We all know that it’s important to reduce our impact on the environment but sometimes, it’s hard to find the motivation to make big lifestyle changes. Everybody is guilty of doing things that they know are harmful to the environment, but we do them anyway because they’re more convenient or we don’t want to commit to big lifestyle changes. But did you know that saving the environment could also boost your bank balance as well?
Saving money is a priority for all of us and if you want to secure your finances, it’s important that you learn how to budget properly and find ways to cut back on waste. But one of the best ways to make money is to make lifestyle changes that reduce your impact on the environment. These are the best ways to save money and the environment at the same time.
Stop Using Your Car
Owning and maintaining a car is expensive and if you drive every day, you probably spend a large percentage of your weekly budget on fuel. Driving isn’t great for the environment either and cars are a big source of pollution, which is why cutting back on your car use is one of the best lifestyle changes you can make. Think about whether you could walk or cycle to work instead of driving, or even use public transport. If you are able to cycle or walk, you cut back on your carbon emissions, save a lot of money on fuel, and improve your health at the same time.
However, you will still need to drive sometimes and when you do, it’s worth considering an electric car instead. It costs a lot less to run an electric car than it does a traditional petrol or diesel one and it’s far better for the environment. People often worry about how much electricity they will use and whether it will really be cheaper. They also have concerns about the performance of the car and the charging times. However, as long as you install a good quality EVSE charger in your home, you can charge an electric car quickly and it will be just as reliable as a petrol car. The components in electric cars also tend to last a lot longer, so you will spend far less money on repairs.
Stop Drinking Bottled Water
Bottled water is a huge waste of money but so many people still drink it because it’s convenient. If you’re out and about and you are thirsty, it’s easy to go into the nearest shop and buy some water. But if you added up the amount of money that you spent on something as simple as water over the course of a year, you’d probably be horrified.
Bottled water is also incredibly bad for the environment because it contributes to a lot of plastic waste. Even if water is bottled in recyclable bottles, it still has a big negative impact because the amount of energy that is used to make bottled water is huge. The thing is, there’s no need to drink bottled water because you can just pick up a reusable bottle and take it out with you instead. There are plenty of places that you can fill it up while you are out and about and the cost of buying a reusable bottle is next to nothing. It’s far better for the environment and you will save so much money over the years.
Sell Old Electronics
Electronic waste is a huge environmental problem that is only now starting to be understood. We all use a lot of electrical devices on a daily basis and they don’t have a very long lifespan. Most people replace their smartphone every year or two, for example, and a huge percentage of those phones end up in landfill, which is a big issue. It’s also a financial problem because these devices are expensive and you are throwing them away every year, which is a big waste of money. However, you can reduce the financial impact and help the environment if you sell those devices instead. There are plenty of great websites where you can sell old phones, which will then be refurbished and sold on to somebody else. You get a little bit of money for your old phone and instead of going into landfill, it gets used by somebody else.
You should also make an effort to keep your electronic devices for longer. People replace their phones when a new one comes out, even though their old one still works just fine. The features on a new phone won’t be that different from the previous model either, so consider whether you really need to replace it or can you make do with your current phone for another year or two? This will save you a lot of money and help to reduce waste at the same time. It’s also cheaper to pay for small repairs instead of throwing electronics away and replacing them as soon as something minor goes wrong with them.
If you can get stuff for free, that’s obviously a good way to save money. But when you are looking for expensive items like furniture, surely people won’t be giving that stuff away completely free? You might be able to save some money by getting second hand items, but you will still have to pay. Actually, that isn’t necessarily the case because there is a great site called Freecycle where people give away things that they don’t need without asking for payment. If you have a look, you will be surprised at what you can find. There is plenty of great furniture and other homeware on there, as well as all sorts of other bits and bobs.
Getting free second hand stuff is much better for the environment as well because manufacturing is the biggest contributor to carbon emissions. The more new stuff we buy, the more it gets made and that causes damage to the environment, so get on Freecycle and see what you can find before you decide to buy brand new items.
Switch Your Lightbulbs
Cutting back on energy use around the home is such a simple way to boost your bank balance and one of the easiest ways to do that is to switch out your lightbulbs. LED bulbs use up to 75% less energy than a traditional light bulb and they last a lot longer as well. If you switch all of the bulbs in your home, you will notice a drastic drop in your energy bill and it will be much better for the environment. A lot of people neglect this switch because LED bulbs can be quite a bit more expensive than normal bulbs. However, when you consider the long term savings, you will see that it is the obvious financial choice.
Eat Less Meat
Vegetarian and vegan diets have become so popular in the last few years for a number of reasons. For a lot of people, it is an ethical issue but many people decide to cut meat out because of the impact that it has on the environment. But changing your eating habits is tough and some people don’t feel that they need to. However, it’s not a black and white situation and you will still benefit the environment if you cut back on the amount that you eat. Having one or two vegetarian meals a week still makes a difference, so you should consider trying to cut back on meat a bit.
The other big benefit of cutting back on your meat intake is that it’s great for your bank balance, but a lot of people don’t realize this. A lot of the meat substitutes that you can buy are expensive, which is why people think that cutting back on meat will cost you more money. However, if you avoid the meat substitutes and eat more vegetables, pulses and beans instead, you will find that your food costs are a lot lower, and it’s better for your health as well. Even though it’s a bit of an adjustment, cutting back on meat is a brilliant way to boost your bank balance and reduce your impact on the environment at the same time.
Make Your Own Cleaning Products
You may not have considered the environmental impact that you cleaning products have, but it’s worth looking at the ingredients because many of them contain harmful chemicals that pollute the environment and damage ecosystems. You’re also breathing in those chemicals because they stick around in your home, so it can damage your health as well. However, you can avoid that if you just make your own cleaning chemicals instead. There are a lot of simple cleaning products that you can make out of household ingredients, like baking soda and white vinegar, and they do the job just as well. It’s also way cheaper to buy these simple ingredients and mix your own cleaning chemicals than it is to buy ready-made cleaning chemicals.
If you are looking for ways to reduce your impact on the environment, these are all great changes that will boost your bank balance at the same time.
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