"Being eco-friendly might seem expensive at first glance, but did you know it can save you money?"
Written by award winning blogger Zoë Morrison
I’ve put together this list of 5 ways you can save money and the environment at the same time.
1. Don’t waste food
Around 50% of food waste comes from households. If it goes to landfill it gives off methane which is a greenhouse gas that is far more potent than CO2 and it is a total waste of the money that was spent on it!
This can be avoided because there are so many great ways to make sure food doesn’t go to waste. For example turn over-ripe bananas into banana smoothies, bread ends make delicious croutons and limp lettuce can be added to stir fries or shredded and hidden in sauces and soups.
Get extra help and support with reducing food waste by joining my Facebook group helping people reduce food waste here: Reduce Your Food Waste.
2. Switch to an eco-friendly energy provider.
If you are with one of the big providers and haven’t shopped around for a while, it is likely that you are paying over the odds for your energy bill. Switching to a green provider might save you money! You will also reduce your carbon footprint and help to support the growth of renewable energy.
3. Get help with saving water
Find out if your local water company does free home visits, or gives away water saving devices. Where I live they do home visits and they are really good.
We were given low flow tap attachments, which aerate the water, so the flow looks the same, but is lower. They listened to the pipes to check for leaks and we were given a leaflet on water saving and a shower timer. Everything was free and helped us to save money on our water bills! It also means that less water needs to be processed and cleaned up with the associated environmental impact.
4. Swap liquid soap for bar soap where practical
I love the Friendly conditioner and shaver bar soap. I think they are very reasonably priced, they work well and mean that I don’t have to buy liquid conditioner and shower gel in plastic bottles. Sadly I live in a hard water area and this can affect the performance of natural bar shampoo. So instead I now buy bulk shampoo and decant it into smaller bottles when I need it.
When you have a few soap bars that do different things you need to find somewhere to put them when you are having a bath or a shower. I improvised some soap dishes by using the insert trays from some small tupperware boxes we already had. Take a look around your home to see if there is anything you can use. You will need to drain any soap dishes you have, after showering to make sure that the soap doesn’t go soggy.
5. Mend and repair
When something breaks it is easy to throw it away and get a new one. But before you do that, take a moment to work out if it can be repaired.
I opened a cupboard recently and one of the hinges fell off, leaving gaping holes in the cupboard. It couldn’t be screwed back in and the hinge was inset into the cupboard, so it wouldn’t be easy to add another hinge higher up. We didn’t know how to fix it, but when it comes to mending and repairing YouTube is your friend. My husband quickly found that if he mixed sawdust with a type of glue and filled the holes, then it would set hard. He was then able to screw the hinge back in. What a result!
So there you have it, 5 ways to save money and the environment! To start with there is a bit of a learning curve if you don’t know how to mend things or avoid food waste for example. But it can be a lot of fun too and very satisfying doing something that you didn’t previously know you were capable of! It’s great to have not only done something positive to help the environment but also to have saved some money along the way too.
Zoe Morrison writes the award-winning blog www.ecothriftyliving.com all about saving money and the environment. She is also the author of Eco Thrifty Living the book, which covers saving money and the environment in 11 areas, including things like stuff, kids, gardening, saving energy and more.
She can be found on Twitter and Instagram under @ecothrifty.