How To Be Sustainable On A Budget | World Earth Day 2022

World Earth Day is taking place on April 22nd 2022, and we wanted to celebrate whilst educating in style.

If you’re at university, we understand how difficult it is to manage a low-cost budget: the regular night out funds, having to get weekly food shops JUST to survive, and even forking out for an endless supply of coffee! Being thrown into this NIGHTMARE after leeching off your parents for years can be an eye-opener – if we’re going to put it lightly.

Let’s take this one step further and try to be sustainable on top of this?!?! How is that even possible.

We all have this image in our heads that maintaining a sustainable lifestyle is expensive, and not manageable if you’re looking to save money. Don’t fret, we’re here to let you know you can implement budget-friendly sustainable living into your everyday routine.

Need some helpful tips on where to begin? Keep reading and discover how you can be sustainable on a budget.

Does sustainable mean cheap?

Not necessarily, no. Investing in a sustainable lifestyle can be more expensive in the short term, but the long term benefits of quality and longevity will inevitably mean you get more for your money.

Nevertheless, there are several ways to implement a budget-friendly sustainable practice into your life. Find out our top 10 here…

1. Buy a reusable water bottle

a reusable water bottle

Plastic pollution is a thing, a huge thing. Over 5 million tons of plastic are used in the UK every single year, a whopping 5 billion kilograms (for those that struggle to envision it). 7.7 million plastic bottles are used each year, with the average person in the UK now using 150 plastic bottles per year. These extreme facts are mind-boggling, and it’s only projected to get worse.

When living sustainably, you want to reduce as much plastic consumption as possible; invest in a reusable water bottle! Think about it, you’re basically saving on both sides. Less buying plastic bottles in the shop = less money spent = helping to become more sustainable. All we see is win, win, win.

2. Shop second-hand fashion

second hand fashion to save on sustainability

Fast fashion is causing an uproar amongst sustainable Gen Z’ers and Millennials. Did you know that more than 50% of clothes will be discarded after one year, due to the quick changing styles? Altogether, it produces 10% of the carbon emissions within our earth. So, every time we decide to buy some new clothes, we’re gaining one carbon footprint…is it really worth it?

Nonetheless, we can’t just go years without buying any clothes (no matter how cheap life would be). If you need something new, you can always head to a charity shop, or even to second-hand retailers such as Depop, Vinted and eBay. These are already clothes circulating, saving them from heading straight to landfills. It’s an effective way of saving money as well – keeping your budget well intact.

3. Upcycle clothes

upcycling and diy clothes to keep things circulating longer

Upcycling is a pretty cool idea, especially if you’re thinking about both your bank account and living sustainably. Got any old clothes you don’t wear anymore? Why not give them a new lease of life and revamp your garment. The environmental benefits of this are extramental, saving them from heading straight to landfills.

4. Walk everywhere

girl walking down the road instead of getting transport

If you know anything about air pollution, you’ll understand just how bad it is. It’s one of the UK’s deadliest killers, and transport plays a huge part in this.

We were born with two legs for a reason, so get yourself outside and walk to uni, the shops or even to the club! You’ll save a ton of money and be sustainable in the meantime. What’s not to love?

5. Reduce food waste

reduce food wastage

Did you know the UK throws away around 9.5 million tonnes of food waste in a single year???? In comparison to 2007, that was a 15% reduction, yet it’s still an exponential number.

Making the most of the fresh produce to prevent food waste is super important. It’s also great for stretching your budget!

One of the best ways to do this is to plan your meals in advance, including every little detail. Having dishes, such as stew, towards the end of the week can also ensure you’re using every last ingredient possible.

6. Invest in Reusable Shopping Bags

girl with her reusable shopping bags to help with sustainability

You’ll most likely remember when the 5p plastic bags charge came into play – right? The absolute horror of having to pay 5p for a bag…oh you can even picture the outroar!

Nevertheless, it had such a positive impact and only a year since it was introduced, UK plastic bag sales dropped by 59%!

This helps reduce the number of harmful chemicals entering the soil when plastic bags are disposed into landfills. It also helps your budget, because every 5p can add up you know…

7. Eat less meat

eating less meat to improve carbon footprint

If you’re looking for how to be sustainable on a budget, you have to start eating less meat. The meat industry is one of the deadliest ways we’re killing our earth. Producing and raising animals generates as many greenhouse gas emissions as all cars, trucks and automobiles combined. Not to mention, meat can be a very expensive commodity.

One of the best ways to eat less meat is by cutting it out for one day a week. Try Meat Free Mondays and learn the art of cooking vegan/veggie dishes. It will help save on a few costs and you never know, you might just fall in love with the plant-based life.

8. Cook from scratch

fresh ingredients

Cooking from scratch has so many benefits when it comes to being a more sustainable student. It not only saves money, but it’ll help reduce your plastic waste from pre-packaged food and EVEN be healthier for you! Especially if you head to a zero-waste store, your plastic consumption could be second to none.

Our UK student accommodation is furnished with top-quality amenities, perfect for cooking up a storm and giving you the platform to cook from scratch.

9. Go paperless

going paperless and using a laptop to do university work

Whilst studying at university, make an effort to keep everything online. Digitise your documents and reduce the need for using paper at uni. Paper causes clutter and using files on your laptop will ease any stress of feeling disorganised.

Paper waste is a huge issue and recycling efforts can help combat this, as they’re an efficient waste management technique. Got any paper you need to dispose of quickly? Head to a waste recycling centre and play your part to save the environment!

10. Try an online budget tracker

online budget to help be sustainable on a budget

Our last tip isn’t necessarily directly impacting the environment, but it will help you manage your outgoings and to visualise what you’re spending your money on. Use Google Sheets or Excel to do so, and watch your consumption awareness soar!

That’s a wrap, we hope you’ve found some interesting tips for keeping eco friendly on a budget! Make sure to stick to these 10 ideas to help improve your carbon footprint.