We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to ways we can create positive change for our planet. And supporting the environment really doesn’t have to break the bank. DOSE writer Emily shares her best tips for how to live a more sustainable lifestyle on a budget in time for World Environment Day 2021, taking place on June 5th…
Living in a digital era, sustainability is more accessible than ever before. Each of us has the power to make a difference, even when on a budget. Every change adds up when we’re all taking small actions together. Leading brands are empowering people to make change, new sustainable businesses are being created and communities are coming together to collectively protect the place we call home.
Here are our tips for how to live a more sustainable lifestyle on a budget for this World Environment Day. And every day for that matter…
How do you live a sustainable lifestyle?
1. BUY AND SELL SECOND-HAND CLOTHING
Did you know that over 92 million tonnes of textile waste goes to landfill every year? By shopping (and selling) second-hand, you can prevent not only the clothing from going to waste, but also the Carbon Dioxide that’s emitted with it.
Second-hand digital fashion platform Thrift+ is on a mission to ensure no item of clothing that could be worn is thrown away. Making it easier for you to re-sell rather than discard, Thrift+ rivals fast fashion with their totally sustainable shopping experience. All you need to do is order a bioplastic, reusable ThriftBag (made from sugarcane), fill it up with your unwanted clothing and return it, for free. Their expert team of Thrifters will do the rest for you. It’s really that simple. A quick win for you decluttering your wardrobe and a long lasting win for the environment. Since launching in 2017, Thrift+ has already stopped 350,000 items of clothing reaching landfill. Instead, they have given them a second life.
And the good stuff doesn’t stop there. Thrift+ also allows you to choose from a list of 12,000 charities and when your items sell, you can donate a minimum of 50% of profits. Supporting ethical fashion AND purposeful organisations that make the world a better place. Bravo! So, have a clear out, donate your once treasured goods and enable the second-hand industry to thrive. Also as a shopper, if you’ve got a special occasion coming up, try not to buy something you’ll wear once. Instead browse Thrift+ and be the change in making circular fashion happen.
2. REDUCE FOOD WASTE FOR A SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE
Rescuing food that would otherwise go to waste is one of the cheapest ways you can support the planet. If you love food but can’t bear to see it end up in the bin, become a volunteer at OLIO. Picking up unsold surplus food from cafes, restaurants and street food markets across the country, each team of volunteers at OLIO brings the food home, lists it on the app and redistributes it to their community. A similar concept, Too Good To Go connects customers to restaurants that have un-bought food. You could also head to your favourite local supermarket and grab the last reduced items before closing time. Any excuse for a night-time indulgence, hey.
It’s thought that household food waste actually makes up for about 70% of the UK’s post-farm gate total, so being more mindful of how you eat at home is another easy and inexpensive option. You can save up to £700 per year by planning your meals, bulk prepping and only buying food you know you’re going to consume. Before throwing any leftovers or scraps into the bin, try whipping up a creative meal instead. A big hearty soup usually does the trick or you can check out eco warrior Lagom Chef for inspiration. And don’t be afraid to use your freezer for food that’s going out of date but can be enjoyed in a delicious meal another time.
But, if all else fails and you really do have to throw food away, try to use a food waste bin. Food waste is broken down in something called an anaerobic digester and produces biogas which is then used to produce heat, electricity and fuel. And of course, where possible, a compost bin is always a game-changer.
3. USE MORE REFILLABLE PRODUCTS
The first step is of course swapping single-use coffee cups and plastic water bottles for keep cups and S’well bottles. But asides from these easily implementable changes, we can go that one step further to convert to more refillable products. From skincare to beauty to cleaning products, most brands on the shelves now offer refillable options. It’s empowering to know that big companies are pathing the way for others to level up and follow the trends. For example, Boots in Covent Garden has a whole refilling station dedicated to Beauty Kitchen products. As well as a rehydration point where you can refill your water bottle. Online retailers like Feel Unique, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols also stock refills of popular products from brand favourites.
With no toxins or nasties and made from plants, Wild is another easy swap to make which will have a significant impact. As the world’s first zero-plastic deodorant refill, there are lots of different fragrant compostable refills available. And the stylish outer case can be used again and again. Smol also delivers eco-friendly products straight to your door at the best price. From the world’s most effective laundry capsule to toxic free concentrated surface cleaner, you buy once and reuse forever. Choosing to shop in this ethical way means you’ll see value coming straight back into your pocket, as well as the planet.
4. SWAP YOUR PERIOD PRODUCTS
Going eco-friendly applies to your period too. As one of the least spoken about sources of single-use plastic, most mainstream period products are wrapped in plastic and can’t be recycled. So by the time they reach the bin after use, they’re heading straight to landfill, European beaches or polluting our ocean. If you want to reduce your impact on the planet, you need to think about which products you’re using when you bleed.
Don’t worry, you can care about the environment and still use tampons. You just need to make sure they’re organic. We love Ohne’s 100% biodegradable tampons as they’re totally natural, unscented and unbleached. With an easy to use subscription service available, you can pick from regular, super, super+, naked or applicator tampons each month. Whatever suits you and your flow. With free delivery, this sustainable lifestyle option is a no-brainer. Another great choice is TOTM’s sustainable tampons designed for maximum comfort. Using GOTS certified organic cotton, these tampons have 100% recyclable packaging and a cotton veil to prevent shedding when inside your body.
If you’re looking to sustainably replace mainstream products altogether, you could invest in some washable, reusable briefs. Designed to absorb your period, Thinx pants are leak-resistant and odour controlling. Or for real eco-warriors, the leading menstrual cup brand Mooncup is a zero waste option that will last you for up to eight years. While both of these reusable options have a higher price point initially, they last much longer so you’ll see value coming back within just a couple of months.
Liked this article on ‘How To Live A More Sustainable Lifestyle On A Budget’? For more suggestions on how to have a sustainable period, check out our article on the best products.
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