Living a more sustainable life may seem a bit hard for some. Let's face it, most Bahamians are used to using plastic material on a daily basis. We drive our cars to the corner store a can of cream which will then be packaged in a plastic bag. We may then use a plastic bowl and spoon to reduce the amount of dishes we need to wash. So yes, for the average Bahamian it may seem really hard to turn down these things and live a more conscious, sustainable lifestyle. We get that. BUT... think about it...
Living a more sustainable life is also living a lifestyle that is better for your wallet. Yea, you read RIGHT! Think about all the bottled waters you won't have to buy, the take out food you don't need to spend money on. If you are a store owner you won't need to purchase plastic bags to give to your customers. There won't be the need to buy disposable plates and other utensils. It actually cost way more to use unsustainable resources, than it is to use reusable resources. You may be paying $1, or really more often than not $1.50 for bottled water (plus VAT), and then when your done with that bottle it goes in the trash can, which then goes to the landfill, and sits there... for years. Going through a process that all plastic materials go through called photo-degradation. This essentially means that it just breaks down into smaller pieces. BIG DEAL! At this point anything can happen, for example (drum roll please) the North Pacific gyre aka PLASTIC SOUP! And that's just one example. With that being said it is an individual responsibility of all consumers, YOU and ME, to manage our waste and find more sustainable ways to live in the one planet that we have! We owe it to our precious ailing earth. Here are some ways that you can live a more sustainable life... and SAVE MONEY!
1. Use a Reusable Bag!
Using a reusable bag saves grocery stores and convenient stores money on having to purchase plastic bags. When you use a reusable bag, you are playing your role in reducing environmental degradation, effectively saving your local government money. We all know that the money used by governments comes from tax payers, and that would be you. So you are saving yourself money!
2. Plant a Fruit and Vegetable Garden!
Planting a vegetable garden, especially a garden filled with herbs that you use while cooking can save you lots of money at the grocery store. Growing your own fruits and vegetables may take time, but will save you money. In many cases, it is even healthier for you. You should explore the many different ways that you can plant your garden to suit your space at home, and schedule.
3. Cook your own food!
Cooking your own food is definitely one of the top priorities, and life changes that you should make. It is possible that with $20 you can purchase your own food, cook it, and have food to eat for 3 days. As opposed to purchasing take out which may also cost $20 but will only last feed you for one meal! I'm sure we can all agree that cooking at home is more cost efficient and healthier for you.
4. Use less paper towels!
Using less paper towels cuts down on you grocery cost. Instead of using paper towels, use a reusable microfiber towel. By doing this you not only save money, but you save the life of a delicate tree that is worth more to us alive, than it is dead in our hands for the sake of wiping up spilled milk.
5. Find cool ways to reuse items!
I think we can all agree that by repairing items like your shoes, a bag, or clothing that has minor wear and tear is more cost effective than having to purchase a whole new item. Try to extend the life of your inorganic purchases. If you can't find a way to do this, up-cycling is always an option. Up-cycling is when you take an old item and make it into something better that you can use! Mix it up! Explore different ways to reuse you inorganic purchases.
Now that you have a fruit and vegetable garden your thumb must be very green. The good gardener that you are, you know that you need fertiliser. A cool, and cost effective way of producing fertiliser is by composting. Buying fertiliser can be expensive and composting is for FREE! It reduces waste, and creates a more sustainable means for organic waste to be recycled and put to good use.
7. Reduce Household Energy!
- Turn off the lights when they are not in use.
- Pull out household appliances plug (T.V, iron plug, chargers, etc,).
- Purchase an energy saving refrigerator.
- Use energy efficient light bulbs.
8. Use a Reusable Water Bottle!
By using a reusable water bottle you save money on purchasing bottled water, and you save the environment from further plastic degradation.
9. Save Water!
Take Military Showers! By conserving your water resources you are saving money on your water bill!
Savings! Savings! Savings Everywhere! Carpooling can save you money on gas! Whoop!