Following on from World Environment Day, we recognise that saving the planet and making changes can sometimes feel expensive or complicated. The pathway to greater sustainability is one that varies for each of us, but a few simple ideas might help you actually save you some money when you’re trying to save the planet.
- Bring your Own Carrier Bag or Water Bottle
In the UK, there have been a levy in place for single use carrier bags since October 2015 meaning that for every bag you remember to bring, can save you anything from a few pence to a several pounds. Likewise, a water bottle just saves unnecessarily buying one. There are many filling points across the country now, even if you don’t have access to a tap.
- Avoid Driving or Taking a Cab (if accessible to you)
If you can take a journey walking, running, via public transport or on your bike – do so! Fossil fuels are major contributors to planetary damage so if we can reduce our usage where available to do so – we should! It’s not always easy to do, but a little and often change can make a big difference. You could even look at car or cab sharing (as long as safe to do so) to reduce journeys and cost, or even opt for a hybrid or electric car if you’re in the market for a vehicle change.
Also, a little extra exercise or fresh air is not just good for your pocket, but your body – and a walk is a free way to clear your mind.
- Buy Second Hand
Don’t be afraid to get into the depths of eBay or your local charity shop. You’ll often find a bargain, save yourself money and reduce the contribution to items being made brand new. Sometimes we need new things, but if we can reduce the amount of clothing and household pollution, and the price we have to pay for that it’s a good place to start. Some excellent places to get started are local charity shops, vintage shops, auctions and online the likes of Vinted, eBay and Vestiaire Collective host a whole range of second hand delights. What is it they say about ones mans trash and another mans treasure?!
- Change your Energy Provider
Did you know that many energy providers offer a greener tariff? You will have to do some research to find the right one for you (and also check their sustainability credentials regarding what actually makes them “green”), and if it will be cost neutral or a saving. Some may be more expensive so check before you switch (MoneySuperMarket offers a pretty good starting point).
And speaking of, turn off your switches. Whilst you might not be paying much for the energy flowing through, it’s still being wasted. By turning it off, you might not see a huge difference, but its another little step to supporting the environment.
- Buy Packaging Free
Many supermarkets now have sections where fruit and veg are loose, and you may even be able to pick up some dry foods in your own containers. Typically these packaging free items tend to be cheaper as they are bought based on weight, rather than at a batch price.
Finally recognise that each little step is a bit of progress – not perfection.