What is good for the environment is good for people. Being sustainable has many benefits that will increase peoples’ well-being. Anything you do to reduce your ecological footprint can save money, improve your health, and increase your enjoyment of life.

Improve health

From walking and biking more, to having a sustainable diets with less meat and less processed food, there are many ways in which being sustainable can improve your health.

Increase enjoyment

As John Ruskin said: “The best things in life are not things.” In fact research proves that there is a negative correlation between the happiness derived from something and the amount of energy utilised in its consumption. This means that the things people enjoy the most use less energy.

Save money

Any way that reduces your ecological footprint will save money. When your lifestyle costs less, it means you don’t have to work for money as much. This opens us time to spend on the five ways to well-being.

The following tactics will all save money at the same time as reducing your footprint.

Use the library

Instead of buying small mountains of books, CDs, DVDs and magazines that you barely use, get them from your library. Over time, you’ll save a nice pile of cash.

Cut your food bill up to 30%

In the UK a third of all food bought is wasted and it is likely to somewhat similar elsewhere. By planning meals better, judicious buying and freezing, and making use of leftovers you will significantly cut your food bill and reduce your ecological footprint. Eating less meat will help too!

Use rechargeable batteries

Investing in rechargeable batteries can save you quite a bit of money over time. In general, the less you rely on single-use, disposable items, the less money you’ll burn.

Eliminate draughts and air leaks

One of the easiest ways to save money around the house is to seal off draughts. Draughts can reduce your energy bill from between 5% and 30%. With today’s heating costs, that amounts to real money.

Get into CFLs or LEDs

Using CFLS can save up to 80% of your lighting costs. That’s huge! Also the newest designs include different color, dimmable bulbs, bug lights, candelabra and flicker styles and more.

Try Green Cleaning

Not only is green cleaning a refreshing alternative to toxic cleaning products, but it saves you money. Instead of buying an endless array of chemicals from the store, get spotless floors, countertops, porcelain and more the old-fashioned way, with vinegar, baking soda, borax and elbow grease.

Stop idling

Every moment you spend idling your car’s engine is a needless waste of petrol as well wear and tear on your vehicle. Idling for more than 10 seconds wastes more petrol than is needed for startup. In the US, Americans idle away 10.9 billion litres of petrol a year, worth around $NZ17.55 billion. Accelerating too hard also uses more petrol, cars are designed to be most fuel efficient at 2,500 RPM or less.

Start a vegie garden

Gardening can save you money, as well as provide the freshest, organic, local produce.

Buy second-hand

Go op-shopping and save money! This could easily halve your clothes budget and it helps the environment.

Tune-up

Tuning-up your car will make you engine run more efficiently, saving petrol. Just getting a clean air filter can improve mileage by as much as 10% and therefore you 15+ cents a litre? Nearly one in four cars need an air filter replacement. Bad wheel alignment and uninflated tyres force your engine to work harder (in addition to wearing out your tyres quicker) and this can reduce fuel economy by as much as 10% as well.