Ten easy eco friendly ideas to save money

I know I harp on about this, but it’s nearly always the case. A green approach saves you money! So, as well as feeling good about yourself for keeping control of your finances, you can help save the planet. Not a bad day’s work! Here are ten easy eco friendly ideas to save money.

1. Reconsider your heating

As the weather in the UK turns chilly, think about your heating bills. If you are one of those people who leaves the heating on 24/7, stop! No one needs to be that warm. Turn your thermostat down, set the heating to come on for an hour or two morning and evening and then switch it on as you need it.

A longer term plan should be to improve the insulation in your home.  Short term you can sew thermal linings into your curtains and use draught excluders at your doors. Long term you can look into improving your loft insulation and filling your wall cavities. You can find more information on home insulation here.

2. Lunch at work

Take a sandwich or salad to work. This saves money and packaging.

3. Don’t waste food

A shocking FAO statistic is that one third of the food produced in the world is wasted. If you plan your meals, shop using a list and make creative use of your leftovers you will avoid binning food will buy less.

4. Eat less meat

Meat is really expensive compared to vegetables and pulses and there are so many veggie options these days. According to this interesting article in the Guardian, “Behind most of the joints of beef or chicken on our plates is a phenomenally wasteful, land- and energy-hungry system of farming that devastates forests, pollutes oceans, rivers, seas and air, depends on oil and coal, and is significantly responsible for climate change.”

There is a lot of research on the health benefits of a diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables, so upping your intake can give you a boost physically too. You don’t have to go completely veggie. How about a Meat Free Monday?

5. Use your leg power

Walking is an eco friendly idea to save money. Picture of my walking route Walk or cycle instead of taking the car or bus on short journeys. They are free exercise! If you walk a few miles a day you could maybe jack in the gym membership or exercise classes. I am spectacularly rubbish at this, so it is something I am going to work on. Mr S loves cycling but I am not a fan and prefer to walk. I can’t walk to work as it is too far, but I can go out for a power walk at lunchtime and walk to the shops at the weekend.  We had a lovely long windy walk yesterday just for the fun of it and used Map My Walk to record the distance – 4.67 miles, which was a nice length.

6. Ditch the bath

Showering uses far less water. This will save you money on your water bill and heating, as you will have to heat less water! If you shower already, consider taking a shorter shower or even a cold one. There are apparently a lot of health benefits to taking a cold shower, but in this cold weather I don’t think I can bring myself to try this!

7. Power down

Don’t leave your appliances on standby. Switch off at the plug when they aren’t in use, including (and especially) your phone charger! This may not save thousands but every little counts.

8. Cut down the chemicals!

I hate to think of the chemical cocktail we used to breathe in and the nasty stuff I used to swill down the sink whilst I was cleaning the house. Nowadays I use mainly (although not exclusively yet) bicarbonate of soda  and white vinegar, and make this cleaning spray. This is very much cheaper than buying branded cleaning products too.

9. Turn off the lights

This is such a simple act that saves money and energy. Train the family to switch lights off behind them!

10. Buy second-hand

Be it clothes, furniture, tools or sports equipment, you can get almost anything cheaper second-hand or even free. Check out eBay, Gumtree, Shpock, Facebook Marketplace, Freegle and Freecycle, as well as your local charity shops of course. Reusing means another object doesn’t go to landfill.

These are only 10 ideas out of many eco friendly ideas to save money. Once you get started, you will feel the benefits in your wallet and the environment will reap the rewards too. Warm green glow all round!

Being Frugal is Green!

I was about to throw away some laddered tights yesterday when I remembered reading that they are good to use as plant ties if you cut them up or to store your onion crop in. So I have kept them, just in case.

It made me think about how being frugal – buying less, consuming less, repairing, reusing things, buying second-hand – aren’t just good for your bank balance, they are good for the environment.

2647Take the garden. I don’t like to use chemicals, although I did give in to some organic slug pellets last year when my cabbages were being shredded. Usually I set slug traps using Sainsburys cheapest lager (I wouldn’t drink it, but the slugs seem to like it) and crumble egg shells or sand around the plants the beasts enjoy the most. I compost all garden waste and food waste such us peelings, teabags, and I collect bags of free manure from a house nearby, which also goes onto the compost heap. I do have to buy potting compost sometimes, but not as much as in the past.

Cardboard egg boxes make great little pots for starting seeds, and larger yogurt or cream pots are good for potting them on. A litre of water with a couple of teaspoons of liquid castile soap  in a spray bottle is good for killing bugs, costs a lot less than the scary chemicals you can buy in the garden centre and is much less harmful to the environment.

Growing your own veg means you can have delicious, fresh and organic produce for a fraction of the cost you would spend in the shops. Buying local and in season is often cheaper. The environmental cost of transporting food thousands of miles is huge.

I love to buy plants but they are so expensive! It is easy to collect and store seeds and to take cuttings from other plants.

If you are on a water meter it makes sense to have as many water butts as you can fit in your garden. The local council quite often has links to companies doing deals on these. You can also re-use the ‘grey’ water from your bath or shower to water the garden.

walk lightlyIn the house, saving energy saves money and is green. Using a lid on your cooking pots makes them boil more quickly so you can turn the gas down. Insulating your house and fitting thick curtains means you can turn down the thermostat.

Driving carefully uses less petrol. Buying second-hand clothes and furniture means items are re-used and not thrown away. Hanging your clothes on the line or an airer saves energy and the cost of running a tumble dryer.

The motto is reduce, re-use and recycle. I try to do all of these things because they save money. Living a simpler life, having less ‘stuff’, consuming less, re-using more: it helps to keep the wolves at bay and gives you a nice warm deep green feeling. 🙂