Being Eco-Friendly On A Budget
clear glass jars with green leaves
Photo by Jasmin Sessler on Unsplash

Being Eco-Friendly On A Budget

Ellie-Rose Baker June 27, 2022

Between the cost of living crisis and the climate crisis, the world can be scary for a lot of reasons. Here’s how you can help be more eco!

With retailers now jumping on the go-green bandwagon, I have noticed in recent months that a lot of products branded as eco-friendly are significantly more expensive than their disposable/plastic counterparts.

However, being eco-friendly doesn’t have to mean spending any money at all:=.

No-spend saviour

  • Use what you already have: old t-shirts for cleaning rags, glass jars (washed out) for food storage instead of cling film, and old newspaper instead of bubble wrap. With a bit of imagination, the possibilities are endless
  • Re-use: Water bottles are the BIG one when it comes to being eco-friendly. Even if you don’t already have a re-useable water bottle, re-using a disposable one for a few days won’t do you any harm, and it saves you money too!
  • Be sparing: If you don’t already have bars, consciously being sparing with your liquid shampoo/shower gel is good too. Not only will it last longer and save you money, it will also reduce your plastic waste. It might sound like I’m stating the obvious, but being conscious of your waste is a great first step.
Photo by Jack Cole on Unsplash

Be gentle with yourself

Don’t put the pressure on yourself to change your lifestyle overnight, it’s just not doable. Instead, make one swap per shopping trip, or per payday – you will soon notice how it adds up. Even using a tote bag instead of a carrier bag is a great start.

Remember that being eco-friendly on a budget can sometimes mean long-term investments as opposed to short-term fixes. Although that tote bag is more expensive than the 20p bag for life, the number of 20ps that you would spend in the years that the tote bag would last for, is pretty big.


Although this might sound like an odd one, having a declutter can give you a little bit of extra cash if you sell your unwanted clothes/furniture, but it is also great for the planet. It means that your items get a second life instead of ending up on landfill. Who knows, someone might end up with a new side table instead of another tree having to be cut down to buy a new one.

Prep food/Write a list

By writing a shopping list or dedicating time to food prep, this can drastically reduce your food waste. This, with the added bonus of investing in some food storage (glass containers, repurposed jars, beeswax wraps) definitely makes your food last longer.

Ditch your tumble dryer

Since energy prices have soared, you aren’t alone in doing this. If you dry your clothes on an airer/washing line AND wash your clothes in cold water, you’re smashing it.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


My favourite one. I absolutely have the idyllic image of myself sat amongst my home-grown vegetable garden, eating only veggies that I have grown.

This is definitely one of those long-term investments, but growing lettuce and tomatoes on your windowsill is SO satisfying. To eat something that you’ve grown yourself, that doesn’t need a plastic wrapper? YAS!

Even if you don’t have it in your budget, don’t be afraid to visit a zero waste shop near you for ideas.

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Ellie-Rose Baker, alumni of the University of South Wales, is an almost adult, tackling the big wide world with an English and Creative Writing degree in one hand, and a cuppa in the other. A Freelance Journalist for Freshered, Ellie-Rose's primary focus' are navigating postgraduate life, climate change and literature. She also takes her writing inspiration from her other roles which include theatre ushering and English teaching.