There is a common misconception that living sustainably is expensive, inconvenient and boring. But the reality is that being friendly to our planet can also be very friendly to your wallet, without requiring much of a sacrifice! It can be challenging knowing where to start though, which is why we’ve compiled a list of 12 easy changes that you can make to live more sustainably and even save some money along the way.
1. Make your own…anything!
This can include your own hair products, clothing, gifts, cards. You can even make your own cleaning and beauty products and reduce the environmental harm caused by the manufacture, use, and disposal of toxic chemicals! Click here to find 21 super easy and fun soap recipes for beginners. They can make awesome gifts, too!
2. Reduce your food waste
Australians throw away $8 billion worth of edible food (up to 20% of our groceries) every year. Try this six-step program to help you reduce food waste, save money and help the environment.
3. Eat less meat
Making a single hamburger requires over 2393 litres of water – which is the equivalent of 35 showers! Good news? You don’t have to go vegetarian to make a difference – start with a popular “Meatless Mondays” concept. Plant-based diet is also much cheaper – according to Money.com, going meatless can save you at least $1000 a year.
4. Green your travel
Take public transport whenever you can, rideshare when possible and don’t forget to offset your carbon!
Shifting from cars to public transport can deliver a 65 per cent emissions reduction during peak times and a 95 per cent reduction in emissions during off peak times from the commuters that make the shift.
News.com.au claims that if you live in a big city, you can save $10,000 a year by simply ditching your car and using public transport.
5. Wash your clothes in cold water
Did you know that around 90 percent of the energy used to wash clothes comes from heating water? Only 10 percent comes from electricity for the washing machine. According to Cold Water Saves, you can save a whopping $357 a year washing your clothes in cold water! Worth considering, huh?
6. Ditch the bottled water
It takes more than three litres of water just to produce one litre of bottled water, with the plastic bottle itself then needing around 450 years to break down. Getting your own reusable water bottle is one of the easiest ways to reduce your waste, while also saving money by not buying that expensive bottled water. Win-win.
7. Fix it before you ditch it
We have a tendency to throw out broken things and replace them with new ones without a second thought. Consumerism is built around that very idea! Next time why not see if you can fix your broken item first? Sometimes things just need a little love! Learning to sew and how to do your own DIY can save you BIG $$$ while reducing your carbon footprint.
8. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Think twice before shopping! If you really need something, consider buying secondhand or check if you can borrow it from someone. Do we even need to mention how much money you will save!?
9. Hang-dry your clothes
After the fridge and the washer, the dryer uses the most energy in a household. A clothesline in the sunshine is a zero-emission (and free!) alternative.
10. Unplug devices and small appliances
Many of the devices in your home consume power even when turned off, simply because they’re plugged in. It’s called the “phantom power” or “vampire power” phenomenon and believe us, it adds up! Snoozing plugged-in devices may account for 5-10% of a household’s power use. How many devices are plugged at your home right now and how many of those can be unplugged when not in use?
11. Use washable cloths instead of paper napkins or paper towels
You can even recycle your old clothes for this purpose and save a substantial amount of money along the way.
12. Cook at home
Did you know that the energy it takes to process, package, and transport food to a restaurant is more than double the energy it takes to grow it? Home-cooked food is both healthier and much, much cheaper than eating out. According to a cost comparison of home cooking vs restaurant delivered meals by Wellio, you can save roughly $16 per meal by cooking at home. Doing it just once a week could save you $832 a year!
When it comes to being more sustainable, every little action counts. And it doesn’t have to come at a cost – you can protect the environment while protecting your wallet too! What do you do to live more sustainably and save money? Any game changers that have saved you bank? Let us know your tips in the comments below!