You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make a difference for the planet! Here are 9 free ways to live more sustainably…
For some reason, some people assume that you have to have a lot of money to care about the environment or live a sustainable lifestyle. The truth is that you don’t have to be wealthy to practice sustainable living – or to make a difference. In fact, many eco-friendly habits will actually help you save money!
While it’s true that buying only organic food, purchasing a new electric car, or upgrading your home to use solar panels or other alternative energy sources can be expensive in the short term, there are many sustainable habits that you can adopt right now that will make a difference in reducing your carbon footprint and your impact on the environment without spending a cent.
For example, the 9 green tips below are easy, free, and may even save you some green!
1. Complete a Waste Audit
Whenever anyone comes to me asking for advice on where, to begin with living a more sustainable lifestyle I always suggest that they start by doing a waste audit.
A waste audit is not as scary as it sounds. It simply involves keeping track of what you are throwing away for a certain period of time. A week is normally a good amount of time to start with.
You’ll need a sheet of paper and a pen next to your bin so you can then write down every single thing that goes into your bin during that week. At the end of the week, you then need to take a look and see what you’re throwing away.
Once you’ve worked out what is going into your bin you can then start to look into sustainable alternatives or ways you can reduce that amount of waste.
Do you currently know what’s in your bin?
Check out my post: How To Do A Waste Audit for Your Home
2. Turn off Your Lights & Appliances
Remembering to turn off the lights when you leave a room and not leaving your appliances on standby can make a difference in how much electricity you use every day – and a little bit every day really adds up!
3. Air Dry Your Clothes
A tumble dryer burns on average 2,400 watts with an average cost per year of £85.80. (This is based on one person using one appliance).
A free solution to this is to line dry your clothes. It’s better for the environment, your wallet and your clothes.
4. Say No To Plastic Bags
Bring your own reusable bags when you shop to easily reduce the amount of plastic you use. Say goodbye to the overflowing plastic bag drawer and hello to jute bags – or if you don’t have any reusable bags, just bring the the plastic shopping bags back to the store with you and refill them every time you shop.
5. Say No To Plastic Straws
Plastic straws are another issue when it comes to plastic waste. Just remember to say no straw please when the bar staff are making your drink.
6. Use Up Your Leftovers
By using up your leftovers you’re not only saving yourself money but also reducing the amount of food that is wasted.
7. Host A Clothes Swap Night with Friends
If you’re friends also have clothes that they no longer want why not host a clothes swap evening. Everyone brings along their unwanted items and you exchange your clothes with your friends. Lay out all of the clothes in your living room and get swapping!
8. Reduce your Paper Clutter
An easy way to reduce your paper clutter is to contact your bank and switch to paperless bills and statements. Most big banks have apps which you can download for free so you can stay on top of your finances.
9. Turn Your Thermostat Down
Most houses these days are kept too warm in the winter, and too cool in the summer. By lowering the temperature in your home by just 1 degree in the winter (or raising it 1 degree in the summer), you can save up to 10% on your yearly heating bill.
It’s also worth contacting your energy provider to see if they’ll give you a free energy monitor. There are quite a few companies that offer them these days.