Save money and save the earth at the same time by doing lots of small things that, when added up, can make a significant impact. The most important thing is that your approach to sustainability will rub off on other people around you. Here is a random (ish) list of things that i have found i can do in my family of 4 living a busy urban life in Hackney.
- Freeze herbs
- Juice or smoothie ice lollies
- Take your lunch to work
- keep a stack of paper
- Reuse packaging
- Carry around a reusable tote bag
- Use less water
- Think twice before buying things
- Clean our your fridge regularly
- Buy second hand
Here is some more detail on each of these ideas, they are mostly from my own experience, i'm sure you can think of loads more ways too.
When you buy a bunch of herbs, package and freeze them for use, don't let them go bad and throw them away. Freezing works well for basil, chives, oregano, lemon balm, mint, or tarragon. Frozen herbs can be used in the same proportion as fresh herbs. Remember though they will be limp when defrosted, but will still add the same kinds flavour to your cooking.
Juice or smoothie ice lollies
As above, if you find yourself with too much juice or smoothie, freeze them and make ice lollies. The kids love them and they are much healthier than shop bought ones too.
Keep a stack of paper
Keep a box of paper for scribbling and notes. My kids always want to draw pictures and using the backs of other paper stacked neatly can sometimes do the trick.
When you order items online, open the packaging neatly and use them for sending out other items. You will save money too. When you are selling items for example on ebay/depop/facebook marketplace, you can use the packaging that you receive, postal packaging can be re-used several times over, just put aside a box to store it all in to make it easier for yourself to access.
Carry around a reusable tote bag
You never know when you might need to carry some extra things or buy something, and we are all know that getting plastic bags from shops should be a last resort. Carry around a reuse-able tote bag and you will not regret it. I also find they are useful for carrying around the sticks and stones that my kids ask me to carry home after a day in the park. At Goodordering we sell some reuseable tote bags that we designed to raise money for various charities. You can see them HERE - this is our "eat fruit, ride fast" tote bag.
Use less water
Take your lunch to work
Think twice before buying things
This is easier said than done. When shopping online i do this thing where i add items to the basket and don't purchase them straight away. Simply saying no to things you don't need, and being appreciative for what you already have is one of the biggest steps you can take to reducing your waste.
Clean out fridge regularly
Just seeing what is inside my fridge and cupboard is a way to cut down on waste because i become more conscious of items that i regularly let go bad or throw away. Rather than waiting for food to completely go bad you can often salvage things for soups or currys.
Buy second hand clothes and items
Thrift or charity shop shopping is not only great for the environment but it is also a lot of fun and you are also able to find really unique things that you can't buy when shopping for new items. The prices can also be lower so you can also save money at the same time. Here is a great little guide to thift/vintage/second hand shopping in London. You can find similar guides for all cities around the world.
Small things you can do to reduce waste in your life
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Electric bikes - questions to ask yourself when buying
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