It’s so important to make small changes and do our bit to help the environment – we only get one world! And, over time, these simple swaps can save us money; so it really is a win, win!
Here are 10 ways you can be more eco-friendly at home, and save some cash too…
1. Invest in reusable items
Reducing our waste is a great way to do our bit for the planet, and it can be really cost effective too in the long run. Here are a few easy switches:
- Ditch the sandwich bags in favour of reusable containers. Picnics, packed lunches, leftovers and baked goods can all be stored in reusable tubs so ditch those bags and reduce what goes to landfill.
- Invest in some reusable cotton pads for removing make-up and cleaning up grubby little ones. Prices on Amazon start from around a fiver for a pack of 10-15 large pads – just throw them in with your washing and they’ll be good as new next time you need them.
- Stock up on some reusable water bottles; fill them up before you head out to save money and reduce the need for single-use plastic.
- Use cleaning sprays with washable cleaning cloths to avoid one-use anti-bacterial wipes.
2. Grow your own
Growing your own vegetables is actually really simple, plus it can save you money and it’s good fun. Seeds are usually very inexpensive for the amount of produce made, and my kids really enjoying the process of growing their own.
It’s really handy too; when we need lettuce or radishes for a salad we pick them. Plus we know that there has been no plastic nor transportation involved, and that the veg has been grown naturally without chemicals. If you don’t have room for a veggie patch, a lot of produce can be easily grown in pots.
3. Turn the heating down by 1 degree
Turn the heating down by just 1 degree to be more eco-friendly and slash your bills. It makes very little difference to how warm your home is, but research shows it can reduce your heating bill by 10%! During the winter months especially our bills can go through the roof, so turn it down a little and, most importantly, put a jumper on!
4. Cut down on shower time
We’ve all heard the advice about swapping a bath for a quick shower but research shows that our showers can be far from quick, and modern shower heads often have really high water usage. But, just slashing your shower time by one minute can make such a difference – to your water consumption and your bills.
Water Wise say, ‘It is estimated that Britain ‘showers away’ more than 2,000,000,000 litres of water each day. If every home in the UK took one minute off their shower every day it would save £215 million on our collective energy bills every year.’ So, it’s definitely worth rinsing a little quicker!
5. Repair and improve
Fix what you can to avoid unnecessary waste. This year we’ve had a broken dishwasher and an oven blowing out cold air. Both things were fixed for about £30, by purchasing the parts ourselves and my husband fitting them. He is no expert, but with so many videos and tips online it’s getting easier to work out the problem and solve it yourself. If you aren’t up for this, hire a local handy man to help you out.
Upcycling is great way to give your old furniture, kitchen cabinets or fitted wardrobes a facelift. A fresh lick of paint can transform what you’ve got with very little expenditure; it’ll save your old bits and bobs from heading to landfill and it’s actually pretty simple to do!
Read my post on upcycling for step-by-step guidance.
6. Use LED lightbulbs
Electric bills can rocket during the winter – with lights on much earlier in the day. Replace bulbs with LED equivalents; they’re much cheaper to purchase than they once were and a good investment.
Switching to LED can save you a lot of money over time as they use far less energy than traditional light bulbs, which is much better for the planet too. The bulbs also last longer, so they’ll need replacing much less frequently – which is also a win for reducing waste whilst helping your bank balance! Be sure to turn the lights off when you leave a room too.
7. Make your own compost
Home composting is a great way to improve soil quality and make your plants happier. On top of this, it’s a really environmentally-friendly way to make the most of your kitchen and garden waste. Composting can be done all year round, whenever suitable materials are generated in the garden or home.
Read my post on making your own compost for more information.
8. Recycle the unrecyclable
Use the Terracycle website to recycle the unrecyclable – it’s incredible how much of our waste can avoid landfill if we’re more mindful. Just search for the item you would like to recycle and it will tell you the nearest place at which you can do so.
Recyclable items include: bread bags, baby food pouches, crisp packets, oral care products, beauty product packaging, biscuit / cake wrappers, dishwashing / cleaning packaging, confectionary packaging, pens and coffee pods.
Read my post on Terracycle for more information on how to get started.
9. Brush sensibly
Changing the way you brush can really lessen wastage, and it’ll save you money in the long run too. Biodegradable, bamboo toothbrushes can be purchased for around £1 each via Amazon; making them an affordable, planet-friendly option. But if you want to stick with plastic, use an electric brush so that the head can be swapped when needed.
Rechargeable, electric toothbrushes with changeable heads can be found for about £20 via Amazon – and the new heads are really cheap to replace; we use the unbranded versions which are compatible with our branded brushes. Oral care products can also be recycled through Terracycle, so you can make sure the used heads avoid the rubbish heap too!
10. Buy second-hand
When buying new furniture, a hundred quid might get you something cheaply made or wood veneer, whereas a hundred quid spent on a second-hand items could get you some well-built solid wood pieces, which will last for years to come.
Selling websites and social media pages have lots of bargains from furniture, to curtains, to rugs, to kitchenware! So always take a look before you buy new, as well as being better for the environment, it could save you a small fortune! Join Preloved today to get started on your second-hand adventure!