Save the Planet and Your Pennies

Going against the grain is expensive. Grains are expensive. Veganism may be an environmentally sound lifestyle but for some it can feel unrealistic or limiting. For instance, substituting cow’s milk for the oat alternative can cost you but without those extra options, a diet exclusively of fruit, vegetables and grains can test your culinary creativity. If you decide to take the plunge and switch to a vegan diet, fantastic – there are resources out there to help.

However, there are other things you can do. Luckily, reducing your single use plastic consumption can actually save you money – as well as help the planet. Excellent news for those dreading giving up cheese. Here are a few ways to cut down on plastic to save you the equivalent of a few extra pints a month. Cheers!

Cool beans

Reusable cups are sturdier, keep liquids hotter for longer and, let’s be honest, look so much better. They can also be more cost effective as several coffee shops now offer discounts of up to 50p, or double loyalty points/stamps. Depending on your level of caffeine addiction, you could save around £1 a week (£50 a year!) for an initial investment of less than £20. Bargain.


Over 15,000 businesses in the UK have signed up to the Refill scheme, including Wetherspoons, Starbucks, Costa, Morrisons and many other smaller outlets. This allows thirsty shoppers to fill up their reusable bottles for free and without any questions asked. Feeling too fancy for plain tap water? Pret actually offer free filtered water, making that money you’re spending on bottled water much better used for something sensible, like pizza.  

Good taste

That bag of leeks may look appealing, all neatly packaged and easy to grab as you race to the self-checkout. But consider how often you actually eat all four leeks – despite your best intentions – and how often you end up throwing away a squishy, brown mess a week later. Get reusable produce bags and buy only what you need. This not only hits your low-plastic goals, but also prevents excessive food waste, which in turn can end up saving you money. You’re welcome.

Bigger and better

Bulk-buying to save money is not a new concept – as any student who has ever bought basmati rice at Costco will tell you. We’re not saying to go and buy a year’s worth of loo roll all in one go, but larger containers of everyday products actually come up cheaper. Let’s take the schoolboy’s favourite, Original Source Mint and Tea Tree shower gel (oh, that tingle). In Tesco, the listed RRP’s are as follows: 50ml for £1.50 (£3.00/100ml), 250ml for £1.80 (£0.72/100ml) and 500ml for £3.00 (£0.60/100ml). As well as better value, the bigger the bottle, the less plastic is used per 100ml of actual product. Plus, the carbon footprint from manufacture, distribution and transport is lower. Another win for your purse and the planet. What will you do with all your newfound wealth? 

Looking for more green-living tips and facts about the environment? Follow us on Instagram at @sholeuk for updates and exciting news about our sustainable mission.

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