Lifestyle
2 min read
Nikki Elton  (Pinwheel author)
Nikki Elton

How to save money (and the environment)

It sounds too good to be true, right? But it really is possible to save your pennies while helping the environment. Whether it’s investing your money more wisely or signing up to renewable energy providers, here’s how to keep both your bank balance and the planet happy.

Turn your money green

Make sure you’re using an ethical bank, where your money won’t be used to fund companies that trade in arms, tobacco or fossil fuels. As one of the world’s most sustainable banks, Triodos only lends to organisations that have a positive impact on the environment, including renewable energy firms and those that support social housing, while The Co-Operative Bank has a wide-ranging ethical policy and is the only high-street option to have expressly prohibited support for fossil fuels.

Go with the flow

An easy way to reduce your gas bills is to turn down the “flow” temperature on your condensing combi boiler. Experts say that by running your boiler at a lower flow temperature, you can save between 6 and 8% on your fuel bills. It’s easy and it’s free. You can find a full explainer here.

Join the rental revolution

Fashion is one of the worst offenders when it comes to the environment, with over 300,000 tonnes of clothing ending up being burned or in landfill in the UK each year. Instead of buying something new for a special event, try renting your outfit instead. Brands such as By Rotation, Hurr and My Wardrobe HQ offer designer items to hire for a fraction of the cost of the retail price, while aiming to keep their operations as green as possible. MWHQ, for example, uses cycle couriers and electric vans for their deliveries, as well as liquid CO2 cleaning to avoid the environmental impact of dry cleaning.

Focus on the little things

Making small changes can have a huge impact. Case in point: nudging your thermostat down by just one degree can save around 340kg of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the atmosphere each year, and climate change experts suggest that for those that are able (for example, that don’t have mobility issues), to never turn it above 19 degrees. Not only will it help the planet, it will also shave £75 off your energy bill.

Refill for your refuels

If you’re switching back to office life after a few years of WHF, don’t forget to take your reusable coffee cup with you. Not only will you save on waste by rejecting single-use cups, but you’ll save money, too. Costa Coffee, the UK’s largest coffee chain, for example, offers a 25p discount on hot drinks if you BYO cup. Circular & Co produces stylish cups made, rather neatly, from single-use coffee cups.

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