What if you could save money by living more eco-friendly? Living green can be expensive. Eating organic, buying zero/low plastic products, finding alternatives with low CO2 footprint, driving electric and going by train instead of flying.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
In this article we will explore 8 changes of habits that saved me more than €3000 per year and helped me live a more sustainable life.
1. From single-use plastic water bottles to filtered tap water (save min. €300)
On average bottled water drinking households in Europe spend over €360 per year on bottled water. This is despite the fact that there is no proof that it's healthier or safer than filtered water.
A high quality water such as TAPP 2 will cost you as little as €60 per year and save you €300 annually. A water filter is convenient, time saving, good for your health, better for the planet and saves you money. Does it get any better?
Check out how much you can save with the bottled water filter impact calculator.
2. Change electricity provider (save min. €200)
Historically green energy has been more expensive than the average grid electricity bill. This despite the fact that the cost of solar and wind power is coming down fast. But thankfully this is changing. Alternative energy providers have been available for a long time but now they are not only greener but also cheaper.
Sign up for Holaluz in Spain to save more than €200 per year.
Please send us recommendations for green energy companies in other countries.
3. Bring lunch to work (save min. €1200)
Eating out may seem cheap. €10 per day for a menu or maybe a bit more if it’s a vegan or organic restaurant. But the daily bills add up to over €2000 per year.
Bringing lunch to work doesn't have to be hard or expensive. Prepare a buffet for the week every Sunday with a mix of greens, carbs, proteins, fruits and other goodies. In the morning just put the mix of today's food in a sustainable container. On average this menu will cost you €800 per year which means €1200 in savings.
Here’s some great inspiration by Gathering Dreams to get started.
Read more about saving money and space in the kitchen.
4. Coffee to go from home (save min. €300)
Buying coffee every morning can add up to a big annual expense. 200 days of work x €2.50 per cup is €500. By preparing high quality coffee by e.g. Nomad Coffee at home and bringing it to work in a reusable cup that keeps it warm you will save money and the planet. On average this will save you €300 per year.
Check out Nomad Coffee.
5. Stop use of coffee capsules at home (save min. €100)
Nespresso machines are super practical but also costly. For a household of two that consumes an average of 2 cups per day you will spend 4 x €0.4 x 365 days = €584. The cheapest alternative is a french press that will cost you as little as €200 per year.
6. Water to go (save min. €150)
Still buying bottled water at airports, train stations, for the gym, sports and other occasions? That’s good news because it means that you can easily save money. The average price for a small bottle of water on the go is often more €1. Multiply this by all the times you may need one and the cost quickly adds up.
Buy a reusable bottle with high quality and you will both save money and reduce your plastic consumption.
7. Second-hand clothing & buying clothes out of season (min. €500)
Consumption of new clothes put a big strain on the environment and your wallet. Shopping at Zara, H&M and Primark may seem super cheap but it all adds up. New clothes generally also cause more plastic and fiber pollution in terms of packaging and washing. On average Spanish people spend over €1000 per year on clothes and by buying second hand you can reduce it by half at least.
8. Start walking or bicycling to work instead of using public transport (save €600)
Public transport is great and many people don’t have an alternative but if your commute by walking or bicycling is less than 30 min then consider a change. Weather is not an excuse as people in northern Europe paddle to work every day whether it’s snowing or raining.
Buy a second hand bicycle or use the local city bike scheme. Not only will you save money but also get exercise for free, every day!
On average public transport in Spain costs €600 per year.
Although this one won't save the planet, it also also generated significant savings for me. Changing the phone company to low cost providers (eg. Pepephone in Spain) can save you as much as €350 every year.
More tips to save money and the planet by changing a few habits: