So often, the limitations of time and money curtail what we aspire to and this is also the case when trying to be eco-conscious. I haven’t yet found the answer to finding more hours in the day, but on the issue of money, there’s lots we can do to reduce costs.
It may seem obvious, but the simplest way to save money and reduce your carbon footprint is to stop making unnecessary purchases. Giving a little consideration to what you’re buying and why you’re buying it can make you realise that you don’t actually need it at all! Another easy one is to get the most use out of everything you do have. I have not bought a body lotion or hand cream for two years because I have committed to finishing up all the odd ones I have already in the cupboard. Admittedly, I’m not that keen on some of them but it gives me a certain satisfaction to reduce waste and save money!
I have compiled a list of other ways we can save money and reduce our carbon footprint at the same time below. I’ve noted approximately what it saves every month next to each point, just to give a rough idea of what you can save. I have based the costs of living on data published by Ideal Home for October 2022 and the costs of products on Sainsbury’s own brand standard products. As well as saving money, all of the following reduce greenhouse gas emissions and most of them save water and reduce waste too. I’d love to see any of your own money-saving tips in the comments section.
- £++ Have a frank discussion with friends and relatives regarding gift buying to reduce excessive purchasing. We are trialling a Secret Santa scheme at Christmas this year!
- £++ Buy second-hand.
- £36 Replace 3 takeaway drinks a week with tap water (costs based on takeaway coffee) .
- £20+ Meal plan and use up leftovers.
- £12 Replace one tea or coffee made at home every day with a glass of tap water.
- £9 Halve the amount of meat you use in one meal a week (costs based on using two chicken breasts instead of four and replacing them with carrots, peas and onion in a stirfry).
- £7 Use the sun and wind (or the warmth of the house in winter) to dry clothes instead of the tumble dryer (costs based on cutting out just one tumble dry a week on October 2022 energy prices).
- £5 Always wash a full load and don’t wash more often than necessary.
- £4 Join a library or swap books with friends.
- £4 Use an ecoegg instead of laundry liquid (costs based on 7 washes a week)
- £2 Use a slow cooker for one meal a week instead of using the oven (based on 7 hours in the slow cooker versus 45 minutes in the oven).
- £2 Only boil water you need for tea and coffee (based on boiling twice as much as needed, three times a day)
- £1 Stop using bin bags in your general waste bin.
- £1 Use a reusable scrubby sponge instead of disposable scrubby sponges.
That’s a grand total of £67 a month and that’s not even counting the first three!