BY ALEX DELIC, Community Manager, Fat Lama
The list of little tasks it takes to be environmentally friendly in 2018 has developed into a full-blown catalog. Many people take pleasure in what they do for the environment, and that’s great! But for some people, the green lifestyle is just impractical from a financial sense. It would be great if eco-friendly personal care products were affordable, but for most they are often twice the price of their less sustainable counterparts. Organic, locally sourced foods have become part and parcel of wealthy living, but definitely is not a cheap option for those watching their budgets. It seems like you have to make the choice sometimes - be green or be financially sensible.
We have compiled 5 great tips to try in 2018 which will allow you to save those pennies, and the help the environment.
Take a Local Vacation
You’d be thoroughly surprised by what’s available only an hour’s drive away from your front door. This summer, instead of taking a trip to some far-flung reach, why not try seeing what your local area has to offer. The quality of the experience you’ll have will surprise you.
Plus, your savings from taking a train or car (or even a bike if you’re feeling active) over a plane will obviously be huge. Not to mention you’ll be cutting down on your own carbon footprint by not partaking in the emissions spouting aviation industry. In sum it’s an easy environmental and budgeting win.
Substitute Meat & Get Creative
With the growing popularity of the vegan movement, one of their most compelling arguments, that of meat’s impact on the environment, is slowly weaving its way into conversations around the planet.
And here’s the thing, meat is so much more expensive than the available alternatives. You are looking at tofu or quorn being 20-50% more affordable than cheaper cuts of chicken, beef or pork. If you’re worried about the expense and the environmental impact of meat but concerned your meals may get repetitive, here’s our tip: get creative.
With the predicted #1 food trend for 2018 being the term “plant-based” not only is meat moving out of the limelight, but meat substitutes are becoming front and center - and with that all sorts of amazing recipes are being produced. Here are two:
- Tofish and Chips: A replacement for the classic British fast food, Tofish is a bar of tofu wrapped in sushi seaweed, battered and deep fried. It’s genuinely authentic in flavor.
- Vegan Fried Chicken: Sounds odd but using nutritional yeast as the protein substitute you can make some absolutely delicious fried “chicken” with this recipe.
So, crack out the cookbooks, there’s creative, cheap, eco-friendly cooking to be done.
In consumer markets, one of the major shifts of the last decade has been toward a phenomenon known as the sharing economy. Services under it include AirBnB and BlaBlaCar, and with the huge disruption they’ve made to their respective markets it looks like they’re here to stay. Sharing economy services have a common theme despite their variety: using the planet’s resources more efficiently.
If you are finding yourself needing equipment, however, and reckon that buying new would impact both your wallet and the environment, maybe have a look at the new sharing economy site called Fat Lama. It allows people to list items online and lend them out for a fee to people who need the items.
These can be anything from a bike to a drone and this service is saving people vast amounts of money by giving them an option other than standard rental or purchase. In the process, they are reducing the amount produced in factories, thus helping the planet.
Cut Down on Packaging
An article in 2016 from the Guardian reported that only a third of recyclable material actually was being recycled by households in the UK. If you’re an avid recycler this is disappointing to you, but you’ll definitely agree with why it’s happening: sorting out recyclables takes time and is very unrewarding when you don’t know what can and cannot be recycled.
If you find recycling frustrating and a waste of your time, maybe take a look at investing in some kit to help reduce the amount of packaging you use. Here are two ideas to try right now:
Make Your Home Smarter
With the popularization of smart home assistants like Google Home or Amazon Echo, we’re looking at moving toward fully user-friendly home automation. With that, the scope for energy efficiency is huge.
Before, thermostats had to be managed manually and lights would stay on until you switched them off. Now, these same thermostats and lights can be all controlled individually, room by room, by computers. We now have a situation where when there is no-one in a room, the bulbs, devices and radiators can be automatically switched off. It can also intelligently predict when to turn the boiler on, to get maximum heating for minimum fuel.
Investing in smart home systems may cost a bit in the short term, but you are going to see serious energy savings over time. Plus, the reduced fuel consumption will be amazing for squashing your carbon footprint.
So, there they are, 5 modern tips for a budget conscious eco-warrior. Try them out in 2018.
About the Author:
Alex Delic is a Community Manager at Fat Lama, the new peer-to-peer rental platform operational in the UK and US. He is interested in all matters eco, as well as being a keen reader and cook.