How to be eco-friendly without costing the Earth

Finding ways to be eco-friendly on a budget can be a challenge sometimes. It’s an unfortunate reality of living in the UK at the moment that many are forced to rethink their budgets as well as their commitment to a greener way of living. These handy tips could help you stay true to your eco journey and save money while you are at it. This tips are designed to help you not only save money, but also reduce the amount of waste we generate in our daily lives.

Number 1 – Bring Your Own

This is one of my favourite tips. When going anywhere think about what you could take along with you to help avoid unnecessary waste and save money. This can include taking your own lunch to the office, not only does it avoid all that pesky plastic packaging but it also saves you a fair bit of cash too. How about popping a travel mug in your bag for your daily coffee? Better yet, why not add your own coffee in that mug to save a bit more. This is both budget and eco-friendly.

Number 2 – The 3 R’s

No, not rest, relaxation and red velvet cake, although that could be a great way to spend a day. I’m talking the mantra we all know and love, reduce, reuse and recycle. We all know what they mean but how often are we actually applying it in our lives? Sometimes we take the easy route and simply buy whatever it is we are looking for. But if we just took a few minutes to look around we might be able to repurpose something to fill that need. An example of this is repurposing a yoghurt pot to house a seedling or small plant. And of course, we can’t overlook recycling. How often do we just throw away things without even looking to see if it’s recyclable? Or how about donating your clothes to a charity that need it? I could go on and on about this but I won’t, needless to say, applying the 3 R’s will go a long way to save waste and money.

Number 3 – Plan ahead

Now this one requires a bit more effort but it pays off in the long term. Planning ahead not only makes you feel more organised but it is also a great eco-friendly way of looking after your budget. This can apply to trips out, special occasions and your day to day life. A great way to reduce food waste is with a meal plan. Not only will you be able to reduce the stress of figuring out what you are making for dinner, but you can also make sure you only buy what is necessary each week. Less waste = more money saved. And you will be able to plan ahead for days you know you will be time poor so you don’t reach for that takeout menu.

Another way of applying this tip is to stock up on things you know you will use. Why not use the money you are saving from taking your own lunch to the office or sticking to your meal plan to stock up on the non-perishables you use all the time. This could be canned goods or toiletries. Since we know prices will be going up over the next few months it might work out well to stock up on things you know you will use at today’s prices. I also find that buying in bulk reduces the amount of plastic packaging too. Bigger packages tend to require less plastic packaging too. One example is Who Gives a Crap loo roll. Not only are their eco and social credentials amazing, but they do not ship any of their products in plastic packaging. If you’d like £5 off your first order you can click this link.

Number 4 – Use Less Water and Electricity

I think this is an area where we could all appreciate any savings. And it’s a great way to be eco-friendly and kind to your budget. I am busy conducting a little experiment in our home to see how much we can save. Of course, you don’t need to be extreme about this but if you like this sort of thing you could always lay down challenges to family members to see who showers the quickest. Below are some handy tips that should help any home bring their costs down

Turn the tap off while brushing your teeth or shaving

Wash your clothes on a shorter cycle and at a lower temperature

Take shorter showers

Turn the lights off when you leave a room

Hang your washing outside to avoid using the tumble drier

Turn off plug points when appliances or chargers are not in use. Standby power can be quite a strain on your power supply.

While a lot of suppliers aren’t offering much incentive to join them, green energy is always worth the investment. That is why I have chosen to stay with Octopus for over 4 years now. Not only do they offer competitive prices, they also use totally green energy. And if you click my referral link, we can both get £50 credit in our energy account.

Number 5 – Free Stuff

This has to be my favourite tip because, well, who doesn’t love something for nothing. While we all know about the freecycle and local giveaway groups, I have recently found out about Olio. It’s an app where people giveaway or lend out items for free. Each area has local champions that collect food that reached its sell by date from local businesses and gives them away for free. It’s a great way to save food from being thrown away and it saves a lot of money if you regularly pick up items from your local champion. I even use the opportunity to have a brisk walk to collect my things so I can get my daily cardio in, yes, I love that kind of efficiency. Of course, it works both ways, you can list something that could help someone else. It is a great way to give back to your local area. You can check out the app here.

I hope these tips not only help reduce your carbon footprint but also breathe a bit more life into your budget. If you have any tips you would like to share with our community, please do let me know.