According to research, 88% of people who watched Blue Planet II with David Attenborough have now changed their lifestyle as a result. Footage, such as albatross parents feeding plastic to their chicks, left many people shocked by the impact that humans are having on the natural world. This is just one sign that there is great momentum right now behind the idea of “going green” and living a more sustainable lifestyle. And it’s not just the planet that can benefit from the changes that humans can make – your own bank balance could start to flourish too.
What you should do to go green and save money
- Switch to a green energy provider. With energy prices increasing it makes financial sense to look for a cheaper option and if that also improves your carbon footprint then everyone wins. Energy suppliers such as Tonik provide 100% green energy (which includes green biogas). Not only that but they can also help you to save money, around £240 a year compared to the big energy companies like NPower or British Gas.
- Don’t buy bottled water. Plastic bottles are usually impossible to dispose of without filling up landfill and can be incredibly pricey if you’re drinking litres of water every day. Plus, there have been some health scares when it comes to the impact of sunlight on plastic bottles and how this can release toxic antimony and bisphenol A into the water. Switching to a refillable bottle instead will help you to cut down on costs, avoid health scares and is far better for the environment too.
- Go vegan. Cutting out meat and animal products isn’t just about improving your health or increasing your Instagram following. A recent study by the University of Oxford found that eating a vegan diet could reduce an individual’s carbon footprint by up to 73%. The study suggested that veganism could be the “single biggest way” for consumers to reduce their environmental impact on earth. This is because manufacturing of meat and dairy is responsible for 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions. Going vegan can also be healthier for your bank balance too, as meat is often one of the most expensive products in any shopping basket.
- Change the way you travel. There are so many options for reducing environmental impact by changing the way you travel. Walking is totally carbon neutral – and free – for example, and if you have a bike you can give up your gym membership and start cycling everywhere instead. For car-dependent households, consider switching to an electric vehicle – government grants can make these cheaper to buy and in a year or two these innovative cars will achieve price parity with petrol vehicles in terms of fuel.
- Be a more considerate cleaner. When you’re washing clothes, use a colder temperature and stay away from the drying cycles, as these consume an incredible amount of expensive energy. Wait to do your laundry until you have a full load so that you’re not wasting energy and water on half a drum full of dirty clothes. If you want to save money and cut back on the use of toxic chemicals in your home you can also switch to old school cleaning products. For example, try baking soda instead of disinfectants and a combination of liquid castile soap, lemon or orange oil, and vinegar instead of manufactured washing up liquid.
- Take control of your energy consumption in the home. If your energy bills feel totally out of control and you’re worried about the impact you’re having on the environment there are ways to start taking control of this. For example, you can install a smart meter so that you have real insight into where you’re using the most energy and where you might be able to cut back. Small changes like energy saving light bulbs can make a huge difference, both in terms of carbon footprint and also cost. Something as simple as ensuring you turn out the light when you leave the room can shave a lot off your annual energy usage and bills.
“Going green” is a choice but for many people it’s now becoming an essential way of life. Concern for the environment is driving us to take bolder steps towards living more sustainable lifestyles. Plus, the financial benefits of being more considerate and eco friendly are stacking up. If you want to make 2019 the year that you reduce your carbon footprint these tips provide a great place to start.