Eco Tips

Green Money

How we use, spend or save our money, makes a difference.

  • Protect peat bogs: don’t buy composts that contain peat, instead buy peat-free varieties or make your own.
  • Buy bee friendly (and insect/ butterfly friendly) seeds and flowers to promote local biodiversity.
  • If you have space, buy and plant fruit bushes/ trees and enjoy fresh fruit. 
  • Even if you only have a windowsill buy seeds so that you can grow your own herbs and salads.
  • Use local shops and local suppliers so that your money supports jobs for local people and the local economy.
  • Buy locally produced food so as to reduce supply lines and their associated carbon footprint. Avoid foods bought in by air freight.
  • Buy organic food to prevent more soils and waterways from being polluted by nitrates and pesticides.
  • Buy organic foods to prevent insects, birds and small mammals being poisoned by pesticides.
  • Buy organic foods to prevent wild plants being killed off by herbicides.
  • Buy plant-based foods from sustainable sources in preference to meat and dairy products which have a larger carbon footprint.
  • Avoid products that come with excess packaging – even if it is recyclable, the whole process is unnecessarily using up time and resources!
  • Swop/ buy second hand items to cut back on waste and conserve scarce resources. 
  • Maintain and/ or repair things to make them last longer or find a professional to do this for you. NB Anything electrical should only be mended by a professional; ditto boilers etc. 
  • Buy gas and/or electricity from a green supplier and support the transfer to renewable energy.
  • Buy a cycle and good wet weather clothes and be an active traveller. Fewer cars on the roads reduces CO2 levels and air pollution and creates quieter, less congested neighbourhoods.
  • Where you go by rail rather than air, buy a train ticket. Where you can go by bus rather than drive, buy a bus ticket. Opt for the greenest travel option.
  • Avoid companies that don’t pay a living wage to their employees, who don’t pay their taxes, and offer minimal support for a greener world. Instead spend your money supporting  companies that treat people and the environment with respect.
  • Do buy wonky and misshapen fruit and vegetables and limit what goes to waste.
  • Do buy insulation for your home, thermal linings for your curtains, and low energy light bulbs.
  • Do consider a heat pump over a boiler. The former is more energy efficient and has a much smaller carbon footprint.
  • Don’t buy food you won’t eat, clothes your won’t wear or appliances that just take up space.
  • Don’t buy new when a good second hand option is available. 
  • Don’t use banks/ insurers/ pension fund providers that invest funds in the fossil fuel industries.
  • Do seek out companies that actively invest to support a green economy.
  • Do support wild life funds, re-wilding and habitat conservation projects. 
  • Do enjoy the outdoors and green spaces – often access is free!

Author: Judith Russenberger

Environmentalist and theologian, with husband and three grown up children plus one cat, living in London SW14. I enjoy running and drinking coffee - ideally with a friend or a book.

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