Sustainable Living on a Budget

Lately I have been more and more interested in how I can improve my lifestyle to become less wasteful, downsize the amount of stuff I have around the house and start making changes towards a more sustainable lifestyle.

And apparently, there is a lot that can be done. 

sustainable living

Sustainable living is defined  in many ways. 

The definition that I liked and thought to be simple enough is this one by Sustainable Friends: ‘living in a way that meets our need for food, water and shelter, without harming our environment or compromising the availability of essential resources for future generations’. 

Seemingly, there are a lot of different, small and big, changes that can be implemented in our life in order to bring us closer to a more thoughtful and sustainable lifestyle. 

From living sustainably around the house, to choosing more sustainable commuting options as well as making better fashion choices, there are plenty of options. Actually, The Minimalist Vegan defines as many as 57 changes you can make!

As much as I like the idea of living a greener lifestyle, after doing a bit of research, there was one thing that started to worry me – it seemed to require a lot of new investment.

And even if the new investments will pay off in the long term, not everyone can afford it to commit to that straight away.

This is why I gathered a bunch of budget friendly simple changes you can make, to live more sustainable life.

1. Leave Your Car Behind

One of the first that you can do if you live in a city, is to let your car rest for the day, and jump on a bus. Depending on where you live, public transport can be quite good and well connected.

There are tons of benefits to driving your car less:

  • less traffic jam
  • less stress about driving – you can spend your commute reading
  • most importantly, less green house gas emission, which is polluting our environment and is a huge public health issue

If you cannot or don’t want to take a bus, train or any other public transport, consider walking, biking or even getting on a scooter. 

Scooters are actually great, as they are lightweight and usually easier to carry around, but can still get you from point a to point b faster.

If you cannot invest in getting either of these, definitely consider walking. I spend around 30 minutes walking to and from work, and honestly, it is a great and easy way to stay fit, and I don’t have to worry about relying on traffic to get to work.

2. Buy Less, Reuse More

If you are on a budget, the main things that are rather inexpensive and definitely worth the investment are:

  • tote bags
  • water bottle
  • hot drink travel cup

These three items will already help you reduce the amount of waste that you are producing, and also save some money. 

With plastic bags costing at least 5 pence, every time you are purchasing a bag with your groceries, not only you are adding to the waste issue, you are spending money that you do not have to spend. And even if the cost seems rather small, over time, it adds up.

Totes bags are great and endurable to carry your groceries, they are small enough to easily fit in your hand bag or even pocket, and way more fashionable than plastic bags.

Water bottles and travel mugs are also great investment, especially if you are out and about, making sure you are drinking enough water by buying water from a local store (that usually comes in a plastic bottle) or getting take away coffees to wake yourself up.

Carrying your own water bottle means you are not only reducing the amount of waste you are producing, but again, actually saving money!

As for travel mugs, it will help you reduce waste, and also might even prevent you from buying that extra cup of coffee in the morning from your local shop, since you will be able to make it at home and take it with you. 

Other small changes you can make is saying no to plastic straws in restaurants, bars and cafes, and making use of those recycling bins that usually are very much abandoned.

3. Don’t Buy, Repair!

Repurpose and repair your items instead of throwing away and buying new things. 

With clothes especially, it is so easy to go and purchase something new, even if you don’t necessarily need it. And chances are, there might already be a similar piece of clothing in your wardrobe.

In my case, more often than not, I tend to wear the same couple items over and over again completely ignoring the rest of my wardrobe. This way, sadly, not only I forget what I own, I tend to buy the same or similar things because I think I don’t have them yet. 

Another thing I noticed with quite a few people, is that they throw away clothes if they have holes in them. These kind of ‘damages’ most of the time can be easily fixed, allowing to enjoy your clothes for longer.

In general, try to not make spontaneous purchases, think if you really need something or if you could repurpose, repair or reuse something that you already have at home. 

Making a change doesn’t always have to be expensive. Sometimes it’s the little things that count and make most of the difference.

I hope that these ideas on how to live a slightly more sustainable life will help you in make some changes and not only to live greener, bur also save some money.

Do you have any tips on how to live a more sustainable life? I would love to hear them!

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