Our climate is in a state of crisis, and it’s up to us to change how we interact with the natural world. To mark Earth Day 2021, we’re sharing some easy money saving tips that can help both your own personal finances and help the environment.
Dial down the heating
Reducing your default thermostat setting by one or two degrees is a change you’ll barely notice, but it can have an enormous positive impact on the environment and your finances.
Although in recent weeks the weather has been unseasonably chilly, as we get closer to summer the weather should start to improve (and about time!). Heating our houses isn’t as necessary now as it is in the middle of winter, and this could be a great time to re-evaluate your heating settings.
Turning down your thermostat by only one degree is estimated to save hundreds of kilograms of Carbon Dioxide (CO2), a gas that is responsible for heating up our planet. If you want to save even more, why not consider turning the heating off altogether? You may be surprised at how quickly you get used to a slightly cooler home.
Make a weekly meal plan
We can all be guilty of buying too much food or not thinking beyond our immediate meals. It can be tempting to add that extra something to your cart in the supermarket when you’ll end up only use a small portion of it, or letting leftovers sit in the fridge until they’re no longer edible. This way of shopping leads to a lot of food waste, and unnecessary cost.
A really easy way to avoid both of these things, is to create a weekly meal plan. Decide what you’re going to eat throughout the week and make a list of everything you need to buy. Having a fridge and larder stocked with a week’s worth of food will save you not only money, but time and energy in deciding last minute what you want for dinner each day.
Fashion trends seem to pop up out of nowhere, take the world by storm and then disappear as quickly as they arrived. Keeping up with the trends can take a real toll on your bank account as well as the planet.
Instead of running on the never-ending hamster wheel of trend–chasing, consider what your own personal style is, and try shopping second-hand. You can find some real gems in charity shops for a fraction of their original cost. If charity shops aren’t your thing, why not check out second-hand apps or websites?
Although perhaps counterintuitively, shopping for quality pieces via second-hand outlets could likely be more cost-efficient in the long-run than buying from the cheaper online sites. Sure, £5 for a jumper sounds like a great deal, but when the seam splits after only a few wears, or the colour fades away after a couple of washes, you’ll be looking to replace the jumper sooner. The cost of these untimely replacements can quickly add up.
Ditch the tumble dryer
One of life’s smaller pleasures is the feeling of burying your face in a pile of warm laundry, fresh from the tumble dryer. But these handy appliances are no good for your electricity bill or the environment.
The average tumble dryer produces roughly 1.8kg of CO2 in a drying cycle. Over time, this adds up to a serious amount of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere. Plus, all the time the dryer is on, your electricity bill is only going up.
The planet will thank you for ditching the tumble dryer and using a clothesline or a clothes horse for your weekly wash.
Leave the car at home
Petrol and diesel cars have a major impact on the environment. However, most of us still use them daily simply because of the convenience they provide. We know it isn’t sensible to expect everyone to give up their car, but we can all try and limit our usage to what’s strictly necessary.
For smaller journeys, why not try walking instead? Or, make the most of your commute and get in your daily dose of exercise with a cycle or run. An increasing number of companies are offering the cycle to work scheme as a perk for their employees. By signing up for the scheme you can save money on a bike and accessories, to save even more money on your self-powered commute.
However you decide to cut back on using your car, you’ll save money. If you reduce your usage then you’ll save money on fuel and maintenance costs, and if you ditch it altogether, you’ll reap the rewards of having no insurance, tax or fuel costs. Either way, it’s a financial win.
It’s great when you find ways to save money, but it’s even better when these also have a positive impact on the planet. Our tips only scratch the surface of the ways in which you can cut back on your monthly expenses and CO2 output, but we hope that they get you thinking about the steps you can take in your everyday life.
Having a bad credit history is not the same as being in financial difficulty. If you think you are in financial difficulty or are finding it difficult to pay your bills on time you should seek an alternative solution. To get debt advice information, we advise seeking independent advice from an impartial service like Citizens Advice or a qualified Financial Advisor.