I think many of us are currently in a situation where we have to pay more attention to the money we’re spending. Gas prices, grocery shopping, just basically everything in life is getting more expensive. Knowing that sustainable behavior is often linked to spending more money, I thought it be best to highlight the other side. How can you still be sustainable, but on a budget? I’ve listed 5 tips that I currently use in my life, that could be of inspiration. Are you ready?
Where attention goes, energy flows
Me and my family are really noticing the effect of the current inflation, both in our private lives, as in business. I get grumpy after grocery shopping because eating healthy is more expensive than eating unhealthy and I lie awake at night thinking about the energy bills that will be coming in the winter. Knowing that where attention goes, energy flows, I’ve decided to not give this negative thinking any more of my attention and focus on the positive instead.
There are still many ways to life sustainably. Living more in line with yourself and Earth can bring a lot of love, joy and positivity into your life. And these are exactly the traits this world needs. So why not share how to improve quality of your life and others, but also keeping in mind that you don’t have an endless budget? My 5 tips are relatively small steps that can be implemented in everyone’s lives. Hope you enjoy them!
Be creative when it comes to social activities
Meeting up with friends is one of the most important social activities in my life. I value friendship and love spending time with my friends. But I’ve been planning less dates because going out for dinner or drinks has become more expensive and it has made me think twice before meeting up at a restaurant or bar. This frustrated me and my creative mind started thinking; why not do something different, and perhaps more sustainable, instead?
So I’ve listed a few other fun activities that don’t have to cost much and are more sustainable:
- Going for a walk in the forest together (physical movement + it lowers your stress levels)
- Enjoy a tapas night at your place and make your own tapas with organic or vegan products
- Movie night! I bet you’ve done this when you were younger, but isn’t this still fun? Or instead of watching a movie, watch documentary together and discuss what you’ve learned afterwards. I mean, we all have Netflix, Gaia or Waterbear right?
- Make your own care products with natural ingredients such as coconut oil, macadamia oil, honey or cacao butter. Check out the book "Natural Beauty" by Karen Gilbert for more information.
Sell and/or buy your clothes second hand
“Buy nothing new” seems to be the motto of sustainability guru’s lately. While I personally don’t entirely agree with this (however I do understand where this is coming from), I have been using the second hand app “Vinted” a lot since the pandemic entered into our lives. I’ve sold many of my clothes that either became too big or small and bought this awesome second hand winter jacket via the app last year. I’ve noticed a rise in second hand clothing stores in the bigger cities, so I guess you can say that more people discovered this way of life. It’s more sustainable, but also a lot cheaper for your wallet. And I personally think it’s more fun to shop like this as I spend much more attention to what I’m buying, making me buy less as well!
Make your own gifts
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been discovering my creative side through my spiritual awakening the past few months. It’s fun to be creative and it can also help you to be more sustainable on a budget. So why not let your creativity flow and make your own gifts?
Surprise your friends and family with fresh baked muffins or a cake, candles from leftover material of old candles or a nice body scrub with oatmeal and bananas. You can make it as sustainable as you like with organic or recycled materials/ingredients. And I’m sure the receiver will appreciate all the work you’ve put in!
Use your (electric) bike more
The tip might be an easy one, but we often still take the car for unnecessary short trips just because it has become a habit. Living in the Netherlands, a super flat country, cycling is one of things you learn as a small child and becomes an important mean of transportation.
When I was a student I used my bike a lot, but now that I’m a mother with a business I easily take the car. Grocery shopping, visiting the city center, bringing parcels to the pickup point etc. Sometimes I use my car out of habit, when I could just as easy take the bike instead. And it’s not like it’s costing me more time; a little while ago I got the chance to buy an electric bike for a good price so now I’m way faster in the city center than when using a car. It’s healthier for my body to move more plus it saves gas, which is better for the environment and your wallet!
Prepping your food for the week or a few days ahead can both be sustainable and costs saving. It does require some planning, but it has many benefits:
- You waste less food as you plan ahead
- It’s healthier for your body and wallet as this way you always have your meal (almost) ready to eat, so you aren’t tempted to ordering in
- You waste less packaging as you can buy in bulk quantities
- You make use of special deals/sale items in the supermarket which saves you money
Let your creative mind flow
As you’ve noticed, having a tighter budget doesn’t mean you have to be less sustainable. Instead, see it as a fun challenge and an opportunity to let that creative side of you flourish. What tips will you be implementing? Or perhaps you have some amazing sustainable life hacks for me? Tag @earthfriendlygiftbox in your Stories on Instagram to share!