8 ways to save money that the environment will thank you for
“Thinking about how much money we spend on things we really don’t need is quite sad.” That’s what my friend said the other day, as we were in a cafe sipping 5€ cappuccinos. I added: “Yeah... Things that just add to our lifestyle of overconsumption and aid to our throwaway culture!” And there it was – a bright idea for a new, relevant blog post to write for the Spiir blog.
Here we go. It’s quite simple. The less you consume, the more sustainable and aware of the environmental issues, you are. But not only that. The less you consume, the more money you’ll save. That must truly be what we call a win-win situation!
But what do you need to do exactly? What habits do you need to change? And how hard is it to save money and stay sustainable at the same time? Don’t worry. It might sound more tricky than it is. In this post, we give you eight easy ways to save money and the planet at the same time.
Invest in a cool thermos and practice your barista skills
I’m definitely a sinner in this scenario. I love buying coffee from cafes. But I don’t love the hefty cappuccino transactions on my bank account. Now, the big problem is not that you go to a cafe and have a coffee. The issue is when you’re having that coffee to go. Because most to-go cups are made of cardboard and plastic, we only use them once. And that’s bad news for Mother Earth.
But the solution is quite simple. Invest in a cool thermos or to-go cup that you can use more than once. You can also take it to the next level. Start brewing your own coffee at home and take it with you. You’ll save the environment from excessive plastic and one-time-use products, and you’ll also save your bank account.
Same principle – but with a water bottle
Staying hydrated is healthy, good and crucial. Single-use plastic water bottles aren’t. Let’s face it. Plastic water bottles are not good for the planet or your wallet. Instead, go out and buy a cool water bottle you can reuse and always bring with you. You’ll save a lot of money, and you’ll save the environment from more plastic.
This tip might even have a positive effect on your health. By becoming best pals with your water bottle and always bringing it with you, it’s easy to refill it and stay hydrated.
On the bike we go!
If you prefer your bike over your car or public transportation, you’ll reap several benefits. You save money. You get where you need to go in a sustainable way. And you get a workout. You might even save time! What’s not to like?
By jumping on the bike, you’ll get to explore places you’ve never seen on your commute and you’re almost guaranteed a healthier life. “Oh, but it is cold and rainy!” Well – like a wise man once said: “There’s no such thing as bad weather – only inappropriate clothing.” So, grab your rain clothes and off you go. Take it from a Dane who’s always biking 😉
For the ladies: menstrual cups
Excuse me in advance if you’re a guy. For obvious reasons, this tip is not for you. If you’re female on the other hand, this is for you. You might have heard of the menstrual cups, and maybe you’re already the lucky owner of one.
If not, now is the time. It’s the best invention, period! It’s sustainable. You can use it for ten years and might not need more than that one. You’ll save tons of money. The menstrual cup is available from different brands at different prices. The price is approximately 20€. This might seem expensive, but not if you do the math. Instead of spending 5-10€ every month buying pads and tampons, you’re spending 20€ alone for the next 10 years.
Let’s say you’re spending 5€ every month on your period. 5€ multiplied by 12 months for 10 years equals 600€. By buying a menstrual cup, you’ll save 580€ as well as keeping lots of plastic and chemicals from the environment. Wow!
Reuse, reuse, reuse
It’s never been easier to go out and find just about anything in a used and way cheaper version. This goes for clothing, furniture, electronics that you can find online, through flea markets, and through second-hand stores. All it takes is that you’re up for the challenge of spending some time searching for what you’d like as well as contacting the seller and agree on how to get the product.
I once managed to find a great couch for only 25€. And once you begin buying used stuff, you’ll be amazed at what you can get for extremely low prices. And who knows – maybe you’ll learn to enjoy the hunt for the next great used bargain.
Swap clothes with friends
For a lot of people in today’s world, clothes feel outdated after we’ve worn it just a handful of times. That’s not right. But instead of going out shopping for more, have a fun swap-clothes-day with your friends. Make an event on Facebook, invite your friends and encourage them to bring their old clothes. Let the swap party commence! Your friend loves your old sweater, and you love their old pants. Perfect! A quick barter deal and you’ve updated your closet with what feels like brand new clothes. But the good part is that you haven’t even spent money, and you’ve saved the environment for unnecessary production.
Go meatless (at least once in a blue moon)
Meat is expensive and the production has a huge impact on the environment. Luckily, it’s a solvable issue. Eat less meat, especially of the red kind. A study shows that if you reduce your meat intake by 35%, you can limit the negative impact it has on the environment by 26%. In other words, it’s time to shake things up in the kitchen and rethink how you cook. More exactly, you’ll need to skip meat for seven out of your 21 meals a week.
Visit the library and bring home a cookbook for vegetarian and vegan food for inspiration for cooking tasty meatless meals. Or go to a vegan blog for the best recipes – there’s plenty of them. And finally, just have fun and be creative in the kitchen. It doesn’t take much and before you know it, you’ll have saved lots of money while treating the environment with respect.
Say no to food waste
An average Danish family throws away food worth of almost a 1,000€ every year. Scary and deeply unnecessary. The good news is that there are lots of ways to fight food waste. You can start using grocery lists and meal plans to make sure you only buy exactly what you need. Or you can organize your fridge so food that’s soon to expire won’t hide in the back. You can also freeze your food to make it last longer.
If you want to save a little extra while still fighting food waste, you can look up stores that sell products that will expire soon at a lower price. Or you can search for those kinds of products in your local supermarkets – a lot of them have begun selling these products at a specific spot in the market, so it’s easy for you to find them. If you want to take it to the next level, start dumpster diving in the supermarkets’ dumpsters.
Lastly, you can download the app Too Good To Go. The app provides an overview of restaurants and bakeries in your area that offer great discounts on food that they didn’t get to sell. Rather than tossing it away, they’ll sell it to you for a small fraction of the regular price.
Well, there you have it. There’s a lot of win-win situations, where you can keep your wallet and the planet happy.
So, time to get started. See how sustainable you can get, while saving big bucks in your everyday life with these tips.
We salute you!
This blog post has been brought to you by Spiir. Spiir is a free money app that has helped more than 300.000 users in the Nordics get a better grip on their finances. With one single click, you can see how you’re spending your money in a smart and fun way. You can easily set up personal spending goals, so you become more aware of your spending habits, and control how much spend on to-go coffee, bus tickets and groceries. Download the app today.