Going green isn’t only good for the planet, it can also be good for your pocket.
Making a few simple, eco-friendly changes to your lifestyle and money habits can save you hundreds of pounds a year – which is no small thing amid an escalating cost of living crisis.
“Everyone is looking for ways to save a couple of quid especially in this current climate and there are a lot of ways you can do this while leading a more sustainable lifestyle,” says John Stirzaker of money saving site NetVoucherCodes.
Here are 8 easy ways to be more eco-friendly and save yourself some pounds, too:
1. Buy clothes secondhand
Given that a pile of unwanted clothing the height of Mount Everest is sent to landfill every seven minutes, you’ll be doing the planet a huge favour by giving preloved clothes a second life. Buying secondhand clothing is also a LOT cheaper than buying new – and you really don’t have to compromise on style.
For great quality used women’s and kids’ clothing try Loopster, which sells “bundles” offering better value for money for buying in bulk. If you’re looking for a wear once kids’ fancy dress or Christmas outfit, swap the usual panic buy from Amazon Prime for buildabundle.co.uk.
Thrift.plus offers up to 70 per cent off as-new top brands and gives half its profits to the charity of your choice, and One Scoop Store specialises in stand-out, designer pieces. hardlyeverwornit.com is also fantastic for secondhand luxury fashion.
If you’re trying to save money on your big day, online wedding dress marketplace stillwhite.com gives people the chance to buy and sell used dresses at a fraction of the usual price.
2. Borrow don’t buy
Maybe you need a jet wash to tackle your garden patio or a drill for a DIY job. When you find yourself needing the odd thing for a one-off task, consider borrowing it from a friend, neighbour or family member rather than buying new.
3. Batch cook meals and only buy the food you’ll eat
Meal prep is key to saving time throughout the week, but it is also a very good way to save energy and will save you from using your kitchen appliances several times a week for long periods of time.
You could also consider a sustainable food delivery service. From frozen vegan meals and refillable groceries to healthy recipe boxes, you can save a lot of money by restricting your food shopping to include only what you know you’ll use. This will also vastly cut down on the amount of food being thrown away. In the UK, we dump 9.5 million tonnes of unwanted food every year – the equivalent of filling Wembley stadium NINE times over.
4. Fill the washing machine and dishwasher before using
If you have kids, it can be really tempting to throw just a few items in the wash every now and again. Try to make sure your washing machine and other appliances like dishwashers are always full before using. This will vastly reduce the amount of energy and water you are using (and paying for).
5. Line-dry clothing when possible
Tumble drying clothes is convenient but the impact on the environment and energy use is alarming. Try to plan your washes according to the weather and get clothing drying outside wherever possible. It’s definitely worth installing a smart meter if you haven’t already – you’ll notice a big difference in energy usage if you rely on your tumble dryer and washing machine (as above) less.
6. Boil kettle once and use it to fill up flasks
This is great for people working from home or for those who generally find themselves boiling small amounts of water in the kettle often. Flasks retain the heat and you won’t be boiling the kettle every hour!
7. Warm up before putting the heating on
It can be really tempting to stick on the heating when you’re feeling chilly but try to warm up with a few extra layers first. Grab a thick jumper and get under the blanket with a hot water bottle. If you find that you still get cold, you could invest in a plug in heater to heat up the room you are sitting in rather than using the central heating on the whole house.