Save money and the planet

A warm, green glow

Happily, lots of things that save you money are also good for the environment. Simply consuming less, wasting less, holding onto things for longer, repairing rather than replacing, buying second hand, etc. will give you a greener lifestyle. Getting off the treadmill of working more to buy more stuff pays dividends to the state of your bank balance. It is also more friendly to the planet – not to mention your sanity!. There is so much you can do to get a warm green glow. You can save money AND the planet!

How to save money and the planet

Don’t waste food. Plan your week’s meals and then go shopping with a list. Stick to the list!!! Watch your portion sizes too. This will help your waistline as well, so double bubble.

If something stops working get out the manual to see if it is something simple. Look on the Internet to see if there are any suggestions. Get a quote for repair.

Likewise, repair your clothing and get your shoes mended rather than throwing them away.

If you need to replace an expensive item check Freecycle or Freegle first, then the noticeboard at the local shop, eBay, charity furniture shops, etc. When you really need to buy new, look at as many reviews as possible and buy energy saving devices – they are cheaper to run.

If you have a garden, make your own compost. Don’t throw peelings, apple cores, teabags, eggshells, etc in the bin. Mix them with your garden waste and compost them. Save as much as possible from going to landfill.

If you like crafts check out websites like Pinterest. They have a whole section of ideas for recycling and upcycling. I spotted some fabulous planters made from old tyres and also brilliant Christmas tree decorations made from old lightbulbs.

More veggie food

Eat less meat – firstly, it is expensive and, secondly, according to Donnachadh mcCarthy in his excellent and informative book Saving the Planet Without Costing the Earth: 500 Simple Steps to a Greener Lifestyle, one acre of land can produce 30,000lb of carrots but only 250lb of beef. Also 15% of methane, a gas that contributes to global warming, comes from farm animals.

Let your garden be a bit untidy – don’t waste money on chemicals, and create a wildlife friendly garden. Gardening costs very little, is good exercise and a great stress buster.

Grow some of your own food! I can’t afford to buy organic in the shops, but everything from the garden is chemical free. Packets of seeds cost just a few pounds and produce masses of delicious vegetables.

Use vinegar and bicarbonate of soda to clean your house. It is extremely cheap, plus do you really want your home to be full of chemicals?

Buy large containers of washing up and laundry liquid. This produces less plastic waste and usually works out cheaper.

Buy second hand

When you need new items for your home, buy second-hand. Most of my furniture, curtains, bedding and rugs has come from the charity shop, eBay and auctions. If you are a creative sort you can shabby chic a solid piece of furniture and make it a work of art.

Forget nasty chemical air ‘fresheners’ and plug ins. You are literally inhaling pollutants! If you want fresh air, open a window.

Insulate your house – check to see if you are eligible for any grants. Your energy supplier should have information on this, or try the Energy Saving Trust.

If you exercise, try to resist the urge to buy energy drinks and bottled water. Invest in a sports bottle and fill it from the tap.

Turn it off!

Train your family to turn off lights, PCs, TVs and DVD players. Don’t leave items on standby.

Don’t buy clothes that need to be dry cleaned. This is expensive and the dry cleaning process uses toxic chemicals.

If you like to read, use the library or buy second-hand from the charity shop or online.

If you have a baby check out reusable nappies rather than disposables. This saves so much money!

This one will separate the greenies from the dark greenies! Consider using washable sanitary towels or perhaps a Mooncup instead of tampons.

Reuse scrap paper

Keep a scrap paper box. The back of junk mail letters and the envelopes they come in are good for list writing!

Re-use wrapping paper.

Save water – if you are on a water meter this makes financial as well as economic sense. Shower instead of bathing, but put the plug in and use the ‘grey’ water to water your plants in the garden.

If you buy fruit in the supermarket, save the plastic bags it comes in and reuse them as sandwich bags.

Keep your accelerator foot light and save petrol. Boy racers must all live at home with their parents – once they have to pay their own rent and bills they may slow down a bit…

These are just a few ideas as to how you can save money and the planet. There are so many other things you can do once you start to think about it. I would love to hear your suggestions.

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8 thoughts on “Save money and the planet

  1. It’s always useful to be reminded -thank you!
    Nothing very original to add but again if it helps to remind others….

    Refashion greetings cards to show that you care by spending time and effort rather than money.
    Adapt clothes to get more wear from them – unpick an adult’s dress to reuse the fabric for a girl’s dress.
    Use the fabric from an unused or charity shop quilt cover to make a dress (thank you Bunny Mummy for that idea)
    Take cuttings of plants or divide them to increase stock in your garden. Swap with other gardening friends. The same goes for your gluts of fruit and veg.
    If you do buy something from Amazon, for example, save the padded bag to reuse or the brown paper to wrap presents (use children’s old paints or glitter to decorate) or if ripped, use to get your fire or stove well alight.
    Apologies if these are all very obvious!

  2. This is a great post! It reminds me of how I got through the very frugal times with my two daughters after my divorce. My oldest daughter was very worried what the children at school would think of our frugal (poor) lifestyle. I told her that we were living very environmentally friendly! We wrote to Greenpeace to ask for information and we studied it. We kept check of our water, gas and electricity usage (great maths lesson) and thought together of different ways we could live a green lifestyle. My daughter came home from school one day with the announcement that the posh kids in her class had said that they wished that their parents would support Greenpeace and do really cool things with them at home!!!

  3. Am feeling a bit fed up with the scrimping at the mo so timely encouragement for me! thx! Let me remind folks that charity shops will take clothes that are at the very end of their life, not to sell, but the charity gets money for bagfuls of rags – these go to one of the recycling companies. Normally the rags are worth 50p per kilo for the charity. examples are clothes that are ripped, full of holes, paint splashes etc. (just be considerate of the volunteers though and wash your items before donating them, whatever state they’re in!)

  4. What an amazing list of money-saving tips! Yes, it certainly needed to be posted again, Jane! I wish I could add something, but reusing plastic bags (provided you’ve not used them for anything like meat or fish so they’re tainted by blood or odour) although I don’t go so far as to wash foil and re-use that. We always repair what is repairable (although when I was offered a repair on my elderly computer I knew that even with a costly repair it would still be an old computer and likely to fail again, so I bought a new one although it went against the grain to do so, but I knew it was the most sensible option) and I seldom buy dry-cleanable clothes (winter coats being an exception.) As a child of the 1950s turning of taps and electrical appliances is second nature and also drawing the curtains and blinds at dusk and then turning down the heat as less heat is lost with the curtains drawn. A wonderful list of tips, Jane!
    Margaret P

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