Selfishly Saving the Planet

Chloe Harte

Whether you see it as frugality or stinginess, pinching the pennies can contribute to the sustainability of the planet’s resources. A mutually-beneficial relationship can be established between creativity and a divergence from our ‘throw-away culture’. These are just a few money-saving tips that pertain the two-for-one offer of preventing both financial and artificial waste.

Binbags top the list of things that I refuse to buy. Essentially everything is a binbag. Crumpled Penneys’ bags, the packaging of toilet rolls and the cardboard covering of multipack-biscuits are among the items I have salvaged as impromptu rubbish bags. When cooking a stir-fry, I pop the vegetable peels into the soggy plastic that housed the noodles.

Two birds, one stone? A day planner is something I have often been gifted but never end up utilising to its full potential. A combination of the fear of committing to 365 days of planning ahead, supplemented with an awareness of my blotchy cat scrawl prevent me from breaking its decedent spine.

Instead, and rather absentmindedly, I reuse scrap paper to plan the following day. Torn envelopes, the back of A4s, old receipts and handouts all receive a second birth of usefulness in this manner.

One thing that it positively pains me to dispense money on is bottled water. It’s a horrendous waste of plastic! We’ve all seen the ads of fish getting caught in plastic or turtles choking on broken pieces. A reusable water bottle is the best four euro purchase of my life thus-far. This once-off investment has saved me at least a euro a day on vending machine water-bottles. A permanent passenger in my handbag, refreshment is always at my fingertips.

Since the iconic day of its purchase I find that my water consumption levels have doubled. It quickly becomes second nature to refill it at every available tap. Better again, it doesn’t leak and drown the other inhabitants of my bag.

While on the subject of drink, doubles are for spirits, not for products. We are all guilty of ‘goo-hoarding’ to some degree; a phenomenon of which many people do not take cognisance. How many body moisturisers do you currently own? Or foundations? Lip balms? Body sprays? One can only apply these products one at a time, but the lure of new ranges, seasonal sales and fresher scents traps us all. A ‘three-for-two’ special offer is redundant if product two and three expire, or end up in a box under the bed, before the first product is half empty. Is there anything worse than coming across a pristine nail varnish or promising mascara that has dried up before you’ve gotten around to using it?  In emptying the contents of a long-forgotten makeup bag into the big, you are losing money and contributing to our already overflowing landfills.

It’s the little things that count. Whether a philanthropic god or a cash-strapped student, we can all do our bit for the Ol’ Lade’ Nature. Be stingy, save the planet!