We’ve all seen and heard about the huge environmental impact that humans have had on the planet in recent years- and the truth is, it’s only getting worse. It’s one thing to watch Blue Planet II and attentively listen to David Attenborough’s warnings on climate change, but it’s quite another to put learnings into action and make changes to how you spend your money.
Choosing where and how to spend your money can have a direct effect on the environment. You can make a difference by actively deciding which products to spend your money on, and which products not to spend your money on. No one can be the perfect environmentalist, but if we all start with a few small changes we could be on our way to a healthier planet (and a healthier bank balance too!)
A regular outgoing like your energy bill is a great place to start. Consider switching to a green energy supplier like Bulb, who guarantee to supply you with 100% renewable energy. Their gas is also 100% carbon neutral. Just one phone call to switch to a green energy supplier means that you are spending your money on something better for the environment- and as a bonus you might even make a saving on your current rate.
Another regular area of your expenditure will be food. There is no escaping spending a large part of your pay cheque on food, but you could seriously reduce your food bill by eating vegetarian meals more regularly. Not only will eating more vegetarian meals reduce your outgoings, but it also helps to reduce global warming- adopting a vegetarian diet is widely considered to be the biggest impact an individual can have on improving climate change.
And what about clothes? Looking after the environment doesn’t mean that you have to stop buying new clothes altogether. You can choose to make your spending better for the environment by buying less clothing, and making sure that when you do make purchases, you are buying quality garments which will stand the test of time. This means that you might spend more money on individual purchases, but if you make considered purchases that you will wear for years, you will be spending less money in the long run.
As well as buying less clothing, you should also make sure that you are making the best choices for your unwanted clothing. Make sure that you donate, recycle or repair old clothes to give them a second chance and ensure they do not end up in landfill. High street stores such as H&;M and &Other Stories have dedicated drop off points so that you can fill up a bag with your old clothes, bring it into store and receive a £5 voucher.
Even if the biggest change that you make to your spending is to start carrying around a reusable coffee cup every day, it is still making a difference- imagine 365 disposable coffee cups in a line- that’s a lot of yearly waste for just one person! Plus, if you bring your coffee from home, you’ll even be saving yourself some money as many coffee shop chains offer discounts for reusable cups. Having the environment in the back of your mind when you spend your money will not only help to save the planet, but it will also help you to spend less. You’ll get the smug satisfaction of doing your bit for the environment whilst feeling good about your finances too- and who doesn’t want that?!
Laura became a Londoner in September 2016 and once moving to the capital realised she was going to have to put herself onto a strict budget. She started the Thrifty Londoner blog to share the money making, saving, and budgeting schemes that she has learned along the way. Her regular series ‘Savings Stories,’ aims to lift the lid on the struggles that millennials face when trying to make ends meet whilst living in London, with rent prices skyrocketing and wages stagnating.