We get a lot of people asking if living more sustainably means “spending more money”. Not necessarily my friend. If you get excited about becoming more environmentally conscious with your daily actions while saving some bucks along the way, this article is for you.
There’s another benefit to being eco-friendly other than just helping out our planet Earth: it turns out that most often becoming sustainable pays off with saving money. And time!
Even though some of the tips of extreme ways to save money might cost a few dollars up front, but at the end of the day, it will save you cash, with the bonus of making you feel good about your decisions. Gotta start thinking long-term!
Note: in this list, we have included loads of helpful links to guides and products that will make you save money while being more sustainable.
Top tips for saving money + being more sustainable
- Cut back on alcoholic drinks, cigarettes, etc Besides smoking or drinking damage your health, (and incredibly expensive!), especially cigarettes are bad for the environment and its wildlife. Plus, the fact that Worldwide about 4.5 trillion cigarettes are littered each year.
- Buy in-season produce and fill in your basket with veggies and fruits that aren’t wrapped in plastic. The more waste you take at home the more trips to the bin. Time + Money + Waste
- Even better, if you can, start your first organic garden.
- If you do have a garden, then check out this composting guide for beginners, as it is one of the most positive ways to reduce your carbon footprint.
- Go grocery shopping less often, as it will help you to fill your fridge consciously to avoid food waste.
- Don’t send your kids grocery shopping with you. (Ha Ha… Any funny pictures coming to mind?)
- Use sustainable living apps like Olio or No Waste to optimize food waste, or instead, to help yourself out with food items that other people may not want.
- Go to zero-waste grocery shops once a month and fill your cab with fresher, yummier, and healthier food, like your grains, dries, nuts, legumes,…
- Do a one week a month spending freeze. It’s the typical corner that we think food lasts forever (but it doesn’t).
- When going to the shops, always take a reusable bag with you. Besides how bad plastic is for the environment, it will cost you about $0,05 each.
- Soak your dishes before you wash them, as it helps save an enormous amount of water – as well as time! Take it one small step further, and use eco-friendly kitchen cleaning products instead.
- If you don’t have a dishwasher and do your dishes by hand – put them in the sink to air dry.
- Use cold water for laundry or the dishes. If you need to run hot water click here to compare the best boilers.
- Wear some clothes more than once a week, for example, your pajamas, jeans, jackets…
- Wash only full loads of laundry. Classic.
- Dry your clothes in the fresh air. You know how expensive the electricity bill can get with these bad boys.
- Use zero-waste detergents as there are amazing brands out there that will make you save money, the environment, as well as the extra time or effort it takes when buying it in the supermarket.
- Use a water filter for your home as you will save in lifting the heavy bottles, loads of plastic and quite a large amount of money.
- If you want to go to the next step, harvest your own rainwater.
- Get rid of pests organically.
- Don’t let the water faucet run while brushing your teeth. (Sounds familiar?)
- Turn off lights when walking off from a room. (Yes mum…!)
- Use light ambiance to spare you the act of switching on/off the lights in the room as often. A good one is a salt lamp. It gives a soft comfortable light, plus Himalayan salt is known for its health benefits.
- Look for eco-friendly products and brands that support a refill system. Like Plaine Products with its beauty and hygiene range.
- Switch to a menstrual cup with some of our favorite brands such as Ruby Cup, Juju, Organicup. Some popular period-proof underwear is Modibodi or Thinx. Here is a full guide with sustainable plastic-free period products in case cups are not for you.
- Zero-waste razors are another great switch as you will never find yourself again buying single-use cartridges.
- Wash your hair less frequently. In fact, there’s been a trend happening during Covid lockdown, where people have been sharing across social media the evolution of a hair detox. Nevertheless interesting to watch.
- Wear a little less makeup. There are beautiful brands out there that offer vegan, cruelty-free, natural make-up foundations with SPF+ sun protection. I mean… 2×1 like these become a great option when it comes to saving money (preferably sustainably-made).
- When organizing an event, like a zero-waste wedding, or sending invitations, holiday thank you cards, etc. consider digital invitations to email instead.
