Useful guides

7 ways to help the planet and your wallet

Australia’s recent Summer of drought, heat and bushfires has made global headlines. So imagine the relief this weekend with heavy rainfall finally dampening many long burning fires. It’s been such a non-stop downpour that forecasts are predicting the most rain in over 20 years and mass flooding. It truly feels like a case of ‘from one extreme to the other’ as I saw one news report put it.

These extremes are keeping climate change firmly top of mind. It feels like finally we are all now seriously thinking about how we can do our bit to protect our planet. And it’s so true that every change we make, no matter how small, can make a difference…..

“Many people say that Sweden is just a small country, and it doesn’t matter what we do, but I have learned you are never too small to make a difference.” Greta Thunberg

Make changes that support your wallet too

There are so many ways we can all do our bit in the face of climate change – here I’m sharing just a few changes that can save money too.

The brands recommended here are based on my personal experience and I haven’t received any incentive to endorse them.

Buy a keep cup

  • The stats: It’s estimated that Australians use 1 billion disposable coffee cups each year. You’re possibly using 365 of these (or more). Richard Fine, who founded coffee cup manufacturer Biopak, estimated up to 90% of them end up in landfill, equating to around 60,000 kg of plastic waste every year.
  • You can: Reduce your single use cup consumption. Buy a reusable cup and choose a café that offers a discount – even saving 50 cents per coffee for using your own cup can quickly add up!
  • Brands I use: Keep Cup and Joco for their lovely glass reusable cups.

Eat less meat

  • The stats: Livestock uses 30% of the earth’s land surface and forests being cleared to create new pastures is a major driver of deforestation. If that’s not enough did you know that one hamburger is estimated to take 2,393 litres of water to produce!
  • You can: Think about going meat free a few days a week. When you consider that a kilo of meat can cost $10-25 and a kilo of veggies or legumes can cost as little as $3, it’s easy to see the savings!
  • Brands I love: Aldi for their good value fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes.

Avoid fast fashion

  • The stats: It’s been estimated that 20 new garments are made per person each year and it can take a staggering 2,495 litres of water to produce even a basic t-shirt. A scary thought. Add to this that textile production created more emissions than international flights and maritime shipping combined.
  • You can: Say no to cheap, short lived fast fashion. Cut back on just a few new garments each year and you can help the planet and easily save a couple of hundred dollars, or more! If you must add to your wardrobe choose brands that are vocal on their ethical supply chains and commitments to  sustainable or recycled fabrics and low impact production.
  • Brands I wear: Dharma Bums for my activewear, and Levi’s for demins that last for decades.

Help end plastic pollution

  • The stats: Every minute one garbage truck of plastic is dumped into our oceans and it’s estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish by weight.
  • You can: Say no to single use plastic and save money by choosing re-usable products. Switch your cling wrap for beeswax wraps, your plastic food prep containers for glass ones and grab some reusable bags so you never pay for a plastic bag again.
  • Brands I love: The Clean Collective for their plastic-free, zero-waste and reusable products.

Re-think your period 

  • The stats: Estimates suggest that during her lifetime a woman can use around 11,000 disposable sanitary products, which end up in the sea or landfill. And the average woman who menstruates around 450 times and uses tampons will spend over $1,700 on sanitary products.
  • You can: Ditch disposable period products. Switch your tampons or sanitary pads for a reusuable menstrual cup that lasts for years or for one of the growing brands of revolutionary leak free, easy to rinse period underwear.
  • Brands I use: ModiBodi for their perfect ​period ​underwear – one pair holds the equivalent of 3-4 tampons and rinses in seconds in the shower.

Go solar powered

  • The stats: Australia is world-leading the solar revolution. In 2018 alone, two million Australian households installed rooftop solar panels. Over one in every five households now has solar panels to bring down their electricity bills and keep the power on with the sun’s rays. Find out more.
  • You can: Consider installing solar panels if you own your own home. Despite the upfront cost they can cut your power bills immediately and eventually pay for themselves — saving you money in the long run.
  • Brands I recommend: Brighte for their zero interest finance plans that help Australian homeowners install renewable energy.

Car share

  • The stats: There were 19.5 million registered motor vehicles in Australia in 2019 – an increase of 1.7% since 2018. That’s close to one car for every person. And collectively, Australian cars are estimated to emit roughly the same per year as Queensland’s entire coal and gas fired electricity supply.
  • You can: Consider car share. Fewer cars means less pollution and better air quality. Using car share is also lighter on your wallet – you pay by the hour and avoid those large annual and ongoing expenses that car ownership entails.
  • Brands I use: Go Get and Pop Car – two of Australia’s car share schemes that have helped me live car free for 10 years.

Keen for more tips? Check out this fabulous list of 101 ways to live sustainably……And of course share your tips here.




2 thoughts on “7 ways to help the planet and your wallet

  1. Such great ideas, Laura. I’m working hard on the plastic situation personally. I have bags for produce that are like nets, and washable. Photos of all of that plastic waste are shocking. They should motivate people into making changes, if nothing else has.

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