Your guide to going green (and saving money)

Mathilda Volant

by , Team PensionBee

at PensionBee

04 Jan 2022 /  

Go green bags.

Governments across the globe are waking up to the effect of excessive carbon emissions on our environment. Slowly we’re seeing new initiatives and investment in green infrastructure. But you don’t need to wait for legislation to go green yourself. Being more carbon conscious is a personal choice - and potentially a cost-effective choice too.

Here’s your guide to going green and maybe even growing your wealth!

7 simple swaps to save the planet (and the pounds!)

Climate change is a worldwide issue and only communal action can change its course. While polluting corporations have come under pressure from the public to change their ways, we also need to do our fair share of smaller day-to-day carbon reductions. Here are seven simple swaps to reduce your carbon footprint and boost your finances:

1. Trace back your footprints

Our world is more interconnected than ever and every journey takes its toll on our environment. But there are plenty of ways we can be more thoughtful with how we travel. Driving less, or switching to a hybrid car, may help reduce your everyday carbon footprint. Also taking fewer flights abroad can avoid releasing extra carbon emissions into our atmosphere.

2. Powered by the planet

Keeping the lights on is getting more expensive as energy prices increase. So switching to LED bulbs could reduce your electricity bills - and carbon emissions from creating your energy. Taking these changes further up the chain, you could switch energy providers too. For a green energy supplier there’s Octopus Energy.

Tip: protect our oceans from plastics

Disposable plastic takes upwards of decades to decompose. So continual use of single-use products isn’t sustainable for the planet. In fact, half of all manufactured plastics have been made in the past 15 years alone. Let that sink in. Every recycled item is one less in landfill, which is still a small win.

3. Invest in vintage furniture

A passion for preloved furniture has become popular. For cost effectiveness, green credentials or individual style, more people are moving towards purchasing pre-owned. And from big international players like eBay to locally powered companies like Gumtree, apps supporting online sales of second hand goods are increasing. You’re spoilt for choice!

Tip: avoid waste and create space

Entire industries are built on us buying products we don’t need. And the costs add up as much as the clutter. Resisting these spending impulses can reduce your impact on the environment. You can be philosophical and take the Marie Kondo approach - only having objects that support essential living or spark joy.

4. Cut carbon, not calories

Bodies are all different, so naturally no day-to-day diet will work for everyone. However, a carbon conscious diet can benefit our bodies and our planet. You can still eat meat, yet in smaller quantities and from local suppliers. Or fight food waste with Too Good To Go. Not eating to excess can also save you money and improve your health.

5. Every cup of coffee

In our ‘on the go’ schedules it’s easy to grab a drink whilst getting from A to B - especially when in a rush. All those disposable cups add up, though. Using reusable cups might require some responsibility in remembering to pack it, but could also result in a cheaper drink. Many coffee shops even offer discounts when you bring your own cup.

Sustainable living is in style. In fact, PensionBee research found that 82% of female customers aged 30 and under distrust (and don’t want to invest in) the fast fashion industry. Quality clothing often outlasts inferior alternatives, and the ‘cost to wear’ equation can prove cheaper to opt for the bigger price tag product instead of rebuying clothes again and again.

Tip: don’t buy cheap and buy twice

Quality purchases can be expensive to begin with, but cheaper overall. Lower quality products are more likely to break and need replacing, doubling the cost as you’re buying it twice. You can save money on some quality purchases by buying them second-hand but still in good condition. Reusing these items gives you the best of both worlds on cost and quality.

7. Look towards the future

If big businesses are the biggest polluters, how can you really challenge the status quo? Well, you can make a big impact through your pension. Responsible investing is growing in popularity and capital.

Invested in line with the Paris Agreement goals, PensionBee offers a fossil fuel free pension that excludes the planet’s biggest polluters, so your money won’t be invested in companies that own proven or probable reserves in coal, oil or gas.

Your guide to going green (recap)

Here are the seven simple swaps to going green and maybe even growing your wealth:

  • Driving a hybrid or electric car, or taking public transport where possible
  • Have your home powered by the planet with renewable energy
  • Investing in second-hand furniture or vintage pieces
  • Fighting food waste by rescuing meals from restaurants
  • Bring your own reusable cup to cut the cost of your regular coffee
  • Treat yourself to preloved fashion when expanding your wardrobe
  • Switch to a Fossil Fuel Free pension to save in line with your values

Risk warning

As always with investments, your capital is at risk. The value of your investment can go down as well as up, and you may get back less than you invest. This information should not be regarded as financial advice.

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