Energy saving tips

Can a low-carbon lifestyle really save me money?

3 minute read

Switch to climate-friendly choices

Doing your bit to tackle climate change can be a daunting task but it doesn’t need to be complicated. Getting started is the hardest part. But once you begin making more climate-friendly choices, you’ll find new ways to live a more sustainable life. And you could save money too.

Should I care about a low-carbon lifestyle?

In a word, yes. By switching to more climate-friendly choices today, the better it could be for your pocket and the planet.

It's not just about what we can do as inviduals though. The more we can do to encourage those around us to make changes too, like family, friends or workmates, will add up to making a bigger difference over time.

What is a 'carbon footprint'?

What can I do about it?

We all make lifestyle choices that impact the environment, some out of habit and others out of necessity. But reducing, reusing, walking and cycling all have a role to play in tackling climate change.

Here are some ideas and tips that could save you money and help you reduce your own carbon footprint.

Why not share them too?

Make energy efficiency a habit

Our homes make up 15% of the UK’s total climate emissions (PDF, 1MB) according to a UK Government study.

Installing a smart meter will help you to understand how much energy you use. Something as simple as switching off lights or not leaving appliances on standby will help you save energy. Even better, if you turn it into a habit, then it could also add up to significant savings over time.

Waste less, recycle more

It’s easy to point to our homes or travelling as potentially the largest contributors to the carbon in our lives, but smaller everyday choices could also have an impact.

Following recipes is fun, but often they require using small amounts of  ingredients, the rest of which is wasted. Learning to make a few basics meals like soup or a pasta dish using what you have to hand will help you to cut down the amount of food you throw away and reduce your household waste.

Reusing is fairly similar to recycling. Every time a product is made, it produces emissions. Try making more use of reusable water bottles and supermarket ‘bags for life’. Or prolong the life of the things you own to help the environment by sending less to landfill.

The added bonus for all these ideas? It could save you money too.

Small steps can make a difference

Love low-carbon travel

For those short journeys you make, why not try the same journey on foot? Cut down on emissions and keep fit at the same time. You could download a fitness app to track your progress too.

It's also worth considering the potential savings on running costs by reducing your car use. Any savings you make could fund other changes you want to make.

If driving is a must. Switching to an electric vehicle might be an option. The price you pay to power your EV is a key benefit. According to Go Ultra Low, on a cost per mile basis, an EV could cost you less than a quarter of what a traditional petrol or diesel car might. 

What next?

Hopefully we've given you some ideas to get started reducing your own carbon footprint. Whatever action you choose to take. The key part is turning it into a habit and making it stick. Encouraging others to do the same will help keep you on track and could help make a bigger impact, it all adds up.

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NatWest Money Blog team

October 2021
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