17 June 2015

Save Money and the Planet Simultaneously

Approximate $ Savings: $185 per month

We've found that saving money and saving the planet go hand in hand! My household has adopted the following rules that are set to save us (and our planet) a fortune!

1. Avoiding purchase of plastic products: this rules out bottled water (Melbourne tap water is fine!), soft drinks (really add up in price) and sauces etc. (we have had fun and saved money making our own!) not to mention avoiding the negative effect that plastic has on our environment.

2. Everyone showering consecutively: this means you don't waste water and energy whilst the shower heats up and you have to stick to your 4 minute shower or someone else misses out on hot water altogether!

3. Grey water: we catch our shower water in a bucket and as we have a small yard this is all we need to completely water our growing garden.

4. Carpooling with neighbours: my next door neighbour works near where I do, so with a little bit of organisation I can carpool with him and we save on fuel and carbon emissions daily and get to have a good chat on the way which reduces traffic stress!

5. Changing work start time: my neighbour and I have been lucky enough to be allowed to start and finish work later. This means that we avoid lots of traffic and fuel usage caused by 'stop start driving'.

6. Combine trips: we have run all our errands in one go and shopped once a week, this prevents popping out and spending money unnecessarily and fosters an innovative 'make do mentality' which has resulted in some interesting new dishes to add to our repertoire too!

7. Getting rid of our clothes drier: given how bad it is for the environment we decided to sell our drier. We're quite happy to make do with our 2 clotheshorses and remove the temptation (plus our electricity bill is far smaller and we made some money on eBay!)

8. Make use of natural light: minimise the lights on in the house by cooking etc when it's still light outside so that when it's dark everyone can be in the same room and there aren't lights on all over the house. -

9. Installing energy saving light bulbs: speak for themselves

10. Composting: we've started a compost heap that is free and easy to maintain. It's fascinating to see nature and science at work in front of your very eyes. Additionally, you save a fortune on buying soil enriching products and plants that die due to poor nutrients! This is great for us as we are building a garden from scratch and are spending a great deal on it at present.

We are always finding more ways to save money and the planet environmentally. It's great to have that extra motivation to save and feel proud of yourself! So far the savings financially have on average amounted to the following: $100 quarterly energy bill, $30 off weekly fuel bill, $40 month on potting mix and replacement plants.

Contributed by Rachel

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