use up your ingredients and eat all your food. This not only helps reduce your impact on the environment but also your own health, so why not give it a shot? You can find a lot of meal prep containers online.
Skip the plastic wrapped lunch
It might be easy to get that prepackaged salad or sandwich for lunch, but all of that plastic adds up over time, and so does the cost. Meal prep, bringing leftovers for lunch, or even just cooking one or two of your own lunches a week can help your wallet and help reduce your environmental impact.
Donate and/or reuse old but usable items
Got an old phone, book, mug, anything that is still useable, but you don’t want anymore? Don’t throw it away! There are so many options to recycle, reuse, and donate different items you don’t want anymore. Keeping things out of landfills and putting it into the hands of people who will use it is what going green on a budget is all about.
Bike to work!
It’s not always possible, but biking has a lot of good effects on different aspects of everyday life, including your environmental impact. You won’t have to pay to fill up on gas and maintaining a bike is much cheaper than maintaining a car.
If biking to work isn’t a viable option for you, consider carpooling or taking public transit to work. Although it is not as green as biking, going with these options keep an extra car off the road.
Hang dry your clothes
Drying clothes in the dryer can cost you a decent amount on your energy bill and releases a surprising amount of carbon into the air. Air drying your clothes can help you slowly reduce your carbon footprint over time. Along with this, washing your clothes at a lower temperature can also help you keep energy costs down. 90% of the energy used by your washer goes to heating water, so washing it on a cooler setting will help your energy bill and consumption.
Do it with your friends
Much like anything else, going green on a budget with a friend there with you makes it a little easier and a lot more fun. Getting your friends involved is a great way to start making these changes while also making sure they stick by holding each other accountable.
In the end, going green on a budget is about taking a little time to think about the impact the little things you do every day has on the environment. The key is to also keep and reuse what you have until you absolutely can’t anymore to keep it out of landfills.
- Author The Bamboo Team
- Posted 16 August 2019