Most people don’t equate good budgeting with saving the planet. The truth is that environmentally friendly budgeting can have a sizable impact on your personal carbon footprint. It can help you cut your fuel bills, reduce waste and handle everyday resources more economically.
Use Up Food
According to the United Nations, collectively we waste 1.3 billion tonnes of food each year. With resources stretching as the world population grows it doesn’t make sense to do this. On a micro level, many of us buy food from the supermarket and leave it to rot in the fridge rather than use it. The truth is that using or purchasing only what you need is the most eco-friendly thing you can do.
Here are some tips for food buying:
- Do one weekly shop and only buy what you need.
- That means not only budgeting properly but planning the week’s meals in advance.
- Use everything – for example, if you have vegetable peelings or bones, make a stock out of it.
- If you have leftovers, then freeze them for later use.
One final food tip. A movement is growing in the UK for waste food supermarkets and cafes. Here, waste food from supermarkets, photo shoots, restaurants and other sources is diverted from heading to landfill sites and sold to the customer at whatever price they feel acceptable. Not only is this a great way to save money but it also has a massive positive impact for the environment.
Keep an eye out for waste food supermarkets and cafes opening up where you live.
Review Your Utility Budget
Another aspect of expenditure is the amount of energy we use. Are lights being left on? Is your heating on too high? It pays every so often to check how much a month you are spending on electricity, gas and petrol to see how it is impacting on your budget.
Reducing how much fuel we use can also lower will impact on the environment. According to the Telegraph recently, the cost of a running a household now takes up almost half people’s budgets.
Reducing your energy consumption and your water usage can all help you in your environmentally friendly budgeting. Here are a few ways you can do just that:
- Switch off when not in use – you’ll be surprised how much you save.
- Switch to an energy supplier offering lower prices but choose one that gets their electricity from renewable resources such as solar and wind.
- Walk or cycle rather than get in the car.
- Install a water meter and spend less time in the shower.
- Buy a water butt and use it rather than turning on the hose.
All these minor changes can make a big difference to your impact on the environment and put extra money in your wallet at the end of the month.
Reuse and Repurpose
Finally, how many of us buy a new product rather than mending or reusing something we already have. Every time you do this, you have an impact on the environment and your wallet. There are carbon emissions produced for each product created and there is the waste created by getting rid of things that we don’t want any more. Always reuse, repair and repurpose when you can.
For example, do you really need the latest mobile phone or does your existing device do the job it needs to do? How much more is it going to cost you a month if you are going to upgrade to the latest model? Keeping up with the current trends can be fun for a few minutes but doesn’t help us with our environmentally friendly budgeting. Try to curb your instincts to have new and shiny things and you’ll save a lot of money and significantly reduce your environmental impact.
There are plenty of ways you can combine effective budgeting with being environmentally friendly. All it takes is a little thought and the willingness to act.