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What if we told you that embracing a more sustainable lifestyle doesn’t have to mean digging deeper into those (already-stretched) pockets? In fact, with just a few simple changes to your daily habits, you can make a difference to the planet, while also pocketing a few pennies for yourself along the way.
From sustainable fashion choices to reusable drink bottles and small changes at home, there are plenty of ways to merge sustainability with savings. Let’s get started.
The world of fashion is constantly evolving, with new trends popping up on the daily. While it might be tempting to snap up the latest styles at affordable prices, in the blink of an eye these clothes quickly age. You find yourself doing your wardrobe clearout and tossing (or donating) barely-worn items.
Here are some tips to get the most from your clothing while being sustainable:
- Thrift shopping: One person’s discarded item can be another’s treasure. Thrift shops offer plenty of unique, vintage, and even brand-new items at a fraction of the cost. You save money while giving clothes a second life.
- Renting clothing: Special occasions often call for special outfits, but how often do we wear that fancy dress or tuxedo more than once? Instead of buying outfits for one-time events, consider renting them.
- Invest in high-quality, versatile pieces: While the initial cost might be higher, a well-made piece can last for years. Look for timeless designs that can be mixed and matched with different outfits.
Life is busy, so it’s easy to get drawn into the convenience offered by single-use items. Grabbing a disposable coffee cup on the go or using a plastic bag for a quick grocery run might seem harmless, but when everyone is doing it, the impact adds up.
Here’s how to make some small changes:
- Reusable bottles: Instead of buying bottled water, invest in a durable water bottle. Over time, the savings will add up, and you reduce plastic waste.
- Reusable bags: Ditch the plastic bags and opt for a reusable tote bag. They’re sturdier, can carry more weight, and can be used countless times.
- Reusable cups: Whether it’s for your morning coffee or a smoothie, using a reusable cup is a step towards sustainability. Plus, many cafes offer discounts for bringing your own cup which is a nice bonus!
- Washable cleaning cloths: Instead of disposable wipes, opt for washable cleaning cloths. They’re effective, reduce waste, and are more economical in the long run.
Small changes at home
Making your home more sustainable might seem like a daunting task, however you can just start small with a few simple changes. In no time at all, you can create a more sustainable living space without breaking the bank.
- Invest in LED light bulbs: While they might cost more, LEDs last much longer and use a fraction of the energy, so you save on your electricity bills over time (and won’t need to replace them as often!).
- Install low-flow showerheads: They use less water per minute without compromising on the shower experience.
- Composting: Instead of discarding kitchen waste like fruit peels, vegetable scraps, and coffee grounds, consider composting them. They make great nutrient-dense fertilisers for your garden.
- Seal and insulate: Drafty windows and doors can let out a lot of the heat during colder months, leading to higher heating bills.
- Unplug devices: Many devices consume energy even when they’re turned off. Make it a habit to unplug devices from the wall when they’re not in use.
Turn off the lights!
Lighting up our homes is essential, but it’s also one of the main sources of energy consumption (not to mention the cost that goes with it). Here’s how you can change your lighting habits to help save some dough:
- Embrace natural light: Open up those curtains and blinds, and let the sunshine in. Natural light also offers health benefits, helping to improve mood and sleep patterns.
- Switch off when not in use: It’s a simple habit but often overlooked. Always turn off the lights when you leave a room.
- Automation and timers: Consider investing in smart lighting systems or timers that turn off lights at set times or when no motion is detected (handy!).
- Dimmer switches: Installing dimmer switches allows you to adjust the brightness of your lights, using only as much light as you need. This not only saves energy but also extends the life of your bulbs.
Making small, thoughtful choices in our daily lives – from the way we shop for clothes to the items we use at home – can have a big impact on both the planet and our wallets. By valuing quality over quantity, being mindful of our consumption, and making informed choices, we can pave the way for a more sustainable and affordable future. There’s no better time to start than now!