Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Protect the environment and your pocket


By Tiernan Cannon

The new year is once again bearing down upon us, and with that comes the inherent desire for change – the desire to, perhaps, shed our bad habits and to gain some good ones. Perhaps two of the most pressing matters we should consider for 2017 should be how to do our part for the environment and how to save a little bit extra.

Cut down on your meat

If you’re already a vegetarian or vegan, then you’re well ahead of the curve on this one. For the rest of us, now might be the time to cut down a little bit on the meat we so enthusiastically consume. As delicious as it may be, it can be quite the strain on the wallet, plus meat production is very harmful to the global environment.

Buy a reusable water bottle

Instead of constantly buying new bottles of water – and needlessly wasting plastic and cash – why not just buy a reusable water bottle and fill it up as and when? Simple, obvious, yet effective.

Unplug your home electronics

This is a painfully simple one, yet one that is so easily ignored. When your TV is on standby, and that little red LED light is on to tell you that the machine is standing by and ready to go when you are, that is using up a small amount of energy. Will you save the planet and millions of euro by unplugging the thing when you’re not using it? Maybe not. But you’ll no longer be wasting energy – no matter how small an amount – for no reason at all.

Buy secondhand clothes

Consider a new item of clothing. You have the materials themselves that created the item, you have the packaging and shipping that brought it from A to B, and you have the heavily marked up price. With second hand clothes, you cut out all of these factors, wasting less and saving more. Plus, it can be oh-so-rewarding when you find that dream outfit or accessory buried deep within the random array of colours and styles on the thrift or charity shop rail, and all for just a few euro!

Grow your own food

Vegetables and fruits can be expensive, particularly if you search for the top notch stuff or try to support your local farmer. Necessary, but expensive. Not all of us have the luxury of a garden, but if you do, then why not grow your own? You’ll save some money, and what’s fresher than that which you’ve grown yourself right outside your own back door?

When not writing about all things personal finance, You & Your Money's editor Conor Forrest enjoys reading, football and getting lost in an ocean of Wikipedia articles.