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15 eco-friendly tips to save cash

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The small lifestyle changes you make to help the planet can help save money too.

1 - Buy power boards with on/off buttons
We all know that turning all our appliances off at the power source helps save on electricity – and therefore our energy bills – but we don’t always have the time to run around the house unplugging every single appliance. The solution? Invest in a couple of power boards that have an on/off button to make turning everything off quicker and easier.

2 - Line-dry your clothes
Tumble dryers chew up a huge amount of energy and can make for a nasty surprise when you open your electricity bill. Invest in a good portable clothes line that can be moved around easily. Dryers can also damage your clothing, leading to shrinkage and faded colours, so you’ll be saving money on replacing clothing items too.

3 - Consider investing in a hybrid car
While you’ll have to stump up a chunk of change to switch to a hybrid car, it will pay off for itself and it’s much better for the environment. Hybrids are much cheaper to run and have lower emissions than gas-powered cars, releasing fewer pollutants into the atmosphere. If you tend to drive a lot for work or pleasure, a hybrid can be a great investment.

4 - Get a library card
If you’re a bookworm, using your local library to borrow books will help spare the trees and your wallet. Street libraries – where you can borrow or donate books – are popping up all over suburban streets and can be a great source of interesting new reads. Alternatively, try second-hand bookstores to buy books you really want.

5 - Invest in cloth napkins
Ditching disposable paper napkins will reduce your environmental footprint and save you money over the years. Plus cloth napkins instantly elevate mealtimes, whether it’s a fancy dinner party or pizza at home with the family.

6 - Make coffee at home
While going to a café every morning is an enjoyable way to start the day, it can be an expensive habit. A daily $4 coffee will set you back $1460 over the course of a year, and if you’re not using a reusable cup, it can make a serious contribution to landfill. Invest in a reusable cup and make your daily coffee at home, then bring it with you on your walk or commute.

7 - Wash your clothes in cold water
Switch your washing machine program to a cold or cool wash – your clothes will get just as clean, without the extra cost of heating the water.

8 - Leave the car at home
Where you can, opt for public transport, or walk or bike to work rather than taking the car. You’ll reduce your emissions, save on gas and parking fees, and get fitter in the process by adding extra exercise into your day.

9 - Try a no-spend month
For one month, try limiting your spending to essentials only, such as rent, food and utility bills. Forgo any non-essential spending, like buying clothes or furniture, cinema tickets and eating out. If you really need something, buy second hand or borrow. Reducing your consumption will help the planet, save you money and make you reassess your spending habits.

10 - Join or start a co-op
Get together with a bunch of friends and take it in turns to buy fruit and veggies in bulk from your local markets. You’ll be purchasing produce that’s super fresh, in season and cheap to boot.

11 - Invest in energy-efficient appliances
Next time you need to replace a fridge or washing machine, opt for an appliance with a high-energy star rating. Washing machines with high energy star ratings can save up to 50 per cent on energy and water usage, which means big savings on your bills over time.

12 - Go paperless on bills
Switching to receiving and paying bills online saves on paper, and your provider will often offer a discount for doing so because it saves them on printing and mailing costs. Plus it cuts down on paper, saving trees. Even better, set up direct debits so you don’t get hit with late fees.

13 - Don’t upgrade your phone
Is an iPhone 12 really going to make your life better? If your current mobile is working perfectly well, save the planet and your wallet by resisting the temptation to upgrade. Use it up and wear it out before replacing it.

14 - Forget fast fashion
Buy pre-loved clothing without compromising on style by shopping for top-of-the-line consignment websites and stores. You’ll save cash and divert waste from landfill, plus you’re more likely to find unique pieces that will go the distance. Remember, it’s not second-hand, it’s vintage!

15 - Put on a sweater
In cooler weather, don’t reach for the thermostat, layer up with a jumper instead and pop on some socks. You’ll save on energy and your heating bill.

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