Last updated on May 15th, 2021 at 05:10 pm
Is your budget keeping you from living an ethical lifestyle? Contrary to popular belief, being sustainable actually helps you save more. In fact, back in the day, living sustainably equated to living frugally!
Are you still in disbelief? Here are a few clever tips on how affordability and an ethical lifestyle can go hand-in-hand.
A throw-away lifestyle is not just one of the biggest culprits behind environmental degradation. It silently drains your wallet, too. Sure, single-use products come cheap, but they will actually cost you more in the long run.
For example, a pack of cotton balls or a box of tissue only costs a few bucks. But how often do you buy these types of single-use products in a year? Multiply that by their value, and you will be surprised by how much you actually spend on these!
To keep single-use products from draining your savings, switch to reusable and sustainable items. For instance, you can replace paper towels with dish towels, plastic shopping bags with reusable mesh bags, and disposable cotton balls with reusable facial pads. Brands like Crate & Barrel, Lotus Sustainables, and LastObject offer a great variety of alternatives to everyday disposable products.
Again, these may cost more upfront, but they should eliminate your need to keep buying, so you can save more.
Also read — Sustainable Swaps + a Free Printable Checklist
Landfills are considered some of the biggest contributors to pollution, especially soil pollution. And you would be surprised to know that trash in landfills does not simply contain items that are beyond repair. They also contain reusable items.
In fact, eighty percent of this trash could have been reused for a different purpose, which is also known as repurposing. Not only is the throw-away lifestyle a waste of landfill space, but it’s also a complete waste of money!
If you want to live an affordable and ethical lifestyle, then learn how to repurpose items that no longer serve their function. All you need is a few tools and some creativity, and you can do things like the following:
- Get inspired by these upcycled chandelier ideas
- Make an organizer box out of tissue paper rolls
- Make a knife block out of old books
- Make a bookshelf out of a ladder
- Make picture frames out of old window frames
The world produces about 2.02 billion metric tons of solid waste annually. Unfortunately, the majority of solid waste is not being managed properly. It is simply discarded or burned instead. If this persists, you can expect annual solid waste production to increase by as much as 3.40 billion metric tons in less than 30 years.
But you can do something about it right now. If you have broken or unused items that you are about to throw away, don’t get rid of them just yet! Upcycle them instead.
Upcycling is the process of turning old, broken, and unwanted products into completely new products. Their parts are disassembled and then combined together to create something else. And if done the right way, you will have a new product that is valuable, durable, and useful.
You can upcycle a wide range of items, such as your wardrobe pieces and furniture pieces. For instance, you can transform old pairs of jeans to make a denim jacket or even a denim bag. And you can transform old shutters into a brand new cabinet.
Upcycling is a fun and smart way to reduce household waste. You will also end up spending less because you will have fewer reasons to buy new products.
Buying Second-Hand Items
Another clever way to live an affordable and ethical lifestyle is by shopping for second-hand items. Not only will this habit cost you less, but it will also lower the demand for new goods. In addition, it will encourage more businesses to produce goods out of recycled materials.
You can purchase second-hand items of any kind. These include shoes, tables and chairs, and even dishware. And you will be surprised to find that many second-hand items are in great condition. Some of them are even barely used!
So, if you are eyeing a brand new piece of furniture, don’t purchase it yet. There is a great chance of finding a similar piece at a garage sale. Or if you want a new set of clothes, you will find plenty of great quality clothing pieces at a thrift store.
All of these tips will encourage you to do two things: opt for durable items and keep using them for as long as possible. When durability becomes your priority, you are eliminating the need to buy more. You are also cutting down on expenses, which you can allocate for more important matters like your savings.
But if you really want to discard something, do it properly. Donate it to someone in need, or sell it for a lower price. By doing these, you are giving others a chance to live an affordable and ethical lifestyle, too!