How to be sustainable on a budget: 7 hacks!

Living sustainably doesn’t have to break the bank every month. It can be overwhelming when you decide to make a sustainable switch in your life because of the pressure to fully adopt a more eco-friendly, zero-waste lifestyle. But, for most of us this is unrealistic and it costs more money in the long run. The best thing to do is to make small, attainable changes to your lifestyle and take it from there. In today’s blog post we share seven practical ways that can help you live more sustainably and reduce your impact.

1.Use what you have

It’s easy to get caught in the trap of trying to swap everything you own for a sustainable alternative, especially if you really want to make a difference. However, this defeats the purpose of sustainability. So using what you already have and then over time slowly replacing things with more eco-friendly options is better. For example, if you own a bunch of plastic water bottles and containers it’s more sustainable to keep using them instead of getting rid of them and buying glass or aluminium ones.

2. Upcycle, upcycle, upcycle!

Often we’re so used to throwing things away that can actually be given a new life with a little bit of time and energy. Upcycling clothing or any other items can be a really fun activity, plus you’ll appreciate them more because of the time you’ve invested in it.

3. Learn to recycle properly

A lot of us think that because we recycle, we’re making a difference. But, it’s important to know that some materials aren’t recyclable and others require being recycled in a specific way. Electronic waste for example may need to be recycled at a different recycling depot compared to plastic or glass. Or, your particular recycling depot has specific ways in which they need your recycling to be sorted.

4. Turn off phantom loads

Phantom loads are appliances that consume electricity while they’re not being used. Most appliances can actually be turned off at the plug or even unplugged when they’re not in use, with the exception of fridges or freezers of course. Things like phone or laptop chargers can also be unplugged when not in use because they also consume energy. This hack can save you a significant amount of money over time!

5. Go paperless

This is handy when it comes to things like monthly bills or statements. Most accounts can be paid online and the bill can be emailed. This also frees up space in your home as it’s one less thing laying around.

6. DIY products

Most toiletry products like body cream, toothpaste or deodorant can be home made. This can free up a lot of your financial resources especially if it’s items you’re purchasing regularly. If you buy the ingredients in bulk, you’ll be able to save quite a bit, plus you’ll know exactly what’s going into the products you’re using.

7. Track your consumption

This is one of the most useful tips because it allows you to pin point where most of your consumption goes. Once you have a clear idea of this, you can review your consumption habits and create a plan that allows you to consume less. The goal here isn’t to be too frugal, so that things become unrealistic. It’s about creating reachable targets and building momentum to eventually decrease your carbon footprint.