Have you ever thought about changing to a greener lifestyle but thinking it’s way too expensive?
“Green” living has gone mainstream in recent years, you can see more companies and influencers are highlighting the need of being “eco-friendly” and “sustainable”. Then you start browsing on the internet for eco-friendly options and question why organic, biodegradable and plant-based alternatives are much more expensive and also realised you are living on a budget and need to save some money instead.
There are actually numerous ways of making simple changes in life that will help you transition to a more sustainable lifestyle and may actually help you save more money whilst making the planet a better place.
1. Transform Something Old To New
Before getting rid of your old clothes, have a look through it and try to craft something new from it! You can simply cut a pair of old jeans into a stylish pair of shorts, get some tie-dye and soak your clothes to create a new pattern, sew different fabrics together making into a cushion or anything that you’re interested in making. You can be as creative as you want and create something unique.
2. Use Reusable Shopping bags
Everybody knows this but how many actually use it? It is so easy to forget to bring a reusable or eco-friendly bag and just buy a plastic bag at the shop since it’s cheap. On average, a person will use roughly 13,000 plastic bags over their lifetime, so if each plastic bag costs 10p that will be £1,300 spend on plastic bags. Is it worth it? Not really.
There are so many stylish and trendy shopping bags which are much stronger and long lasting. And most importantly it’s cost-effective in the long run and helps the environment.
3. Use Jars Or Containers
You don’t have to purposely buy a container or jar to store food but just dig deep in your kitchen, there must be finished yogurt pots, an ice cream container, or a peanut butter jar. Before throwing them away, reuse them!
It is also easy to remove the labels on a jar simply by soaking the jar into water to remove all the paper and put a bit on baking soda and olive oil on the glue, let it sit for a few minutes, you should be able to scrub all that glue off and decorate and label it in the way you want!
4. Shop In Wholesale Food And Bulk Buy Food
By shopping at bulk buy food stores, you will be able to reduce both your packaging waste and food waste as you will buy exactly how much food you need. Buying in bulk reduces the need for fancy packaging and single-use plastic. Making the switch to buying in bulk is not only cheaper but will make a great impact on your weekly waste and potentially zero-waste.
Alternatively, you can purchase products that are stored in jars so that you can reuse them or products that do not require plastic packaging. For example, bread, you can bring your own cloth bag or wax wrap and purchase it directly from the bakery.
5. Acknowledge What You Throw Away
Take time to go through your garbage and recycling by categorising it into different piles to see if there’s anything that has been mis-categorised. This helps with recognising what you have been purchasing the most, producing most waste from and encourage you to be more mindful about your consumption choices in general.
6. Unplug Your Devices Or Use A Power Strip
You might be surprised to learn that when electronics that are plugged in are still using power even when the power is off, which means you’re still contributing to your carbon footprint.
You can simply just unplug your electronics when you’re not using them. But I do understand it may sound ridiculous going around the house to unplug every single device you have. You can also invest on a power strip to unplug multiple devices in one go!
7. Wash At A Low Temperature
Washing your clothes with lower temperature helps cutting down carbon dioxide emissions, save energy and help the environment. It also means better care for the fabric as there’s less wear on the textile and no need to worry about colour fading.
Your garment will look no different, still smell fresh and looks amazing.
8. Use A Reusable Straw
For people who love cold drinks, think about all the single-use plastic straws you have used and thrown away over the years. The production of a plastic straw releases harmful chemicals which cause pollution. A reusable straw is eco- friendly, long lasting, pocket friendly and is very affordable as well!
9. Use Bar Soap
Liquid soap in plastic bottles tend to be everyone’s go-to because it is a lot more convenient. However, a bottle of liquid soap uses more energy to transport as it is heavier and takes more energy to produce. Swapping to a solid soap bar helps reduce plastic waste as it is often in recyclable cardboard packaging and it is cheaper overall.
10. Drive Less, Walk More
It is so easy to just get in a car and drive anywhere. Start ditching short driving journeys and start walking. It helps reduce air pollution, it is safer and healthier. Moreover, it helps saving money as it eliminates all the parking fee and petrol fee.
Adapting to a greener living can be overwhelming and challenging. However, budget should not restrain you from starting, we can all start off with what we are capable of first and once it becomes a habit (it only takes 21 days to form a habit!!), try to make another change! We can all take small steps to transform the planet into a better place.