5 ways to be sustainable on a budget

Here are 5 great hacks on sustainability for when you’re on a budget!

The pandemic has hit us hard in many ways. Jobs are scarce at the moment and a few of us are on a shoe-string budget. Sometimes it can feel like you have to be rich to afford some of the products in Eco Shops (who can afford a bamboo razor for £17!?) but when my friend asked me for some tips on affordable sustainability it made me think of some of the hacks I’ve learned as a student fighting for the environment.

  1. Eco Swaps!

You don’t have to pay lots of money on bespoke Eco products when something a lot simpler will do the trick. Use your imagination and see what you have around you that can do some good. For example, last year I bought some cute eye-make up remover pads for about £6 which fell apart in days and got bits of fluff in my eyes. I’ve since discovered that a simple £1 face cloth from Home Bargains will do just the trick. Or instead of buying expensive beeswax wraps for keeping food fresh, why not use jam jars, takeaway boxes, or even a bowl covered with some tinfoil instead? (Remember to rinse and recycle the tinfoil after.)

2. Growing Food

Organic fruit and veg can be expensive, so why not grow some from seed? Seed packets usually only cost a couple of pounds (the usual price for an organic punnet of strawberries) and you can grow loads of produce yourself! I’ve grown cherry tomatoes in my window with enough leftover to give some to friends and family. Also, some foods you can regrow, like spring onions. Save the bottom bit of your spring onion in a little jar of water, changing the water every couple of days, and watch it magically regrow itself! Saving money and waste.

3. Save plant seeds for next year

If you’re a plant lover like me, you’ll enjoy getting your fingers green come spring-time. Plants are great for the environment too, they help purify the air, and you can grow insect friendly plants to help our pollinators thrive. Something simple you can do to be thrifty is save your plant seeds for next year. I hadn’t even thought of this until I was dead-heading my Marigolds and discovered lots of little bits underneath the petals which looked just like the seeds that had come in the packet. I ended up with hundreds of seeds from just a few flowers and I can’t wait to grow more next spring.

4. Have a Stay-cation

This is kind of a no-brainer with the pandemic going on, but why not have a stay-cation instead of going abroad? Air travel is one of the biggest polluters and can be the reason why your own carbon footprint is huge. So instead of spending money going to Ibiza this summer, why not stay in the UK and go to a B&B in Cornwall or camping in Wales? Wales also have some free bus services on the weekends, although always remember to wear your face-masks and social distance.

5. Upcycle

I’m a big believer in up-cycling things. I save all my glass jars and use them as flower pots, a container for my shampoo bar, or I make bath salts in them for Christmas. I also save plastic tubs to keep my plant pots in, or I keep broken cardboard boxes to make into placards for Climate Strikes. Speaking of which, on a last note: activism is free.

It doesn’t cost any money to share environmental posts on your Facebook page, to borrow books from the library on the climate crisis, or to go to a climate strike. So be an activist to your heart’s content without having to dip into your wallet.

— This blog post was inspired by a question from my friend. If you have any Questions on environmental or sustainability things then go ahead and ask me on my contact page and I might just make a blog post to answer it. Also follow my Instagram where I’ll share more information and regular Q&A opportunities. —


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