Making the move towards a more sustainable lifestyle is on everyone’s minds at the moment. The news reports about climate change have been impossible to ignore, from record-breaking heatwaves to alarming deep freezes, flooding and wildfires. With everything else that has been going on in the news over the last few years, it speaks to how pressing the issue of global warming is that these events have barely left the front pages.
However, one thing that holds a lot of people back from making the positive changes needed to be more environmentally friendly is worrying about how much doing so is going to cost them. Given how expensive the cost of living has become, with prices going up in the supermarket, on our energy bills and everywhere else, it’s hardly surprising that people are thinking twice before committing to any major changes. But it’s important to remember that going green does not necessarily need to be an expensive process. In fact, it could even save you money in the long run.
Here are a few tips to help you go greener without breaking the bank.
Recycle everything you can
Let’s start with one of the simplest ways to go greener. Recycling is a matter of habit for most people these days, but you may be surprised by how much you are still throwing away that you could recycle instead. It’s always worth checking the labels on everything, to see if some or all of the packaging can be recycled.
Something that you need to think carefully about is your electronics. A lot of people assume that they can’t recycle their e-waste, whether it’s a kettle, a phone, or a laptop. E-waste is a massive problem around the world, with so much of it ending up on rubbish tips. If you are getting rid of an old appliance or electrical item, first ask yourself if you could donate it to a charity shop if it still works. If not, find out where the nearest electrical goods recycling facility is, and make use of it.
Think about your car
One of the easiest changes that we can make to our carbon footprint comes down to our driving choices.
With the price of petrol as high as it has been over the last couple of years, using your car less is probably a good money saver, as well as a way to cut down on your environmental impact. To start with, if you are a two-car household, ask yourself if you really need that second one, or if you could make do without it. If you are still commuting to work instead of working from home, could you think about using public transport or cycling?
Of course, there are always going to be times when you simply can’t do without a car, but you can look for an option that does not create as much pollution. Electric cars are more easily available than ever before, and you no longer need to break the bank in order to drive one. In fact, you can even lease an electric car to keep your costs down and only use it when you need it.
If you have never driven an electric car before, then you may have a lot of questions about how far you can get on a single battery charge and what they are like in terms of safety. If this is the case, check out the safety ratings on LV ElectriX. They have put together the ultimate guide to leasing an electric car to make it as easy as possible to get you behind the wheel.
Look at your appliances
When you are trying to save money, it can be so tempting to tell yourself that your appliances are getting the job done and that it would be more hassle than it’s worth to replace them. However, if your appliances are more than a couple of years old, then they may be costing you more money to run than you realise. Every major appliance goes through a lot of wear and tear, and this is particularly true when it comes to machines like washers and dryers.
Washer-dryer units are particularly notorious for being a massive drain on your energy bill, as the parts are put through the wringer every time you use them. With energy prices continuing to rise, you need to think about how much it is costing you to continue using these old machines, and whether it might make more financial sense to upgrade to a newer model.
If you’re nervous about installing these new appliances yourself, you don’t have to do it alone. Reach out to The Local Electrician for professional installation services. New machines will have a better energy efficiency rating, which means that you won’t be creating as much waste energy whenever you use them. Upfront costs can be tricky, but they may well save you money in the long run.
Reconsider your holiday plans
This is never going to be a massively popular option, but one of the biggest imprints that anyone can have on their carbon footprint is air travel. We’ve all seen the stories about celebrities using their private planes for ludicrously short distances, and it’s worth remembering that flying overseas (or indeed within the UK) does have a real environmental impact. Now, with the ongoing train strikes and expensive ticket prices, travelling by rail is not always going to be a cheaper or easier option, but it is certainly more environmentally friendly.
If you do want to travel somewhere by plane, then there are plenty of things that you can do to keep your carbon footprint as small as possible. Look for a hotel that has committed to being environmentally friendly; many will be publicising this information more as people look to make responsible choices. Remember to take reusable water containers with you instead of buying plastic bottles. Pack light to limit your luggage weight, and use public transport while you are at your destination instead of hiring a car.
Rethink your diet
The rise in vegetarianism and veganism over the last couple of years has been impossible to miss. It used to be that you would only see a few options on the supermarket shelves if you were looking to make a meat-free meal. These days, there’s an incredible array of choices from a wide range of brands. It’s easier than ever to give up meat, and this is definitely a good thing from an environmental standpoint.
Animal farming is a major contributor to greenhouse gases, and giving up meat (even if it’s just for a few days a week) can have a real impact on your carbon footprint. If you’re not sure where to start, think about what vegetarian dishes you enjoy cooking. It is always going to be much easier to start a new diet if you actually like what you are eating. Do a price comparison check at your local supermarkets to see where you can find the best veggie options at the lowest prices, and sign up for loyalty schemes to ensure that you are getting rewards too.
As you can see, there are lots of simple ways you can go greener without breaking the bank. Have you got any tips for being environmentally friendly on a budget?