Saving money sustainably

14 Apr 2021

Over recent years, we’ve been urged to opt for renewable and green energy. What’s the reasoning behind this? What puts many people off going green is the myth that it is expensive to do so – that only the wealthy can invest in green technology and appliances. In reality, renewables help reduce the costs overall, enabling you to save more and better spend your income. It is important to point out that green energy will be of a benefit to you on the long run. You can’t expect to start seeing major results immediately. However, there are several practices that will help cut the extra household expenses. 

Why go green?

Countries have teamed up to reduce global carbon emissions by the year 2050, amidst a worldwide crisis. No, we’re not talking about the coronavirus pandemic – but climate change. Climate change, or global warming, has been discussed by scientists, world leaders and activists alike, who raised awareness or disregarded the phenomenon. The unpredictability of the weather as well as its consequences, are leaving a mark on the planet and in a way, our life. “This is the very last moment that we have, in which we can actually hope to stem some of these disasters,” broadcaster and environment activist Sir David Attenborough says. This is simply the main reason why we should go green – to preserve our planet and ensure that we leave a clean planet once we’re gone. 

Thinking big

What’s the first thing you picture of when you think about renewable energy at your home? Solar panels. The main advantage of such a technology is that we cannot run out of solar energy. Sunlight is always available to us so we will have no problem charging the panels to generate electricity. As a result, your electricity bills will be lower – the saved costs will depend on the size of your solar panels, the bigger, the more effective they will be. The main disadvantage of such a project is its cost. The added costs of the solar panels, inverter, batteries, wiring, and installation can add up to quite a number. However, don’t give up just yet - if you are interested in getting solar panels, make sure to check for any government schemes going around. A lot of countries are encouraging people to install solar panels, in order to reduce their polluted emissions, therefore you could benefit from such schemes. 

In addition to solar panels, another way to save costs whilst going green is buying an electrical vehicle. You’re thinking costs right now – and you’re right, but just like the solar panels, the EV will save a lot of costs on the long term. The world is taking a major step towards the frequent use of EVs, with a lot of incentives being created to help the cause. Apart from reducing carbon footprint, EVs are also efficient, convenient and will lead to lower ongoing costs. Say goodbye to the weekly sum put aside to fill your car’s tank with petrol -your EV will be recharged at a nearby station. You can also get tax benefits from installing a solar powered carport at your home! 

Avoiding waste

You don’t need a massive solar panel on your roof to start saving money whilst being environmentally cautious. Be aware of what you’re buying and how much you’re buying. It could be that you are buying way too much, which would end up being thrown out. Plan ahead of your meals, make sure you buy enough for everyone but not too much. How is this green? Well, it’s all about consumption – you’re buying more than you should and throwing it away, therefore consuming a product for nothing. 

Back to basics

Basics? What basics? It’s what we were told when we were younger – switch off the lights as soon as you leave the room and don’t leave the water running unless you’re using it. We can add more to the list, now that we’ve grown older – consider walking or cycling rather than driving with your own personal vehicle – it won’t only help decrease pollution but will also improve your health. 

Cleaning products

There is a way to still have a clean house without buying the supermarket’s top, costly cleaning products. Vinegar, lemon vinaigrette, and baking soda can be used as cleaning products, allowing you to be more cost-efficient and more eco-friendly. To add on, such home products minimise the use of toxic chemicals which harm the environment. 

Washing

The full process of washing your clothes can save you a lot of money if it’s done the eco-friendly way. How times do you turn on your washing machine every week? Odds are that at times, there’s even more space for you to add more clothes – so you may want to start washing clothes less often or making sure that you have a full load of laundry to wash. This is effective as it saves water and energy. Furthermore, you can get the same outcome by washing in cold water, saving the energy to heat the water. Finally, line dry your clothes instead or using a tumble dryer! Similarly, the same idea of waiting for a bigger load can be used for any washing, whether it’s washing your dishes by hand or using a dishwasher.