For a lot of people, new year’s resolutions are about making changes that don’t just benefit them but also benefit the planet. Living a green lifestyle, where the harm we do is as contained as possible, is a wonderful new year’s resolution and it can have the unexpected benefit of doing wonderful things for your finances as well. Here’s how.
Do Things Slowly
The modern day obsession of getting things done quickly, and getting places at speed, has done terrible things to our peace of mind, our planet and our finances. The quick solution doesn’t really exist and yet we spend money and resources in pretending that it does.
This year, try and do things at a slower pace. It’s all pretty simple- convert to using a slow cooker as opposed to a piping hot over. Your food will taste beautiful, and you haven’t used anywhere near as much energy to cook. Switch to cold water washing for your clothes and hang them out to dry. Dryers are eating up your electricity bill and can be killers for the planet.
Make Small Changes
Wrap your hot water system in an insulation blanket. It will make a significant difference by the end the year. Unplug appliances when they’re not in use and switch to using your laptop, not a desktop. They use far less power, especially if you switch them off at the end of the day. Use public transport once a week or talk to people who work in your area about car-pooling. The money to be saved is incredible and you’ll find lots of people willing to make changes in order to improve their carbon footprint.
Know The Lifecycle
Ever done battle with the conundrum of nappies and the green world? It goes like this- cloth nappies which you can wash obviously are made from less harmful materials and can be reused. But! The washing uses water and harms the planet. Plastic nappies, on the other hand, use terrible materials but don’t have the extra water usage. So what to do? Well, it’s much of a muchness. The latest I’ve heard is that if you don’t use a dryer, cloth nappies are marginally better. My point is that, sometimes, the best decision can be hard to know. Sometimes, it’s a line call. Your best bet, I think, is to stick to local produce as much as humanely possible.
There are less transportation costs and damages, a cost that isn’t passed on to the consumer. You don’t have to travel to get the product, and can organise wholesale or bulk buying. You also know the producer, which ensures knowledge of whether or not the product is green.
Being local can also mean you know the end of the lifecycle as well- such as composting, or supporting the local community garden, or redistributing food at the end of the day to charities (not ostensibly ‘green’ but avoiding wastage and providing a social service). Put it this way, as one website I read so aptly described it, if it’s costing you money, then it’s not all that green. To be green is live frugally.
Try buying less at the supermarket next time you go. Do you find yourself running out, or oddly find it was much more accurate than what you previously bought? Eat vegetarian two nights a week- it’s healthy, better for the planet and will have a great effect on your finances.