Experts estimate that building an average eco-friendly home from scratch costs, on average, up to £200,000 in mainland UK. However, if you’re going to design a house that is entirely self-sufficient and can fully generate its own energy costs, you are looking at the best part of £1 million. Ouch. Needless to say that unless you’ve won the latest Euro Million lottery, you’re unlikely to embrace the green side of life. However, supporting the environment doesn’t have to break the bank. Contrary to common belief, you don’t need to burn through all of your savings to save the planet.
More and more households who decide to actively reduce their carbon footprint and their energy consumption wake up to a pleasant surprise. They can start to make a difference with the smallest of investments – and more often than not, without spending any extra money. If other words, you don’t have any excuse to postpone your environmental actions any longer. But there’s an additional bonus about going green in your household. Admittedly, there’s a sense of purposeful satisfaction in making the planet a better place. Yet it’s not all you get from your environmental efforts. Indeed, reducing your negative impact on the environment can end up saving you a lot of money. While it may not be the key to building your wealth, it’s certainly worth mentioning that mindful and eco-friendly approaches can also help to boost your budget.
The best way to cut down your carbon footprint: have less home
In theory, your home carbon footprint is calculated by measuring the total amount of greenhouse gases that your house produces. When you heat your household, for instance, using oil, gas, or coal, you generate carbon dioxide, CO2. Greenhouse gases are usually expressed in tons of C02, which means that anything that produces CO2 at home affects your carbon footprint. Other gases, such as methane and ozone, are also measured and converted into the equivalent amount of CO2 to gain a full picture. Methane, for instance, relates to the livestock industry, which is reflected by your meat consumption – but it’s something we’ll talk about later. To go back to your household, fossil fuels increase your carbon footprint. However, if you heat your home using an electric heating system, the power generation also emits a non-negligible amount of CO2. You can’t go through winter without heating your home. However, you can downsize your property, which will reduce your heating needs and costs. Using smart space-saving tips, you can ensure that the warm airflow without obstacles through the rooms, keeping it toasty for less!
It’s time to take gardening seriously
Garden allotments were popular during WWII as they provided households with the necessary food during the ration time. However, allotments have since fallen into oblivion. Most people don’t realise how much they could streamline their grocery needs if they grew their own food. Growing vegetables in your garden could be a game-changer! Not only are you more likely to eat organic food, but you could save a lot of money in the process. The addition of water tanks to collect rainwater can also ensure that you’re not wasting resources to maintain your garden. You can also convert your vegetable peels into natural compost, which nourishes your soil and encourage growth. The bottom line is that you can feed your family for virtually no money throughout the year if you know what to plant. Growing your vegetables reduces the need to import food and support pesticide-friendly agriculture techniques.
Embrace your meat-free meals
Growing your own vegetables can only go so far. It’s fair to say that you probably can’t feed your family just from your backyard vegetable bed. Nevertheless, you can try to shop mindfully, reducing your consumption of foods that have a high carbon footprint. Methane emissions, as mentioned earlier, are linked to livestock industries. Cutting down your consumption of meat can dramatically improve your carbon footprint. But, there’s another advantage to eating less meat. According to researchers, you could save on average £209 throughout the year. People who stop entirely eating meat can save a lot more if they adapt their diet to include more vegetables rather than meat substitutes.
Love the clothes you’ve already got
Ah, fashion! Who doesn’t like to browse the latest trends? The only issue about it is that trends change ALL THE TIME. And with them, the fashion industry has become the second-largest polluter in the world – right behind the oil industry. Oops. That little dress you’ve just bought is actually burning the planet to ashes. How about you change your fashion habits to love the clothes you’ve got? Not only are you going to save yourself headaches – it’s impossible to keep up with all the trends – but you’re also reducing your impact on the environment. More importantly, when you buy less, you’ve got more money in your bank account at the end of the month!
No more period pollution
Women dislike talking about their periods, that uncomfortable time of the month where everything hurts, and you crave chocolate cakes. However, you can’t ignore anymore the impact your period has on the environment. On average, you will have 450 periods over your lifetime. Pads, tampons, and their packaging have become an environmental challenge. The Ocean Conservancy collected a whopping 28,000 tampons and applicators on beaches around the world in a single day in 2015. These were flushed in sewer systems. Unfortunately, putting them in the bin is only going to send them to landfill. As a result, more and more women switch to reusable period kits, such as the period cup or washable panties. You might want to reconsider your tampon shopping.
Drive less, walk more
Driving has a cost, not only for your finances but also for the planet. While you may not be ready to ditch the car altogether – there may not be any viable alternative –, you can certainly try to walk more often. Indeed, not only can the practice help you to save on fuel and transportation expenses, but you can also improve your health levels.
Green households don’t need to break the bank to save the planet. On the contrary, you can start to make a difference without any huge financial investment. More importantly, you can even save a tonne of money in the process!