Short of cash and worried about the climate? You’re not alone. A rising number of people are struggling to afford basic necessities, while their minds are preoccupied with worries about the climate crisis and the cost of living crisis.
If there was ever a time to cut expenses while taking up eco-friendly habits, it would be now. Contrary to what some might think, these two goals can mutually reinforce one another.
Rather than buying more things, an eco-friendly lifestyle is most often about cutting back on consumption – a choice that benefits both your purse and the planet. Here are some examples.
Join a clothes swap
Bargain hunters are missing a trick. You don’t have to pay for clothes at all. Instead, join a local clothes swap or organise one with your friends. This way you refresh your wardrobe while extending the lifespan of clothes. Find out more.
Travel for free
Walking, cycling or sharing a lift means swapping gas-guzzling vehicles for a greener mode of transport. What’s more, it’s free! If you’re feeling brave, you might also like to try out roller skating, skateboarding, or another more ambitious way to get from A to B.
Cut your energy usage
Yes, energy prices are bonkers. But don’t let it get you down. This is our chance to turn things around by adopting good energy-saving habits. From checking your thermostat to only heating the rooms you use, there are plenty of simple steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint and save money.
Check your gizmos
Some electrical devices consume a horrifying amount of energy. These include electric heaters or showers and faulty fridges. Switch these for greener models or keep usage to an absolute minimum if you don’t want such a fright when your bills arrive.
Grow your own
Whether you have a garden, an allotment, a balcony or a windowsill, planting a little food can cut your food costs. It’s also a great way to get outside and improve your physical and mental health. Why not get involved in Give it a Grow – Garden Organic charity’s gardening pledge.
Forage for food
It’s surprising how much free food you can find in the wild. Salad leaves, nuts, seeds, roots and berries all make healthy ingredients for new recipes to discover. Round up some friends and forage then cook together to make it more of a social event. Check out the Woodland Trust’s essential foraging guide before you go.
Become a frugal vegan
Some think veganism is more expensive. But if you avoid processed meat alternatives and purchase protein-rich beans, nuts or seeds instead then veganism is a much cheaper diet with environmental benefits – watch this to find out more.
Optimise your meal prep
Cut back on food waste by planning your meals for the week so that not one tiny scrap goes in the bin. Sometimes this requires less effort than you might imagine, especially if you buy only what you need for one week and pick items you can use in multiple recipes. Take action by getting involved with Love Food, Hate Waste.
Ditch bottled water
Never go thirsty by carrying a reusable water flask. This way you won’t find yourself having to pay for a plastic bottle of water.
Carry a packed lunch
Similarly, avoid plastic waste by preparing healthy lunches at home and carrying them to work, college or university in a lunchbox.