If you're wondering where your money is going, consider how much your daily habits are costing you. To live a sustainable lifestyle you should try to have as little of an impact on the Earth as possible, while also trying to replace the resources you do use. In reality, we can achieve a long-lasting sustainable lifestyle but only if these changes bring convenience and cost-savings to the consumers.
The global green technology and sustainability market size was valued at $10.32 billion in 2020, and is projected to reach $74.64 billion by 2030. So here is a our Top 12 Swaps that will improve your livelihood, and save you money in the long run.
1. Installing a sink water aerator.
A sink water aerator reduces the amount of water that spills from the faucet, causing less water to be wasted. It can also help to lower your monthly water bills. The Waternymph Dual Function 2-Flow Tap Faucet Aerator has a good quality/price ratio. http
2. Installing a low-flow shower head
Modern shower heads will drain 10 to 25 litres per minute. So when you consider that people shower on average for 8 minutes, the amount of water consumed per person in a year flows into thousands of litres. And even if you are not on a meter so don’t pay specifically for every drop, you are still running up the bills for heating and pumping the water.
A well-manufactured shower head from a trusted brand will reduce water consumption by up to 60%
The brand Hansgrohe provides a good range of options. Middle range is the Crometta 100 1 jet hand shower EcoSmart 9 l/min. It is widely available in the UK, and you can also get it online with Wolseley.
3. Consider a drying rack over a tumble dryer.
You have mainly 2 efficient and cost effective options here, all depending of the space you have.
Heating racks are great, although a bit cumbersome. Lakeland is a leading brand in that field, and offers an array of options and sizes.
A space saving option is the overhead airer dryer for your clothes. It hangs from the ceiling and works with a pulley to take it up or down. It can be installed in any room of the house, and is a great space saving investment. Clothesmaid and Cast in Style both offer good options.
4. Opting for rechargeable batteries instead of single use.
If you haven’t done so yet, it’s time to look into it. The best part of this is that you will never find yourself short of batteries.
They are widely available and Which? has published a good article on how to choose between pre-charged or
hybrid, and whether capacity matters.
5. Replacing your light bulbs with LED lights
You don’t need an introduction to LED lights anymore. It’s a pretty easy swap with loads of funky options. It will help lower your energy bill which, in the current energy market, is always good to bear in mind.
The Spruce gives you their top 10 LED bulbs of 2022 .
6. Bringing a reusable coffee cup with you
I’m sure you have noticed that even the cost of your takeaway coffee has increased since December 2021! Most coffee shops still offer discounts on your coffee when you bring your own cup. And they should as they save money themselves.
You have many options available here again, but our favorite and most convenient leak proof and funky option is the collapsible Stojo cup.
7. Bring your own 3-in-1 bag to the dry cleaners.
The UK dry-cleaning and laundry services has a market size of £1 billion. Although reducing chemical use is a predominant priority on the dry-cleaners agenda, the issue of single-use plastic waste is gargantuan.
The plastic consumption in this industry is so taboo that even the TSA (Textile and Service Association) has not yet gathered data on plastic waste in the industry.
But we have crunched some numbers.
There are 4573 dry cleaners in the UK*. They wash approximately 77 garments each week. This is 18, 310, 292 garments a year. They use about 2 meters of single-use plastic cover for each garment. This is more than 36.5 millions metres a year of single-use plastic! We haven't yet counted the number of single-use plastic bags they give you to bring your freshly cleaned clothes back home!
There are alternatives. The most innovative, convenient, durable, stylish and multi-use is URBAG. Considering that the average UK household spends £320 a year on dry cleaning and laundry, or £650 if you are a suit guy, investing in an URBAG is definitely the way to go. And you do look much better carrying an URBAG than a sheet of plastic on your shoulder!
8. Investing in sustainable fashion over fast fashion
Sustainable fashion was fast-tracked with the COVID as people slowed down and took note of their own impact on climate change.
Although this market was predominantly catered for women, we are increasingly seeing more options for men. We have highlighted a few of them in our last article on Ethical Christmas Gifts here.
In a nutshell, buy less, buy better. This is the capsule wardrobe principle where you curate a collection of clothes and accessories (usually no more than 50 items) designed to be mixed and matched and last for years. Prefer natural fibres over synthetic ones where possible, and upcycle your clothes. Donate the good ones to charity and second-hand shops. H&M, Uniqlo and other brands now offer an in-store drop off box to give your used clothes, so they can upcycle the fibres to manufacture new garments. You can bring literally anything, from stained clothes to bed sheets.
9. Switch one meal to meat-free each week
Well, this month is Veganuary, so why not give it a go? You will find loads of recipes on the net. If you aren’t into cooking, All Plants provides ready-made meals that are truly delicious. And most of their packaging is sustainable too.
If you like spending time in the kitchen, then the book BOSH!: Simple recipes. Unbelievable results. All plants is a good place to start.
10. Ecosia - The search engine that plants trees
Why not give this award winning, B Corp search engine a try? Ecosia uses the profits they make from our searches to plant trees where they are needed most. The browser extension is free and you will know that you help plant trees with every search.
11. Sustainable banking
Make this the year you make a difference. Diversified low carbon intensity portfolios outperformed the wider market by 0.9% a year between 2010 and 2020 or by 2.4% in Europe, according to UBS Research.
If you want to give it a go, you can try Triodos, a leading ethical bank in the UK. They offer an array of options, from current accounts to ISA and impact investment opportunities.
Ecology is a building society dedicated to improving the environment by supporting and promoting ecological building practices and sustainable communities. They don’t offer current accounts but they are a dedicated green mortgage provider. This means it loans money to those looking to make green improvements on their home or to build an environmentally friendly house from scratch.
Last but not least, home composting. If you don’t have a compost home collection from your local council, then home composting is definitely worth it if you want to create your own nutrient-rich soil amendments for a garden, or flower bed. Turning kitchen and garden waste into compost is an excellent way to save money, and prevent unneeded landfill waste.
It’s not as easy as it seems. It can become smelly very quickly and attracts rodents and insects (cockroaches and ants) At home outdoor space is limited in urban areas so we have selected 2 options worth looking into. A new market entrant, Subpod, has come up with a great below-ground solution, offering small and big options for apartments and gardens.
If you don't have a yard, then the Maze 245 litres compost tumbler is a good option too.