- Go online, find reusable products for daily items, such as an E-Cloth for cleaning your house, or repurpose old sheets or towels. To save money think this: reusable is always cheaper than disposable. For the environment, and for you (not just money-saving but making your life easier too!)
- To save some money in slow fashion, traveling, eco-friendly toys, yoga wear, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, or Christmas gifts, shop offseason. Usually, your favorite brands and products will be at a fair discount from which you can benefit from.
- After studying over a thousand eco+social conscious brands, we have found that about the 70% will offer a 10-15% discount for signing up for their newsletter. Use them!
- Consider a staycation or a thrifty holiday.
- Wrap your gifts using upcycled materials – here you can find 15 awesome DIY low-cost ideas to make your presents stand out!
- If possible, wash your car at home; the dry-cleaning car wash model is a great option too as it saves an enormous amount of water.
- Stop making monthly payments to anything that’s not a necessity. Creating an excel spreadsheet to have an overview and a bigger of where your money goes can help you out a lot!
- Things like paying for subscription boxes, monthly apps, online memberships, etc., especially, if they are not adding any value to your life, you should consider having a break. A mental one too!
- If you live in a couple, a great way of saving money is to try living on one income per month, and eventually save the rest to reinvest in long-term zero waste items to create an eco-friendly household.
- If your goal is to save money long term by making an energy-efficient home, then you should consider allocating to invest in better and more eco-friendly appliances.
- Another interesting is to install a system with solar energy for your home, being one of the most the cleanest of all renewable choices.
- Consider re-selling, or organize a second-hand market, for your unwanted items. Put all the money in a saving jar and get something you really need (even if it’s your next’s year holiday).
- Shop in a garage, thrift stores, or clearance sales. Usually, you are supporting a social cause, but saving some good pieces of garment and other treasures to hit the landfill.
- Before buying new sustainable decoration items, look around your home, and ask yourself if you could repurpose anything you are not using for something else. Eventually, you just signed-up for your new favorite hobby! Go on Pinterest for more DIY ideas!
- Okay: don’t go clothes or online shopping when bored, upset, etc., etc. Not a good habit.
- Don’t go grocery shopping when you’re upset. Unless fair-trade chocolate, don’t do it.
- Especially so, don’t go grocery shopping when hungry. It becomes too easy to buy the wrong type of food.
- When going somewhere, like less than a mile from your home, walk or cycle there. Bonus: keeps you fit.
- If public transport, like buses or trains, is an option in your city, using it can make you save loads of money on petrol and time stuck in traffic. Not to mention, it’s waaaay better for the environment.
- Get pedicures, manicures, hair done less often. For the beauty queens out there, find some awesome natural beauty products at The Green Labels, Biome Body + Beauty range, or VerseGood Store.
- Work out at home. Sign-off your gym membership, especially if you think you are not using it enough.
- Don’t starve yourself, but eat less. They say, “it is one of the keys to living a long life”.
- Cut back on meat meals. At least one day a week cut off in your meat intake, like #MeatLessMonday campaign.
- Buy clearance meat and put it in the freezer. You will save money and avoid the meat going to the landfills instead.
- Credit cards can come in handy sometimes. But for saving money, especially if you’re in debt, stop shopping with credit cards.
- If you are financially unstable and wish to save some extra money, stop shopping for anything other than: Any family health expenses; rent, household utilities, grocery shopping; household emergencies (fridge, plumbing, etc.)
- Invest your money in ethical banking as it definitely supports better social + eco causes with entities that usually also support more their customers.
A little help: download your free checklist to save money & the environment
Other useful articles:
Why you should become a minimalist
Eco-friendly home improvements to save money
Minimal wardrobe: how to simplify your closet
DIY Solutions for an energy-efficient home
Is zero waste a privilege? Here 5 upcycling ideas
Top 10 zero waste tips for beginners
Eco-friendly lifestyle goals: how to set yours
We will continue to keep this blog updated, so if you have a suggestion of ways to save money and the environment, please share it in the comments below!