Is it getting noisy in there with all the talk about Sustainability, climate change, becoming plastic free?
I don’t know about you guys but all this discussion sometimes overwhelms me. Does it mean I need to spend more money and buy more things so that I can become more sustainable? Do I need to throw away all my plastic boxes and the IKEA plastic sandwich bags that I collected lovingly till a few years ago? Do I really need to buy that Beeswax wrap because otherwise, I am not being eco-friendly?
I will be the first to admit that when it comes to buying “Stuff” I tend to be more value conscious (or cheap!)
But in reality, being eco-conscious & living sustainably has been an exercise in thinking about what can I repair, reuse, recycle, rethink or refuse and saves me money.
Here are some of my tried and tested tips for pocket-friendly, eco-friendly living. Some of the side benefits include improving your health & wellness, saving money and saving the planet.
Tip 1: Shop Naked
You have heard this one everywhere! Fruit & Veg stored in plastic bags tends to breathe less and rot quicker. Also, chemicals from the plastic can leach into the food.
You don’t need to put your fruit & veg in plastic bags. Put them in your basket and weigh them loose. If you are worried about germs, well, you don’t know how they were transported in the first place and you are going to wash them at home anyway to get rid of the nasties & pesticides. If you are worried about the bruising and spoilage, invest in some good quality cloth bags, that you can carry with you. Our Veggie Bags are great for bagging, weighing and storing.
Also, remember in a lot of instances, it is cheaper to buy loose than packaged. For example, loose bananas can be cheaper by an average of 10% and onions by 30% (depending on the supermarket) *
*based on an article from www.moneysavingexpert.com
Tip 2: Reuse or repurpose
If you can, avoid buying something new. For example, I have recently started using the big yoghurt tubs as indoor planters. It makes for a great craft project for kids to decorate too (using eco-friendly glitter of course).
We do not throw away glass jars, coffee cans or reusable containers. My pantry does not look pretty and is definitely not Instagrammable because it is mostly a collection of old pasta sauce glass bottles and jam jars. Imagine how much money I have saved over the years not buying new containers. It also in budgeting food consumption (that’s a blog for another day)
Other ways you can save money:
Don’t buy a pre-filled cushion every season. Buy a smaller size cushion cover and refresh your decor.
That tired looking chest of drawers can be repainted in your favourite colour. Replace the old knobs with some gorgeous hand-painted handles and you will have a unique piece of furniture in your home.
If you do end up buying something new, try and ensure it is multifunctional.
Tip 3: Ditch the car
Honest confession: I can’t drive. Have not driven in 15 years but that has not stopped me from going places.
Walking everywhere within our local area has had some amazing benefits. It has given me time to hear my son’s stories, it has raised my heart rates and given me strong legs. I am not quite savvy enough to calculate how much fuel I might have saved or how much bus fare I have saved but I bet it all adds up.
So try walking! Not only will it be your contribution to the pollution levels in your area but if you walked locally everywhere or used a bicycle, you will also contribute to your health.