But with the Budget also in the news and the rising cost of petrol and general living expenses on all our minds, is there a way to help save the planet and save money at the same time?
At MoneyAware we’ve trawled the net to find the top ten eco-friendly tips that will be good for your wallet and great for the world.
1. Dump the Stig.
It might be fun to drive your car like the Stig from Top Gear but you’re not doing your tyres, bank balance or the planet much good. Driving more sensibly isn’t just safer it’s also more fuel efficient.
2. Don’t pamper the children.
Switching to cloth nappies can save you cash and save your baby’s waste from filling up a landfill. Saving money with cloth nappies gives some details on why it’s good to try to be old fashioned when bringing up baby.
3. See more Butts.
A water butt will help save your water bill and save the planet. Use the butt to replace expensive hosepipe-watering on your garden. Some local authorities even offer subsidised water butts. Reduce bills with water butts.
4. Not worth the paper it’s written on.
Not having a letterbox filled with bills is always a good sign. But even those lucky enough not to have credit card debts still need to see some household bills such as utilities.
Swapping to paperless billing not only saves the environment; you might also find that some suppliers have special incentives helping you reap the reward for green savings;
see the British Gas offer as an example. (EDIT: Offer no longer available)
5. Tumbling Down.
Of all the energy users in your home the worst offender for costing you money and draining resources is the humble tumble dryer. We all know that in winter it’s difficult to get clothes out on the line, but in energy efficiency terms your tumble dryer is public enemy #1.
You’d feel better in the wallet if you’d have instead gone with a clothes horse under the car port or in the hallway. Nobody likes their house looking like a laundry but the planet and your pocket will be grateful.
6. The Good Life.
You don’t have to be Tom and Barbara Good to enjoy “The Good Life”. The ever-popular BBC sitcom follows two suburbanites who return to nature by growing their own.
While giving up work to raise piglets may be extreme, anyone with even the smallest bit of garden can help cut down their carbon footprint by growing some of their own fruit and vegetables.
Even those in urban houses without gardens can always see their local authorities about any available allotments.
7. Chicken Run.
How would you like 600 free eggs per year, free fertilizer for your garden and someone to keep the garden free of slugs, bugs and other nasty creepy crawlies? It’s simple, get a couple of chickens!
Keeping Chickens is a good place to start researching what is becoming one of the UK’s fastest growing hobbies. The cost of the animals, coup and feed are usually covered within the first year by the chickens’ laying prowess.
8. Downloading saves trees.
If you can’t get to a local library and you love to read, an eBook reader is a surprisingly environmentally sound choice. The average eBook reader has an environmental impact of 23 books or 177 magazines, but over a lifetime you can read 1000s of books and other material using these gadgets.
Many eBooks classics are available for free and the majority of bestsellers are cheaper to download than buy in hard or paperback form.
9. Radiating warmth.
‘Zonal heating’ is not a phrase known to many, however the concept is simple enough. You only use your bedroom on a morning and evening so why heat the room all day when you can turn off the radiator and save some money and vital resources in the process?
Newer heating systems allow you to choose areas and times when each room should be heated. The whole idea is essentially to think carefully before firing up the heating on the whole house.
10. Baby you can drive my car.
The idea of your neighbour popping to the supermarket in your car might fill you with dread but with the costs involved in motoring and the effect of too many vehicles on the road it might not feel too strange in the future. That’s what Whipcar, a rapidly growing service currently offer. It’s a good way to make cars more affordable and protect the environment by reducing car use.
Saving money and looking after the environment are great things to aspire to, but if you’re already snowed under with debt it’s difficult to see the best way forward. You can always find help by using our free and impartial online Debt Remedy tool, and then see how to implement some of these tips to help you save more money in the long run. The planet will thank you as well.