Sustainable Living on a Budget

30.01.2023 4 min read

My top three sustainability on a budget must haves are Vinted, my Chilly’s reusable coffee mug and, water bottle, and TodayTix…an odd one but hear me out.

I need to add I am not affiliated with any of the above or below mentioned companies or products but it would be fantastic for my budget if I was.

Whilst sustainability is creeping up the priorities for governments, public authorities, and, private companies, it is also making its way onto the agenda for a growing number of individuals. An increasing acknowledgement of the potential collective impact individual actions can have on wider society and our planet.

A 2022 survey of over 33,000 individuals found 65% of people want to be more mindful of the environment but higher prices prevent them from doing so. While there are a number of products and services which have undoubtedly hiked up the prices due to ‘green’ credentials, in reality, sustainable living is often the budget friendly option and, here’s why:

I’m not going to pretend I’m a knitting wizard or that I recycle cans into plant pots and make furniture out of old crates. I’ve tried the shampoo bars, the bamboo toilet roll, the loose tea diffusers, the beeswax wraps and there was a short period of carrying a metal straw out with me, but sometimes you can’t beat a Yorkshire tea.

Rethinking how we live and consume and making conscious choices to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle are fundamentally underpinned by reducing consumption. A good start for the budget.

Research suggests this is a huge part of sustainable living, being aware of what you’re purchasing and doing and if you could do it cheaper and better for the planet too. This is mean looking into activities and restaurants and cafes which support environmentally friendly and social sustainability. I try to avoid chains and big global conglomerates and spend the money to support local or good organisations. Weirdly, this is where TodayTix comes into my sustainable living instead of always buying gifts and popping out for dinner I make a conscious effort to focus more on experiences with friends, reducing consumption and unnecessary purchases of material items.

Living in London is a big one for me in how I travel. Often walking or biking is the quickest mode of transport saving your pennies, reducing your carbon footprint, and the obvious co-benefits. I got my bike on Facebook marketplace secondhand for £50 bargain. Short distance trains over flights, annoyingly are often more expensive but you can set an alert for advance tickets if you know you’re planning on travelling much later in the year to get tickets as soon as they are released at their cheapest price.

Next would be the classic reusable coffee mug, in a lot of coffee shops you get around 50p off for having a mug which is a pretty good return on investment if you drink as much coffee as I do.

I rarely leave the house without a tote bag and my reusable water bottle avoiding any purchasing of plastic bottles and bags, easy win and a money saver.

Then there are the products, I use reusable cotton pads and a makeup removal flannel which is great as it works with just hot water, meaning I also buy a lot fewer beauty products. An electric toothbrush is an investment but again cheaper in the long run and less waste. For my laundry, I use an Eco Egg which costs 10-14p per wash compared to the tablets which cost around 45p per capsule, Eco Egg’s research suggests an egg could save you 40 bottles of detergent each year per household.

Fast fashion is a big one, a few years ago my new year’s resolution was no fast fashion, and I haven’t gone back. High quality staples, fantastic west London charity shops, and online second-hand marketplace Vinted. I’ve bought some great pieces and sold a lot of my old items on there, which is excellent for saving and making money and great for the planet.

Conscious of not pushing my vegan agenda, plant based alternatives are cheaper and better for the planet. Bulk buying legumes, frozen peas, and, meal planning as I’m typically cooking for one it’s really helpful in reducing how much I buy when I get excited in Tesco and not contributing to food waste or getting distracted in the veg aisle. Part of this is then the meal prep for work, I rarely buy lunch out reducing costs and associated packaging.

Writing this article did make me realise how many ‘sustainable’ products and practices have embedded themselves in my life over time without me really noticing, I think that’s how it should be. Ensuring you’re not purchasing or doing something for the sake of it is really a big part of this, bringing it back to buy less, and choose well.

Key Contacts

Iain Audus Head of Sustainability and SHEQ
Carla Stokes Marketing Director