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Ten hacks to save money at home and be Eco Friendly

Lifestyle

Ten hacks to save money at home and be Eco Friendly

With the cost of living rising thanks to spiralling energy bills and soaring food prices, making environmentally friendly choices has unfortunately become less of a concern for Brits.

A poll by Ipsos Mori earlier this year showed 38% of people said it was more important for their household to cut costs than make choices that are better for the environment. But Paul Moore, managing director of If You Care and non-exec director of the Organic Trade Board, looks at how you can be eco at home while still keeping on track with your budget.

Here are his top 10 tips and hacks:

1. Doing the dishes

When buying items for cleaning and cooking in your kitchen consider investing in good quality durable products, as cheaper ones end up costing you more in the long run. For example, sponge cloths that are made of a mix of pure cotton and cellulose can be used then washed over and over again without degrading. Cheaper ones tend to lose their quality quickly and need to be disposed of sooner. At the end of their life, quality cotton based clothes can be home composted so don’t add to the problem of artificial fibres and micro planktons.

2. Food prep and storage

Kitchen foil is expensive but people tend to use it once to cover food then throw it away which is wasteful as well as being costly. One brilliant hack when you’re baking food in the oven is to put parchment paper over the dish then place foil on top. This prevents the foil from getting dirty, which means you can use it again and again! The parchment paper can then go into the compost bin, which is better for the planet.

3. Start composting

That brings us onto the theme of composting – if you’re not already doing this, it’s definitely worth considering as it will also save a lot of food going to landfill. You could use really space efficient Bokashi composting digesters that will compost cooked foods without the smell and turn them into the most amazing and powerful liquid fertiliser. Different from a traditional garden compost that works on uncooked food scraps and garden waste in an aerobic manner, the Bokashi composter anaerobically digests cooked and uncooked food in a very short time and you don’t need a big outdoor space.

4. Start an organic vegetable garden

Now you have your wonderful new compost bin, it’s time to use the compost you’ve created to help nourish the soil in your garden and grow some delicious organic vegetables. With rising food costs, even vegetables are becoming very expensive to buy at supermarkets – not to mention the plethora of plastic packaging used in these places.  If space is at a premium and you only have a window box, then high value items such as coriander and fresh basil or salad leaves can be grown in rotation in small spaces.

5. Buy seasonal

If you are going to head to the supermarket to buy fruit and vegetables out of pure convenience, try to buy seasonal wherever you can. Foods that are not in season in the UK can often have a huge amount of air miles associated with them and are usually very expensive. For example, buy British strawberries in the summer when they’re not only cheaper and grown locally but also much more tasty.

6. A note on meat

When buying meat, a much cheaper and more environmentally friendly option is to invest in a whole chicken or joint of meat. You could cook this on a sunday and make a roast, then the leftovers can be turned into various meals for the week such as curries, pies or casseroles. The bones and carcass can be boiled with carrots, celery and onion to make a delicious stock which can then be used as a base for a delicious noodle soup. Another way to reduce your environmental impact is to freeze any meat you don’t end up using. Wax paper is a brilliant option for preserving and freezing cooked meats, so you can enjoy them at a later date.

7. Stay cool when washing

Many people assume hot water is the key to keeping clothes and dishes clean when washing. But cleaning enzymes from washing liquids, powders and tablets are actually destroyed at high temperatures. These enzymes work best at body temperature, so try a cooler setting when using your washing machine. According to Which, washing at 30°C uses 38% less energy than washing at 40°C, so not only will you be kinder to the planet you’ll also be saving money on your energy bills.

8. Ditch the tumble dryer

Once you’ve washed your clothes, consider ditching the tumble dryer as these suck up a huge amount of energy and therefore cost. Now it’s warmer, simply take the time to hang your clothes outside. Or on a rainy day use a hanging rack inside, or better still, use an overhead hanging rack called a creel which you can put on the ceiling in the utility room, getting all your washing out of the way.

9. Change what you wear

A lot of people tend to crank up the heating before considering simply putting on an extra layer instead. Put a t-shirt under a shirt if needed – and wear slippers in the house. Having a cooler house not only saves energy, it also means there will be less dust mites present as these critters love warmer temperatures. Dust mites thrive in a temperature range of 20 to 25 degree Celcius so having a cooler house and setting your thermostat lower will reduce the presence of these tenacious little critters.

10. Borrow or buy second hand

Before buying anything new, it’s worth taking a step back and considering whether you could either borrow that item or buy it second hand. Thanks to the rise of Facebook Marketplace and apps such as Depop and Vinted, buying second hand is becoming the new normal – which is brilliant news for both the environment and your pocket.

When it comes to making changes in the home to save money and be eco-friendly, tiny steps make a big difference. Even if you follow just one or two of the tips above, you should see an impact on what you save each month.


If You Care creates products for the home with the aim of reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill. If possible, nothing should remain after the product has been used and properly disposed of. You can find out more at www.ifyoucare.co.uk.

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