Three green habits that can help you save money and the environment

You no longer have to choose between your pocket and your conscience when it comes to living an environmentally-friendly life.

Can you be ethical and still save money?

Below, we have outlined three steps you can take to boost your savings as well as do your bit for the environment:

Ditch disposable

7.7 billion single-use plastic water bottles are consumed in the UK every year with the bottled water industry reporting a net worth of over £2.4 billion. EcoFrenzy, a not-for-profit organisation designed to help consumers reduce waste in everyday life, reported that buying three bottles of water a week could cost you on average £150 per year. That’s a substantial amount of cash you could save.

Our coffee consumption isn’t much better with 80% of caffeine lovers admitting to visiting a coffee shop every week, whilst 16% pick up their favourite fix on a daily basis. It’s no surprise last year’s ‘latte levy’ pushed for the taxation of disposable cups. 

With this in mind, popular coffee shops now encourage guests to bring their own thermal mug by offering a cash discount on a hot drink. For example, Costa Coffee, Starbucks and Paul will shave 25p off the cost while Pret a Manager will double it to 50p – that’s 49p for a filter coffee.

It seems ditching disposable is both good for the planet and your wallet.  

Go paperless

Did you know the average family in the UK throws away six trees worth of paper every year? Or four billion trees are cut down each year to meet the demand for paper across the world? 

The amount of paper wastage worldwide has also been a hot topic, and that’s why many businesses – such as utility supplies and mobile phone networks – prefer to provide documentation such as monthly bills in a digital format. So much so, a fee may incur if a paper bill is requested. For example, Vodafone charges a monthly fee of £1.54 for a printed bill whereas an e-bill (normally emailed or downloadable from an online portal) is free.

Not only will embracing paperless save you a little bit of cash (and unnecessary post), you’ll also be helping the environment. 

Be a savvy shopper

Our favourite supermarkets and high-street retailers are already taking steps to improve their carbon footprint by encouraging consumers to recycle and reuse; it pays to become a conscious shopper. For example:

  • Buying veg loose can often be cheaper than buying it pre-bagged
  • Using your own shopping bags saves you 5p per bag. So, if you fork out for three per weekly shop that equates to £7.20 a year
  • If you can afford to, bulk buy items and multipacks to save a bit of cash and reduce packaging. For example, a nine pack of Tesco luxury soft toilet tissue costs £3.35*. Equate this to a pack of four at £1.90; that’s a saving of 45p (compared with purchasing two packs of four rolls)

It might not seem like much, but each change you make will help boost your savings pot. Whether its £10 or £100, move the cash you have left over at the end of the month into your savings account. By doing so, you’ll start to build a regular savings habit as well as grow your nest egg.

Remember: when you are researching savings accounts, check the terms and conditions as some may be postcode restricted. This means if you live outside of the operating area stated you won’t be able to open an account. 

For further savings tips and tricks read “How I saved for… my house deposit”, “Why you should make the most of your ISA allowance with us”, “Savings explained: what different savings accounts are there” and much, much more. 

If you have any questions about our savings accounts or would like to open one with us, pop in to your local branch or contact us by using our online form and one of our qualified savings advisers will be in touch.

A full list of our savings accounts can be found here

How else can we be greener? Send us your idea here.

*Pricing correct May 2019


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