Sometimes environmental goals and economic ones overlap and we can do the right thing and save ourselves money at the same time. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the climate change problem and to feel helpless but there’s a lot of simple things we can do as individuals which can collectively make a difference.
- Eat less meat and dairy. Livestock farming accounts for more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transport sector: that’s all the trains, trucks, planes, cars, and ships on the planet. It may seem difficult at first to reduce meat consumption and eat more plants but think of it as adding new and interesting foods to your diet rather than taking foods away. There are around 20,000 species of edible plants on the planet and yet we consume the same three or four species of animals over and over again. Plants are also cheaper so you’ll save money on the weekly grocery shopping.
- Ditch the car. Not everyone can afford an electric or hydrogen vehicle but if you give up the car completely you’ll save thousands of pounds every year by dispensing with car-related expenses like petrol, insurance, registration, and maintenance. We’re lucky in Aberdeen to have a car-club so it’s easy to dispense with the car but still have access to one, when needed.
- Turn the heating down and replace light bulbs with low energy LED bulbs. Not everyone can afford to install solar panels but we can all replace bulbs, when they blow, with low energy LED alternatives and we can turn our thermostats down. This will reduce our emissions and save us money at the same time.
- Take your own reusable bags to the shops. Plastic waste is not biodegradable and much of it finds its way into our oceans. Plastic is also made from fossil fuels. Take your own bag to the shops and you won’t have to pay for one.
- Go on local holidays. We’re lucky in Scotland to have so many wonderful, inspiring, and fascinating landscapes to visit. Support the local economy, save money, and reduce your emissions by holidaying in Scotland rather than flying to far-flung places.
I’m sure there’s more! Please share your ideas in the comments.