5 Easy (money-saving!) ideas to make your home and life more sustainable

Everyone wants to do their little bit to help the environment and there are so many effective, yet simple changes that could be done around the house that could help the world become more sustainable. Here are just 5 great ideas that you could do on a day-to-day basis that will really contribute to a better planet. Oh, and some of them will even save you some money too..!

1 SUSTAINABLE FURNITURE

There are plenty of companies in the UK that are trying to limit their plastic usage and trying to do more with recycled materials. There are some companies, such as Happy Beds, that sell products that are made from 100% recycled materials. While you may think that investing in a recycled piece of furniture may not be quite as luxurious as the normal furniture that you could buy, they can certainly look the part. They can even be a great talking topic when you have guests over. Just don’t forget how much you’re helping the environment by making the changes.

2 OVERFLOOR HEATING

We all know that heat rises, so when a radiator is heated, it pretty much goes through the walls and out the ceiling, giving the room very limited heating. Plus, you’ll have to heat the radiators to a fairly high temperature to warm the space. Choosing overfloor heating instead will not only cut your monthly bill, but it will also help you contribute to a healthier environment. Overfloor heating is easy to install and will goes just below your carpet or laminate, rather than having to fit new pipes under the concrete like underfloor heating. As the heat will rise up with an even spread across the room, you can heat this to a lower temperature than you would with radiators – saving you money and helping the environment.

3 REUSE AND RECYCLE

If you don’t have a recycling bin yet, why not? Sometimes though, something non-recyclable may accidentally sneak into the recycling bin, which can contaminate the whole lot. Start being extra cautious about what goes in the recycling bin. I’ve just got a new recycling bin set-up so that I can separate glass from my plastics and tins. These ADDIS bins can be bought individually and the lids clip together to create a bin with any number of compartments. The bases are £5.99 and the lids are £2.99, so I can no longer use the excuse that recycling bins are way more expensive than regular bins!

Not only should you be recycling, but try to reuse what you can. If you’ve bought a drink from the shop recently, then keep that bottle in the house because you can reuse it a couple of times and you never know when it’s going to come in useful; the gym, a long Sunday walk or you could even reuse it around the home. My favourite thing to reuse is takeaway containers. Scrub them clean and then use them to store food or to take a packed lunch with you to work.

4 MAKE WISE CHOICES

When you’re doing your weekly food shop, take notice of what foods come in plastic packaging and what foods don’t. If you’re picking fruit and vegetables out yourself, then take your own bag with you rather than using one of their bags. I’ve recently been stocking up on store-cupboard items with Cupboard Love, where I can take my own containers (ANY containers, including my pretty Kilner jars and those washed-out takeaway tubs!) and refill them with rice, couscous, pasta, dried fruits and seeds. That way I’m only paying for the food rather than the packaging and have less rubbish to throw out.

Also, do you really need to invest in 150 plastic straws for a gathering at your house, when only ten people are arriving? You can buy metal straws, cardboard straws and even reusable plastic straws that you can wash over and over again. Get a reusable bamboo mug, like my travel cup from Pukka herbs and take a hot drink with you when you head out of the house. You’ll not only save money on your morning cuppa, but you’ll also be throwing away fewer disposable cardboard cups.

5 WATCH YOUR WATER

Washing up the dishes, brushing your teeth, taking a bath; you use the water in your house so many times during the day, and the chances are, you could decrease the amount that you use. A sustainable switch would be to swap your bath for a shower – they might not be as relaxing but will save gallons of water each time.

The recommended time to brush your teeth is of course two minutes – now think about how many times you could fill up a cup of water if you were to leave the tap running for that duration. Make sure that you turn it off while you’re brushing and turn it back on only when you need it. Plus, you’ll save money on your water bill!

Also, take a drink of water with you rather than buying it while you’re out. Just like taking a hot drink with you, it’s a good idea to refill a water bottle with fresh, filtered tap water when you’re going to the gym or out for a walk. It’s cheaper than buying bottled water and you’re not using more plastic than necessary. My Zerowater filter jug fits into the door of my fridge so I’ve always got fresh cold water ready to fill up my bottle when I’m heading out the door.

I hope this post has give you some ideas to make your home little more sustainable. Do let me know what you do in your home via the comments below, I’d love to hear your hacks and tips for a sustainable life. By the way,  I’m planning an eco-friendly Christmas gift guide for November so keep an eye out for that!

 

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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