Saving money while protecting the environment, it really is a win-win situation. And with just a little extra thought and planning, there are so many ways you can achieve this in your everyday life. In recent years, it has come to light just how much damage we’ve done to the environment as a species, and so there’s no turning the other cheek. It’s time that we all embrace the following practices, and as a result we’ll save money too!
Spending a little money upfront upgrading your home is so worth it- as the money you will save on your bills overall mean that they soon ‘pay for themselves.’ Things like having solar panels installed on the roof, upgrading windows and doors, having cavity wall and loft insulation installed and having a smart meter fitted to track your fuel usage are all smart moves. Other ways you can save money as well as the planet at home are changing your light bulbs for energy efficient models– since the old incandescent bulbs are no longer even sold, chances are you’ve made this change over time anyway whether you realise it or not. These use far less energy than the old style, saving you money on your electric bill and requiring less fossil fuels to power. We have the potential to really make a difference to the environment without even leaving our homes.
The plastic crisis has been widely publicised, with governments now taking steps to cut down on the amount of single use plastics being produced. There are plenty of ways you can use less of the stuff in your every day life with very little effort. Take your own bags to the supermarket- since they now charge for them (which is to put people off buying them) you’ll save money as well as prevent additional plastic bags ending up in landfill. Buy metal, bamboo or reusable plastic straws instead of disposable ones- straws are in the process of becoming banned and so you’ll have little choice but to embrace this change eventually anyway. Purchase yourself a good quality water bottle, double walled stainless steel models are good as they keep their shape, are easy to clean and can be used for both hot and cold liquids. Forget buying expensive bottles of water while you’re out and then throwing away the bottle! One type of single use plastic you might not have ever considered is actually babies nappies. By volume, disposable nappies are the largest single-item found in landfill sites. They account for almost 8% of all landfill and it takes 500 years for them to decompose- causing a massive issue. Reusable nappies are just as easy to use, and you can potentially prevent four to six thousand nappies being sent to landfill- the amount most babies go through before being potty trained.
Water is our planet’s most valuable resource. Without it it’s simple, no species can survive. Just about all of us waste too much water, and the main issue with this is that it ends up back at treatment plants which use a lot of fossil fuels to clean. Every time you leave the tap running when you brush your teeth or let clean water trickle down the sink, it’s being sent back to these cleaning facilities where it has to be treated again to be reused. There are a few simple things we can all do. Get yourself a rainwater tank to use on your garden– your lawn and flowers don’t need sterile water that’s been treated from the tap. A rainwater tank will fill up and can be used on your garden during drier periods. Consider switching from baths to showers- at least some of the time- to use less water. If you’re using the tap, be sure to switch it off properly when you’re done and don’t leave it running unnecessarily. Since many homes are now water metered, you’re charged on the amount of water that you use. So using less will also mean quids in for you too.
Have a think about the changes you can make at home and throughout your life which will help the planet as well as save you some money.