Ten ways to be environmentally friendly during a recession

  1. Car clubs or car pool – Sharing a car between two to six families greatly reduces the costs involved. With most schemes you pay per mile or per hour  and often have to buying into the scheme. You can join an existing scheme offer to join up with a friend – “Can I borrow your car’ may be treated with a negative response after asking for the  12th time but “Can I pay half your insurance and pay X pence/cents per mile may be treated quite differently.
  2. Car share schemes also reduce costs. They are useful if you commute to the same place as someone living near you.  Again it can be as simple as putting a note up at work or you could join a car share scheme.
  3. Form a food co-op – Forming a food co-op with friends is a good way to buy your food in bulk which can reduce overall costs. This can be useful for freelance workers and students who tend to get a lot of money in one go then nothing for ages. A 25kg bag of rice will be much cheaper than buying in 500g or 1kg at a time and it will reduce on packaging and transport costs (your costs to the supermarket).
  4. Make your own washing powder/liquid – This is much easier than you think and as you make a large quantity it saves a lot of money in the long run
  5. Recycle in the garden –In his book, ‘Grow your food for free …well almost’ Self-sufficienish’s resident gardening expert, Dave Hamilton, shows you how to make sheds, poly tunnels, paths, fences, compost and save seeds all for free. You’ll save more than the cover price a few times over.
  6. Brew your own Booze – Another Self-sufficientish author, Andy Hamilton in his book ‘Booze for free’ show you how to brew your own beer, wine, cider and countless soft drinks.
  7. Insulate the windows – 20% of heat leaves through the windows so put up either heavy backed or thermally lined curtains or hang up extra fabric in the windows.  If double glazing is too expensive or you live in a rented house you can put up clear PVC glazing bough from hardware stores – See the Selfsufficientish Bible for more details.
  8. Insulate the rest of the house – Home owners and tenants can both apply for free or reduced cost cavity wall and loft insulation.
  9. Widen where you get your food – Regulars of self-sufficientish will no doubt already be keen food growers and forager but consider bartering your surplus for non-food items or food items you don’t grow.
  10. Stop buying new –  Websites like freecycle and ebay offer free or cheap ways of obtaining second hand anything. Don’t hold back on freecycle, it isn’t unheard of to obtain larger items such as cars and bicycles from the website. Also visit local jumble sales and charity shops/thrift stores.
  11. Share your own tips – We’ve reserved the eleventh tip for you, we want to hear your tips either here below or on our forum.

 

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2 Comments on Ten ways to be environmentally friendly during a recession

  1. Hi there what are the requirements for setting up a eco place. Also what kind of areas could i set up and where in this country legally of course. Could i set up in a national forest on my own.

  2. Your questions are a but vague Paul, what kind of eco-place? A cafe, a house, a community? I suggest you email the woodland trust about setting up a National Forest on your own.

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