Living sustainably on the cheap

Tuesday 6th of May 2014

I was asked to come up with a list of 10 things you can do to live more sustainably on the cheap by Edith Cowan Uni for their newsletter. In the midst of writing a report for Council when asked, this sounded like a great opportunity (OK... distraction).Thought I'd share the list as a little reminder to our Earth Carers. This was a fun and relatively quick brain dump.

What are your top sustainability tips that are super cheap?

10 of the CHEAPEST things you can do to live more sustainably: 

  1. Cut single-use disposable plastic out of your life! - every piece of plastic ever produced still remains somewhere on earth today, why would you use something once that's going to be around forever? Start on the 4 easiest dumb single-use plastics 1. Use a refillable water bottle 2. Remember your re-useable shopping bags 3. Use a re-useable coffee cup 4. Say 'NO' to straws. Visit Plastic Free July to find out more about the challenge and get tips on plastic-free living
  2. Plan your meals and write a shopping list - buy only those things on the list. Each Australian household throws away 1 in every 5 bags of groceries each week - that's a massive waste of food AND your hard earned $$$
  3. Eliminate ghost standby power suck - turn standby electrical items off at the wall or get a power board where you can turn each gadget off individually. 
  4. Love a bargain? I'll say 2 words...OP SHOP! - lots of people drop off their used clothes and goods at op shops but have you tried buying stuff from one recently? Buying second hand means less resources are used creating new stuff and keeps good items out of landfill (for longer). Gumtree and other online second hand/free sites are also great.
  5. Turn your lights off when you're not in the the room - duuh! sounds obvious but it's time to bust the myth that it takes more energy to turn a light on than switching if off when not in use.
  6. Shop at local farmers markets - the produce has a smaller footprint as it's only travelled from up the road, plus you get to meet the grower, buy food that's in season (read: tastier and healthier) and often get bargains. Growing your own organic herbs and vegies is cheaper and more sustainable still. 
  7. Unleash the power of vinegar and bi-carb soda for cleaning - super cheap and easy plus you don't get exposed to nasty toxic chemicals.
  8. Buy from loose produce shops - don't pay for a 1kg when you only want 100g! at loose produce shops you only get what you need saving cash and food waste. You can also take your own containers/bags for refilling earning your bonus sustainability points.
  9. Walk,ride or PT it - saves $ on parking and petrol. Google maps have a great public transport layer using your location to tell you the next public transport service near you going to your destination.
  10. Ladies, invest in a menstrual cup / re-useable pads NOW! - saves around 300 tampons a year, that's over $100/yr.

by Nabilla

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