Sometimes it can be expensive to try and live an eco-friendly lifestyle. The cost of living crisis is having an effect on us all and its harder to afford sustainable alternatives, organic fruit and veg or shopping at specialist businesses. But there are still ways to be eco-friendly and save money. Years of living as a struggling student has given me some unique insights and I feel like now is the right time to share them…
- The Magic Of Coconut Oil
Skin and beauty products are not only expensive but they often contain chemicals that are bad for both you and the environment. Something I have found to work just as well can be bought in pretty much any supermarket: coconut oil. It will usually be marketed as culinary however this fantastic oil has a lot more uses than that. Coconut oil can be used as a hair mask to help damaged hair, it can be used as a natural makeup remover, as a key ingredient in body scrubs, and all kinds of DIYs! Some shops will try and sell it at high prices, but I often find in the “world foods” section there are cheaper jars of coconut oil which work just as well!
2. Join Your Local Community Fridge
Many areas have food co-operatives or community fridges which offer the food that supermarkets no longer want for discount prices or even for free! These items are all good to use and would be wasted otherwise. You can look up where your closest community fridge is online. Not only are you supporting a community project and saving perfectly good food from landfill, but you can also get a great amount of food for very little cost.
3. Clothes Swaps
Clothing can be expensive and the fast fashion industry is one of the world’s worst polluters. Instead of adding to this cycle why not participate in a clothes swap? These days most towns and cities have them on quite regularly and if you haven’t heard of any you can always start one in your local area or do a more intimate swap with friends or colleagues! This way you can clear out what you don’t wear in your wardrobe and swap it for some new items you’ll love.
4. Charity Shops
I love charity shops. If there is ever a birthday or a big holiday like Christmas coming up, charity shops are where I head. You can often find unique gifts and items that are very affordable, and the money you are spending goes to a good cause! What could be better?
There has recently been a resurgence in the popularity of DIY projects, crafting and repairing items, pushed by trends such as Cottagecore aesthetics or Punk. You can find endless tutorials and ideas for free online on Pinterest, TikTok or YouTube. Or you can even come up with your own ideas using what you have around the house. I recently moved into a new flat and have really enjoyed making home décor out of recycled materials. I also love to make my own jewellery out of air dry clay. Not only is it enjoyable making it but it doesn’t cost much and you get something special to keep or give as a gift.
6. Go Outside
Going out in nature has proven benefits for both the body and the mind. Having a walk in your local green space costs nothing and has endless possibilities. You could go mushroom spotting, identify the local flora and fauna, nature watch, or take a book out and read it under an oak tree, romanticising your life a little. Not only is this free, but a greater connection and appreciation of nature can help us want to protect it, fuelling our climate activism!
7. Resist The Urge To Spend
We live in a capitalist society which is constantly telling us to spend. Every day we are bombarded with advertisements on TV, YouTube, podcasts, social media, billboards — it’s inescapable. As such we often feel the urge to spend money or buy things we don’t really need to fill the void. I struggle with mental health issues and I often find I have the urge to treat myself by buying something new. But recently I’ve realised the best treats can be free, such as playing my favourite video games, catching up with a friend, or reading an old comfort book. It’s also worth looking at your bank history to find out what most your money is going on — those Starbucks coffees or little shopping sprees do add up. Figure out what you can cut down on or if these are things you really need.
8. Vote Out The Tories
This one doesn’t really need much explaining… I think we all know that the Tories only really care about the rich and that our economy could be handled much better. I’m honestly tired of things getting out of hand under Tory leadership. We need a general election. We need change. If we really want to save money and the environment, we need people in charge who care: we need the Tories out.
I hope those hacks help a bit! If you have any more ideas on ways to save both money and the environment then please comment below.