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Can you really save the planet while saving money? With greenhouse gases reaching levels not seen in millions of years, and calls from scientists to rename global warming “global heating” to reflect the rate at which our planet is heating up, it’s safe to say that more and more people are thinking about saving the planet. So, we looked into four easy ways that you can help keep the planet and your bank balance healthy this year.
4 easy ways to save the planet while saving money
#1. Buy Second-Hand Clothes
First up on the list of ways to save the planet while saving money is this time-tested thrifty technique: shopping for secondhand clothes.
Did you know that, according to the World Resources Institute, we’re buying 60% more clothing every year than we were at the turn of the millenium. And not only that, but we’re getting rid of them twice as quickly too.
And this fast fashion is bad for the planet. Really bad.
If you didn’t catch the BBC Three Stacey Dooley documentary on fast fashion, here’s a clip that shows just how much of an environmental impact clothing has. The whole documentary is well worth watching, by the way.
Cutting down on how much new clothing you buy can have a huge effect on the planet, saving water, preventing exploitation and the production of greenhouse gases.
But shopping second hand doesn’t have to mean not looking your best. Second hand clothing isn’t just checking about your local charity shops for a bargain, it can also mean shopping for vintage pieces on ASOS Marketplace or buying clothing that’s in good condition from eBay.
If you really want to go green, donating your clothes or selling them online is a great way to help the planet too — it keeps them in use, rather than in a landfill somewhere.
#2. Buy reusable cups and bottles
You probably saw this in the news when Starbucks introduced their 5p fee for using a takeaway cup for your morning pick-me-up, but takeaway cups are really bad for the environment. In fact, the government is considering the introduction of a 25p “latte levy” on all disposable coffee cups.
Why are they so bad? Well, while they often claim to be recyclable, those takeaway coffee cups don’t often get recycled because of their complicated construction, which involves plastics and chemicals to keep them water-tight. As such, they end up in landfill.
Here’s a great, eye-opening 2-minute BBC clip explaining why your takeaway coffee cup is so bad for the planet:
Likewise, buying a bottle of water everyday and throwing the bottle away is causing masses of plastic to fill landfill sites and our oceans. In fact, plastic buildup in our oceans and landfills is a devastating eco-issue that is having a massive effect on our planet.
Instead, buy a reusable coffee cup and a refillable water bottle and save yourself money every day!
#3. Take shorter and marginally cooler showers
Did you know that the average shower uses up to 40 gallons of water? And the average shower is 8 minutes long?
Well, cutting your daily shower down by a minute or two could help save the planet while you save money.
Nicci Russell, managing director of Waterwise, says: “Knocking a couple of minutes off the time you spend in the shower will save you £40 a year. That can add up to £160 for a family of four.”
Plus, buying an efficient shower head, one that mixes air with water to give you the same amount of pressure but use less water, can save you as much as £75 a year. And turning your heating down by just one degree could save up to £75 a year, too.
So that’s a combination of shorter showers, a better shower head and one degree cooler showers (which you probably won’t notice) to save around £190 per year and save the planet. Because wasting water is really bad for the planet.
#4. Cut down on meat and dairy
According to a recent, extensive study into the effects of farming on global warming, avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet.
Now, the reasons behind this are quite complicated, but Vox have put together a really good video that shows you in just five minutes how the food you eat has a huge impact on our planet. This video is American, but the science is still the same for this side of the pond.
And, because this is an article about saving the planet while saving money, you might be interested to know that cutting down your meat consumption can save you around £209 per year!
Of course, cutting down on meat doesn’t have to mean going vegetarian or vegan. Flexitarianism (the choice to eat less meat in an effort to be more environmentally sustainable) is growing in popularity, according to the BBC.
So, there you go: four easy ways to save the planet while saving money. Other ways you can go green and keep your bank account in the green are: composting, turning your computer from standby to off when you leave home, wrapping up warm instead of cranking the heating up, using public transport, riding your bike to work…the possibilities are endless, but if everybody makes small changes, we should see a big difference for our planet.
- Author The Bamboo Team
- Posted 8 February 2019