Ten Sustainable Actions That Will Save You Money

As part of this week’s #GlobalGoals week we’re encouraging our team and yours to actively participate in working towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

For some people, making sustainable decisions may already be second nature, but for many it will require some convincing and behavior changes. In order to encourage everyone to start making smarter, sustainable choices we’ve put together a list of 10 sustainable actions that will actually save you money. Go ahead and share this list if you know anyone who needs a little nudge!

  1. Turn off the lights: Leaving on one standard bulb unnecessarily costs you approximately $40 a year. Turn off the lights when you leave a room and do a quick check before you leave your home and you’ll see the impact on your electricity bill.
  2. Use a power strip: Did you know that even when your electronics are turned off, if they are plugged in, they are continuing to use electricity? This phenomenon is known as standby or phantom loads. When you use a power strip with an on/off switch you can easily turn off the power and be confident that your electronics are truly off.
  3. Get a reusable water bottle and travel mug: Water and coffee are two of my must-haves, but buying water bottles and coffee from cafés gets expensive and generates a lot of waste. Buy reusable bottles and mugs to take advantage of free tap water and potentially even discounted coffee refills!
  4. Close the shades: Give yourself a little privacy and keep your heating and cooling expenses in check just by using your shades. During the winter shades can prevent heat from escaping through windows and reduce heat loss by up to 56 percent. In the summer shades will block the sun’s hot rays and can cut your cooling bill by up to 20 percent.
  5. Bike to work: More exercise, less carbon emissions and no need to pay for gas – this one is a triple win! Don’t own a bike? Check and see if your city offers a bike share program.
  6. Meatless Monday: Or whatever day you choose! Going vegetarian for one day a week will reduce meat consumption by 15 percent and will save you money – meat prices are steadily increasing. Research even shows that vegetarians and save at least $750 more than meat-eaters per year. Take advantage of seasonal, local fruits and vegetables and reap the benefits!
  7. Compost your food: Another advantage of a vegetarian meal is the ability to compost whatever leftovers you don’t want. Reduce your food waste by composting which will also reduce the money you need to spend on soil for your garden.
  8. Sell what you don’t want: Take a look around your house, in your basement or garage and start to gather items that you no longer use or need. Rather than throwing them out, try to sell them on sites like Craigslist or eBay. If there are no takers, look into donating them. Many items are tax deductible and could save you a little money come tax season.
  9. Buy used: Similarly, buying used helps to reduce waste and will be significantly cheaper than buying new. Check out local consignment stores or online stores such as ThredUp. When it comes to electronics look into refurbished models or slightly used ones on eBay.
  10. Take shorter showers: if you’re like me, you’re probably running late in the morning anyway! Reduce your water consumption by taking shorter showers and save money on your hot water bill.

Learn how the WeSpire platform encourages employees to take sustainable actions at home and at work