It’s easy to think about eco-friendly living costing more. Especially when ‘eco-friendly’ marked products are more expensive than the non-friendly options. ‘Green-washing’ aside, going eco-friendly can save a lot of money.
Here are my 7 tips to start saving today:
1. Fix, Mend and Repair
If something breaks, don’t throw it away, see if you can repair it! The longer we use our things the more value we get out. We also lessen the demand for new products thus reducing our environmental impact. Some things are easy to DIY repair with YouTube, Wikihow and a few simple tools.
Your repair doesn’t have to be perfect. In Japan, they have an art called Kintsugi, where they mend cracks in objects with gold. Of course, you don’t have to use gold! When my son cracked his bedroom mirror, I hid the crack with decorative mirror stickers.
Some things you’ll still need an expert for – like Apple Repairs at MacMan. If you fix it yourself or use an expert, it will likely be cheaper than buying new!
2. Fit Aerator Taps
An aerator adds air to the water coming out of your tap. They’re inexpensive, easy to fit and reduce the amount of water used. You won’t notice the difference unless you’re filling a bowl, which will take longer. So for that reason, you don’t want them on your bath, but they’re great for sinks.
If you’re on a water meter, you’ll notice the savings on your water bill – even if you’re not on a meter you’ll use less water. This is better for the environment too as you’ll use less treated water in your home.
Talk to your local water board, sometimes they offer water-saving equipment for free!
3. Take A Packed Lunch
If you buy food on your work break, it will likely have single-use packaging, which will go straight in the bin after. If you make your lunch at home and pack it in reusable containers, it will save money – and stop packaging going in the bin.
4. Second-Hand and Non-Contract Mobile Phones
Mobile contracts bundled with phones are expensive. And, you’ll pay more for the phone during the contract than buying it upfront. By doing this you can avoid paying the interest mobile providers charge on contracts. To add insult – unless you’re on the ball – when the contract ends they keep you on the same plan without a new phone.
If you can live without the latest and greatest phone buy it second-hand. Let’s face it, the new features on phones aren’t impressive anymore. Buying second-hand is better for the environment, you’ll save money and still get a great phone.
If you can’t afford a phone outright, switch to a SIM-only deal, and stick with the phone you have. Put aside the difference each month you saved on a contract, and the next time you buy a phone use the money saved.
5. Reduce Your Food Waste
Money spent on food that goes in the bin is money that could be better used! The energy and water used in growing and transporting your food are also wasted. If it goes to landfill, it can give off methane – a greenhouse gas we can and should avoid.
My top tip is to buy what you need, store it well and use what you buy.
A simple way to do this is:
- Write a list before you go shopping
- Freeze anything you won’t use before the use-by date
- Make a meal plan to use everything.
Want more tips for reducing food waste? Join my Facebook group – Reduce Your Food Waste Facebook Group
6. Check Your Loft Insulation
The current recommendation is 270mm of loft insulation. It’s worth checking your insulation, as the recommendations have changed over time. So even if you have insulation, it might be time for an upgrade.
7. Ditch Your Tumble Dryer
I’m not a big fan of ironing. Hanging wet clothes means less ironing – and my clothes dry straight without creases. It also uses less energy hanging out clothes out than running the dryer. When I used a tumble dryer, I still had to hang clothes anyway as they were never dry enough.
So there you have it – 7 eco-friendly way that can save you money! I’m a big advocate of starting small, so my tip is to try not to do everything at once. Pick one thing you can start right away and get going. Then come back to the list when you’re ready to move on to the next thing!
Zoe Morrison is the owner of the award-winning www.ecothriftyliving.com – a blog on saving money and the environment. She is also the author of ‘Eco Thrifty Living’, a book covering 11 key areas, including childcare, gardening, and energy. It is available to buy on Amazon here. You can follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.