Lower the cost of living and save the planet with 14 eco-friendly hacks

Climate change is not going away with the cost of living crisis. However, for most people right now, many of the obvious “green” keys — such as buying a heat pump or switching to an electric car — are out of reach.

But owning a Tesla or living in a new, high-efficiency home isn’t the only way to live a low-carbon lifestyle. There are plenty of free and very cheap lifestyle hacks that can shave off a significant portion of the average person’s carbon footprint.

I He’s compiled some of the easier keys to getting a greener life below. the best thing? None of them will cost more than a movie ticket, and many of them will even save you money.

Switch bank accounts

Switching bank accounts is a five-minute task that can have a huge impact. Shift your money away from the banks that finance fossil fuels, and to the banks that support green investments, to send a message to the finance industry that you want to change. Starling, Co-Op, and Triodos regularly score highly in independent ratings for their environmental and ethical policies.

Put an end to daily washing

Most people wash their clothes a lot. This not only wastes energy and water, but may also damage the garment’s fibers, hastening the garment’s demise.

Says Ursula de Castro, co-founder of Fashion Revolution and author of I love the last clothes.

“The tendency is only to pick up off the ground [and] He pushed it into the machine, without understanding the properties of the fibers from which the clothes we wear are made.”

She urges people to only wash clothes in the washing machine when necessary, and to spot or steam wash clothes between washes to keep them fresh.

“The best rule of thumb is your instincts. Go back to sniffing things out before you push them into the machine,” she says.

Go meat-free on Monday

Reducing the amount of meat and dairy in your diet is good for your health and the planet. Skipping meat one day a week can reduce your annual carbon footprint as much as not driving your car for an entire month. Designate Monday as a meat-free day, and vegetarian cooking will soon become second nature. Find recipe ideas at MeatFreeMondays.com.

Create a driving-free zone around your home

About a quarter of all car trips are less than two miles, and more than half are less than five miles. These are the easiest trips to switch to eco-friendly alternatives like biking, walking or sledding, according to Dr Christian Brand, associate professor of transport, energy and the environment at Oxford University. Consider drawing a two-mile radius around your house, and stop using the car for trips within this area. This will make your home fitter, improve air quality in your area, and reduce carbon emissions – in addition to saving on fuel costs.

Set the timer for showering

A powerful shower can enter eight liters of hot water per minute, which means a 10-minute shower can use as much hot water as a shower. Put an eco-friendly shower head in the shower (many water companies give it away for free) and set a three-minute timer for your morning shower.

Make second hand your first choice

Car box fairs and antique markets can be a treasure trove for the second-hand shopper (Photo: Justin Tallis/Getty)

Buying used goods is one of the fastest (and cheapest) ways to start shopping sustainably. For example, keeping clothes circulating for longer reduces demand for new items and stops unwanted clothes from accumulating in landfill.

If you don’t like wandering around charity stores and car box sales, there are now a host of different websites and apps that make it easier than ever to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Vinted and Depop are great for secondhand clothing, eBay and Narchie are homeware places, and Gumtree can throw in some surprisingly used gems that won’t cost you at all.

“I’ve spent an entire year buying only used stuff, for my budget and for the environment,” said blogger Jane Berry, author of Shoestring Cottage. I.

“I found that there are very few sources that you cannot use if you are patient. Now that my used year is over, I still rarely buy anything new.”

Look at home for energy absorbing bulbs

It’s been more than a decade since the UK began phasing out incandescent bulbs as part of an EU-wide shift to greener LEDs, which last longer and use 90 per cent less energy. But there may still be a few energy-absorbing bulbs lurking in old light fixtures or sidelights around your house—switching them out will save energy and lower your electric bills in one fell swoop. Halogen lights are also energy draining and will soon be banned in the UK, so stay ahead of the game by switching them out for LED lights as well.

Use a coffee cup to compost on the go

When food decomposes in landfill, it produces methane, a gas that is heating the planet many times more powerful than carbon dioxide. But when food waste is collected by boards, it is usually sent to anaerobic digestion, a process in which methane and other gases from rotting food are captured and used as fuel. It is therefore important to treat all inedible foods or household compost in this way. This includes orange peels and sandwich peels from lunchtime, so put them in a reusable coffee cup and take them home at the end of the day.

Give up gifts

It’s easy to get caught up in the endless gift-buying cycle for family, friends and acquaintances every birthday, Christmas or anniversary. But more important than a hastily picked Main Street gift is the gift of time — why not offer to mow loved ones, babysit their kids, or cook up a snack one night instead?

Lower the thermostat

Households with a gas boiler can cut their emissions and fuel bill in one fell swoop by adjusting the thermostat. If everyone in Great Britain turned off the thermostat by one degree Celsius, we would collectively reduce energy bills by £670m, while saving 3.5m tonnes of CO2 per year, according to the Energy Saving Trust. The ideal temperature for a green house? The Committee on Climate Change recommends setting thermostats at 19°C or less.

Spread your plants

Most houseplants are grown from cuttings in a tropical country, then flown to Holland to grow to salable size, before being shipped to Europe and Britain.

Instead of buying a new plant, a greener option is to propagate new plants using cuttings from friends and family. This will cut off all energy use associated with growing nursery plants and moving them around the world.

Almost all houseplants are easy to propagate, said Jay Barter, chief gardener at the Royal Horticultural Society. I.

“Some of them, like chlorophytum plants (spider plants) and similar plants actually produce offsets. So you just have to take an offset, install it, and go away.”

The succulent leaves can be planted directly into the soil, he added, while plants such as pothos (devil’s ivy) can multiply by taking cuttings and popping the stems in a jar of water until they begin to germinate new roots.

Unsubscribe from all emails

The key to lowering your consumer footprint is simply buying less stuff. But that’s easier said than done, especially when brands clog your inbox with marketing emails and discount codes every day of the week. Reset your shopping habits by unsubscribing from all brands marketing emails, and unfollowing all brands on social media. Without those constant reminders, you’ll be surprised how quickly your urge to shop subsides.

Boost your bathroom recycling

It’s easy to forget about recycling when there’s no trash on hand. Campaigners estimate that while 90 percent of packaging is recycled in the kitchen, only half of recyclable bathroom waste finds its way into the green trash. Put a second container in the bathroom to make sure the toilet rolls and shampoo bottles don’t end up in the landfill.

Sharing means caring

You ordered a lot of bananas at the weekly food store? Are you on vacation with a freezer of food at home? It’s time to call Olio, a food-sharing app that brings people with junk food together with those in need.

“People are generally surprised to find that greenhouse gas emissions from one kilogram of food waste are equivalent to burying 25,000 gigantic plastic bottles,” says co-founder Tessa Clark.

“By sharing your spare parts with a neighbor, you’ll also feel better too, especially when so many people are going through tough times as a result of the cost-of-living crisis.”