The earth is doomed; Unless we make some drastic changes. Now I am well aware many of these changes need to be done on a much larger scale but I cannot just give up. I want to hold myself accountable for how I live and I want to live a life that is more sustainable. Here are some steps that I have taken to live more sustainably, on a budget – cause I’m a graduate student so budgeting is also important to me.
Just before we get more in-depth into some of my methods, here’s a quick list of the typical things that my partner and I do:
- walking or jogging over public/private transport when possible
- opting into an energy saving program with our utilities
- Using reusable water bottles and coffee mugs
- Shopping with our own grocery bags
- Thrift shopping and limiting our consumption of fast fashion clothing
Meat consumption ($150AUD/month) & ugly veggies ($35/month)
My partner and I have started to buy our meat from a local butcher. We found the quality was much better than the grocery store meat and the price was equivalent to the “organic” or “free range” meats.
Have you noticed our monthly meat budget? It’s quite small for two people, that’s because we’ve decreased out meat consumption to just dinner (and lunch left-overs). Even then, we cook meat maybe twice a week and will re-use the cooked left-overs in different ways for the next meals.
Also, we have more veggies in our household due to our subscription to Good and Fugly. It’s an Australian based company that sends you a box of veggies every week or fortnightly. These veggies were too ugly to be put on display in a grocery store. I get a small box (a small is recommended for two people) delivered every 2 weeks for $35AUD (this is $10 cheaper than buying veggies from the grocery store). The veggies are seasonal, really not that ugly, delicious, and the veggies last me a few days longer than two weeks! What I love about this box is it sends veggies I have never even heard of or tried before (alongside your typical veggies) that make me look into more recipes and try new foods! This weeks veggie I have never tried is golden beetroot. You can get 20% off (this is the same coupon code I used) with the code: First20
Reusable items ($20AUD)
I’ve already mentioned the reusable water bottles and coffee mugs (or keep cups for my Aussies out there), but I’ve also gotten reusable cutlery for my partner and I. It comes with chopsticks, kebab sticks, different sizes straws, straw cleaning brush, knife, fork, spoon, and even a toothbrush! I bought this pack from a local market for $20 each. This pack has been a lifesaver when my partner and I have gone camping, roadtripping, and having sushi at home! It’s also made from bamboo and compostable.
Storing Food ($50 AUD)
My partner or I will cook dinner, and most of the time we have left overs. Now to store these left overs we will use our plastic containers. We will also use these containers for our packed lunches. We will NOT warm up our food in these containers. If you want to know why we don’t heat up in plastic containers, you can listen to our podcast episode. I’ve considered using the bees wraps, but they are just so expensive! It’s like $15 for 3 wraps, while I have like 20 different shaped containers that I could use, most of which I received for free with my groceries. Now if I had a disposable income, I would definitely invest in the bees-wraps, I just find that a more budget friendly option is the plastic containers.
Cleaning Products ($96/6 months)
I am a clean freak. My partner can probably attest to this. I can’t go to bed without the kitchen sink empty, and I cannot go one week without having vacuumed the whole house. But I love to clean. Think Monica from Friends.
Good cleaning products can be expensive, and need to be replaced every few months. Which means a lot of garbage. Well I found Zero Co. which sends you the containers and all the liquids to fill these containers. When you’re out of the liquids, they will ship you the refills. And the empty refill containers that you used? Just ship them back (for free)! No trash. I got the Lite Starter Kit for $80AUD (I used a coupon code) which included: Handwash (1L), Bodywash (1L), Laundry Liquid (4L), Multi-Purpose Spray (1L), Dishwashing Liquid (1L), Stain Remover (500ml) PLUS 6 x Reusable Dispensers made from Ocean, Beach & Landfill (OBL) plastic. If you’re in Australia you can get $10 off your first purchase with this coupon code (the coupon code I used has expired):
Who gives a crap ($50/6 months)
After receiving multiple facebook advertisements for it, and seeing many friends use this service I have opted-into the Who gives a crap toilet paper. It’s recyclable, it feels great on the bum, and it lasts forever! Now, it’s more expensive than your cheapest grocery store toilet paper BUT who’s buying 1 ply anyways? We also bought the paper towel, it’s been a month and we’re still not through the first roll! I must admit, I clean with reusable rags and only use the paper towels in dire situations like spills, or cleaning the toilet (which happens quickly… refer to previous paragraph).
My partner is a monster:
Not to brag, but my dentist said my teeth were “cleaner than average”. Now that’s the best compliment your dentist can you give.
I brush my teeth two times a day, but I also floss my teeth twice a day. String floss needs to be replaced often and again creates a lot of trash. So I invested into a water flosser. Many of the ones I research were expensive so I took a gamble on this cheap, traveler water flosser. And it works great. It was a bit messy to begin with, but I got the hang of it in no time.
It’s also great, because when you’re running late and you can’t brush your teeth after your morning coffee or poppy seed bagel (because you need to wait 45 minutes after eating before brushing your teeth), you can water floss your teeth instead! My routine is simple: wake up, brush teeth, eat, exercise, floss teeth; My dentist recommends it.