5 Ways To Save Money and The Planet
Create a Micro-Wardrobe
We are all victims to the changing whims of fashion. Research by Greenpeace has identified some worrying consumer trends, environmentally speaking. They found that global clothing production has doubled between 2000 and 2014, and in that time that people were buying on average 60% more items each year and keeping them for about half as long. This amounts to a huge amount of waste which, rather than being recycled, ends up in landfill (235m items are expected to be dumped this spring alone in Britain). With staggering figures like these, I think we can all agree it’s time to think about our clothing waste. Instead of indulging in this shopping mania, perhaps we should be focussing our minds and resources on creating a ‘micro-wardrobe’. In other words, a small set of quality clothes that will save you money in the long run as they will wear much better than the cheaper high street brands. Alternatively, if you are determined to keep up with the changing whims of fashion then perhaps you should look into buying from some ‘fashion conscious brands’. Nowadays there are not only stylish affordable brands such as People Tree but high street labels like H&M and ZARA now run ranges which are entirely sourced from recycled fabric. One thing is definitely clear, next time you’re spring cleaning your wardrobe don’t bin, recycle, adapt, refashion!
Rent Items, Don’t Leave Them To Rot!
Since the launch of Airbnb in 2008, our attitude towards sharing our things with strangers has changed radically. What once seemed like an outlandish ‘hippyish’ concept has been widely embraced, so that you can now find apps for anything from renting out your parking space to exchanging unwanted food with neighbours. A pioneer in this process is the online rental platform, Fat Lama. Launched in 2016, the site allows you to list any item for rental (from day-to-day objects like a blender to profession equipment like camera lenses and sewing machines) to people in your local area. This is one of those rare scenarios where everyone’s a winner, the platform allows lenders to make money by letting out their unused possessions and the borrowers save money by renting at a lower cost than purchasing items. Pleasingly neat though this is, it is the potential platforms like Fat Lama to have a positive environmental impact which makes them a true economic gem. This is because sharing platforms offer an alternative to mass produced items that are only used once or twice before being discarded. Instead they give us a chance to make the most of resources already in circulation and hopefully curbing the need for production at the source.
This is a simple lifestyle change that will see you save dramatically on grocery shopping and reduce the carbon emissions from the food industry whilst your at it. I think we all agree it’s nice to be able to buy strawberries in January, however, the pleasure of eating the artificially ripened fruit that is so poor a substitute for its seasonal counterpart is marred by the guilt of the negative environmental impact that comes from their airmiles. So why not try abandoning the struggle, going with the flow and eating with the seasons. Nature has a way of providing for the time of year anyway, in summer you can eat locally sourced fruit for pennies from your local market of grocers, and in winter you can indulge comforting root veg and leafy greens. Local fruit and veg not only tastes better but it’s usually much cheaper when it’s in season.
Eco- Bulbs, Water Saving Flushes, Shorter Showers
These are all easy to install eco-friendly tips that can save you serious pennies in the long run. Nowadays, the average person in the UK uses around 135 litres of water a day, that’s a huge figure which is easy to reduce by altering your routine slightly. Tricks like taking shorter showers, not running the tap when your brushing your teeth/ washing up and installing an eco-friendly toilet flush, can reduce this figure and your water bills significantly. As a child we regularly ran out of water over the summer, carrying every drop from the local farm soon encouraged us to make the most of every drop! In the same vein, those electricity bills can also be chopped by installing eco-friendly bulbs and turning off all your appliances at the wall at night. It’s an environmental and financial no brainer.
Attention to the unsustainable rate at which the West in particular munches through meat has been high of late, with movements such as ‘veganuary’ gathering momentum amongst the environmentally conscious. With a staggering 51% of global greenhouse gases being produced from animal agriculture, it’s time we seriously started to consider cutting down on the quantity of animal based foodstuffs we consume. However, for many people, born and raised in the ‘meat and two veg’ culture, the idea of veganism is unappealing and therefore to be avoided and consequently the issue is ignored. The idea of ‘Meat-Free Mid-Week’ is designed to appeal to the more carnivorous members of society, the message of cutting down rather than eliminating meat consumption can still make a huge difference to the environmental impact of meat industry if it is embraced wholesale. Aside from saving the planet, the obvious benefit of cutting down on meat is that it will save you a considerable amount of cash, lentils after all are a lot cheaper than mince.
This post is not sponsored, it does contain affiliate links to Fat Lama. If you sign up and rent through the platform I will receive a small commission which will help with the running costs of the blog.