Frugal and Green

Save money and the environment

Hasmukh Chand

Saving the planet seems like a monumental task, particularly when scale and economics are taken into consideration. There are however, a number of changes that one can make to their daily lives which can have a positive impact on the environment. Moreover, these minor changes can also result in people saving more money as well.


Men’s shaving razors are expensive with some of the most popular brands costing between $18 and $20. Once the blades have become blunt, they are equally expensive to replace. Once you factor in the cost of shaving creams and gels, keeping a clean shaved look becomes very expensive. Investing in a beard trimmer is a great alternative to shaving and offers a quick way to maintain well kept facial hair.

Further, by not purchasing razors, shaving creams and gels, water and natural resource use is reduced. More importantly, plastic packaging material that would ultimately end up in landfill sites is also reduced. Finally, reducing the use of shaving creams and gels reduces the accumulation of micro-plastics in the aquatic ecosystems.

Estimated saving: $1300

Taking my own lunch:

The proliferation of food courts mean that consumers are being spoiled for choice when it comes to purchasing food. Considering that a decent meal costs an average of $10, purchasing lunch on multiple days can become costly. Packing your own lunch therefore offers an easy way to not only save money, but eat healthy as well.

Packing your own lunch is also a great way to reduce food waste. The flow on effect of this is that as less food is discarded in landfill, the amount of greenhouse gas causing gases, predominantly methane gas is also reduced. Additional environmental benefits include; using less water, land and chemicals for farming the food crops.

Estimated saving: $1560

Bottled water / soft drinks:

Bottled water costs an average of $2 with soft drinks and sports drinks costing more. As we approach the warmer seasons, the sale of bottled beverages will increase. Environmentally, reducing bottled water/soft drink consumption means that there are less plastics being discarded. Plastic bottles are a significant pollutant in aquatic water systems leaching chemicals and acting as choking hazards for wildlife.

Given that New South Wales lacks a robust container deposit scheme, consuming less bottled water and soft drinks remains a viable solution to maintaining healthy waterways. Until a container deposit scheme is instituted, investing in a durable water bottle offers a viable alternative to cheap drinks and low environmental impacts. Anyone seeking additional incentives for recycling should register for an ‘envirobank’ card, which allows a person to deposit empty plastic bottles into special vending machines in return for points. Once sufficient points are accumulated, they can be redeemed for gift vouchers and coupons.

Estimated saving: $520

Take away coffee:

The beverage of choice for most people, buying coffee for $3.50 every morning before work can be costly. For those who purchase multiple take away coffees daily, the habit can be very expensive. Discarded take away coffee cups add to the amount of waste going into landfill sites. Investing in a ‘keep-cup’ is a great way to address the issue of throwing take away coffee cups in the rubbish.

Estimated saving: $360

These changes are not for everyone and understandably, there will be days for self indulgence in take away lunches and beverages. The main thrust of this article is meant to highlight that there are simple steps available for saving money with the added benefit of reducing ones environmental footprint.

I would like to hear what strategies you have enacted in your lives that not only saves you money, but also reduces your impact on the environment. 



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