Saving the planet isn’t the only reason to go green. Using less energy and fewer resources can also help you cut costs. Take a look at these suggestions to help you save.
Upping how eco-friendly a life you lead can be as good for your bank balance as it is for the environment. Here are five ways you may not have thought of to save money by doing the right thing.
- Kill the energy vampires
Computers, TVs, phone chargers and even washing machines suck up energy when you’re not using them. According to Energy Australia, standby power is responsible for up to 10% of your energy bill1. Based on average consumption across four states, that’s over $175 a year2. To start saving, just switch off every device at the wall when not in use. If your sockets are in hard-to-reach places, options such as ‘master/slave’ or remote-control power boards and intelligent power point adaptors can make life easier.
- Borrow, don’t buy
Depending on your personal style and social diary, you could save hundreds of dollars a year simply by borrowing or renting clothes you’ll only wear once or twice. You’ll also be doing the planet a big favour. The fashion industry produces 20% of global wastewater and 10% of global carbon emissions – more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined3. The online fashion publication Britt’s List features eight Australian online platforms where you can rent or borrow outfits for every occasion4.
- Have a ‘light bulb’ moment
Lighting accounts for 10% of the average household electricity budget5, so it’s worth cutting down wherever you can. LED light bulbs, for example, use about 75% less energy than traditional halogen bulbs and last five to 10 times longer. Replace 10 halogen bulbs with LEDs and you could cut your electricity bill by up to $65 a year – even more if you commit to turning them off every time you leave a room.
- Say bye to bottled water
Drink eight glasses of tap water a day and you’ll spend less than $1.50 a year. The same quantity of bottled water could cost a staggering $2,600, depending on the brand6. We also recycle just 36% of the plastic bottles water comes in, so about 373 million go to landfill each year7 – could there be a better reason to turn on the tap? Keep a reusable cup like a KeepCup handy and you’ll reduce the environmental impact of your drinks even further. And, as more cafes follow the lead of Brindabella in Canberra by charging a levy for disposable cups8, you could save more money, too.
- Switch up your wash and dry cycle
Every time you turn on the washing machine, up to 90% of the energy cost can go into heating the water5 – that’s a big saving just for choosing a cold cycle. The energy used by a clothes dryer varies, but one of the most popular models is estimated to cost an average $117.48 over a year9. So using a clothes line or rack can cut your electricity bill even further and is also kinder on your clothes – after all, where do you think all that lint in the filter comes from?10