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Have you ever thought that you can’t lead a sustainable life because it’s too inaccessible and expensive?
Of course, zero-waste stores, chic reusables, and mason jars aren’t cheap - but they aren’t necessary for living sustainably either. Shopping zero-waste and having all the latest, energy-efficient gadgets and gizmos is the ultimate goal. But, you don’t need money to care for the planet. Living eco-friendly can often save you money if you’re doing it right.
When I first decided to lower my impact on the planet I felt that it made the most sense to start at home. Here are a few of the cheap and simple changes that I made...
Handmade items are kinder to the planet because they’re made in smaller batches and likely have a lower carbon footprint than items found in mainstream stores. One benefit of buying handmade items is that you’re purchasing something that was created with a lot of care while supporting a small business and a big dream. Many everyday items can be bought handmade, for example, soaps, candles, jewellery, lip balm, etc.
Shopping second hand is the ultimate eco-friendly option because it lowers the demand for new items to be produced. Of course, many things can’t be purchased second hand, but considering how destructive fast fashion is to our planet, simply switching to second-hand clothing would make all the difference. Buying second-hand clothes has made me appreciate clothing much more than before, I look after my clothes so that they can stay in my wardrobe for years to come. There are reams of beautiful, unique clothes to discover in second-hand and vintage stores!
This one’s easier said than done, but it’s worth it in the end, especially if you want to save money! Due to the average UK household now owning a plethora of electrical appliances and devices, there are several options for reducing your energy usage:
Whether you like it or not, cutting down on your consumption of meat helps the planet. To be exact, cutting meat and dairy products from your diet could reduce your carbon footprint from food by up to 73%!
But it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. The world needs lots of people reducing their animal consumption wherever they can, rather than a small number of people cutting out animal consumption completely. So swap a beef burger for a vegan one, or have tofu in a dish instead of meat! There are tonnes of options for people following a vegan diet nowadays; you might be surprised by how many things can be veganised (yes, vegan seafood does exist).
Disposable products are damaging the planet because we’re using them at such a large scale. From plastic straws and takeaway containers to plastic bottles and cleaning wipes, there’s a lot of opportunity out there for people to cut down on household waste.
Reusable products can save you money in the long run, too. So stock up on all-purpose cloths for cleaning, steel or glass straws for smoothies, menstrual cups or period underwear, and say goodbye to single-use plastics!
UK households waste 4.5 million tonnes of food each year (can you imagine how high the number is when factoring in waste from businesses too?). Household waste has improved slightly over the last few years, which is great, but more can be done! An overwhelming amount of resources are wasted on food that just ends up in our dustbins. We’re all guilty of throwing away food, and sometimes it’s unavoidable. But we can attempt to do better. Read our article here to discover simple ways to avoid food waste.