Sustainable living has the misconception of being expensive. I will admit that there are some items that can be a lot more expensive, but there are easy ways to get around that. Even if you can’t put 100% into being eco-friendly, everyone wants to save money! I’m going to be sharing a few ways that I have saved some money.
What is sustainable living?
Sustainable living is a lifestyle where we try and reduce our carbon footprint and therefore greenhouse gas emissions. Sustainable living can sometimes be called zero-waste living as well. Personally, I think that a zero-waste lifestyle is impossible and creates the false idea that you have to be perfect to be eco-friendly. You definitely don’t, any action will help!
Ways to being eco-friendly can save you money
Charity shops & buying second hand
I talk a lot about charity shops and buying second hand, but it is because you can get such a bargain! Charity shopping is one of my favourite things to do. When it comes to charity shopping, a lot of people just look for books and I used to be guilty of this too. For a while, there was some stigma surrounding buying second-hand clothes or crockery.
Since then, thrift shopping has become much more popular! I have got so many good things from charity shops lately. My friend got all her uni plates & bowls for like £3 which is so good.
When I go into a charity shop, 8 times out of 10, I will walk out with some clothes. If I’m with friends or family, they ask how I find such good clothes. It’s simple.
- Find your size. You need to consider that there are a whole variety of clothing shops and therefore, you will fit into more than one size. I like to look in the small, medium, 8 and 10 sections
- Look on all the rails. I like to look in every single section to make sure I don’t miss anything.
- Double-check the size. One time a dress tag said 8, but it was actually a 4 on the inside. I was completely devastated when it obviously didn’t fit! It was a waste of £5 so I always check the size on the inside before buying.
Due to covid, not all charity shops have their dressing rooms open again. This can mean that it is a bit risky buying clothes that you haven’t tried on. Once you get home, try it on – if it doesn’t fit, you can always return it. If there is an item of clothing that I really like, and it is under £5 then I usually buy it.
Related post: How to have a sustainable wardrobe
Charity shops seem to have so many candles! I saw a big Yankee candle for only £3 – can you believe it? Last week I saw a cat wax melt burner, and I was a bit gutted that I already have one haha.
There also seems to be a lot of furniture charity shops in Bournemouth – I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many sofas!
I always walk out with a book, quite often it is more than one! Most books are between 50p-£1.50 which is ridiculously cheap when you see their original price. I really like looking for nature books as they are quite expensive elsewhere.
My main tip about buying second-hand is to not buy things just because they are cheap. If you aren’t going to use it, don’t buy it. It isn’t sustainable to buy lots and it can create a false sense of security.
Click here to learn how to budget.
Usually, on special occasions, we buy a special outfit. However, this tends to only be worn once or twice. What use is that outfit sitting and gathering dust in your wardrobe? There’s a solution to that. Renting clothes is the current popular method of reducing your fast fashion consumption. When you graduate you rent a gown, so why not for other occasions too?
Reasons you should rent an outfit instead of buying one:
- Save money
- The outfit will get multiple uses from different people
- Wear high-quality clothes
- You don’t need to give up any room in your wardrobe
- Reduce your carbon footprint
Read more about renting clothes.
Meal planning & reducing food waste
Meal planning is essential for sustainable living and saving money. I meal plan every Sunday and then I try to buy my weekly shop the same day or Monday morning. To make sure that you don’t make any impulsive buys, write a shopping list as you write your meal plan. Try to include the same ingredients in different dishes to reduce wasting food. For example, on Wednesday I’m planning on having mushroom, garlic and feta pasta. To ensure that I eat all the mushrooms and feta, I will be having them in my rice noodles & veg dinner on Thursday. Another way is to batch cook your meals and freeze them. Personally, I’ve found that mushrooms don’t taste as nice when you reheat them so I like to eat them raw if they are getting old.
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Related post: Too Good To Go review by Millennial Saves
My most worthwhile eco-friendly purchases
It’s all very well reading my tips on how being eco-friendly can save you money, but how about hearing some of my eco purchases?
- My absolute favourite worthwhile purchase is my eco sponge. Did you know that sponges are made from plastic? My plastic-free sponge costs £7.95 from Green Pear Eco. They are made from organic cotton and plant-based core which means they can be composted at the end of their life! On top of this, they are machine washable. I definitely recommend this 🙌
- If you haven’t already bought any make-up remover pads, you need to! It was one of my first sustainable swaps. I have been using the same ones for almost 2 years now and they are still in brilliant condition. I’m not entirely sure, but I think 5 make-up pads cost about £5. They are very affordable considering you just throw them in with your usual wash.
Related post: How to cut down on plastic beauty products
- Another amazing eco-friendly purchase was the Ocean Saver antibacterial cleaning pod. It costs only £1.50 from Green Pear Eco and you get to reuse the plastic spray bottles that you already have! I made a reel on how to set it up (P.S it’s really simple). If that hasn’t already enticed you, it’s a coloured liquid, much better than boring clear liquid aha.
If you are interested in reading about general money-saving tips, click here.
I hope this post has shown you how being eco-friendly can save you money. Let me know which is your favourite way in the comments!