6 Ways to Go Green and Save Money at the Same Time

6 Ways to Go Green and Save Money at the Same Time
Image: iStock

This article is sponsored by CUA.

The second of our Finance Glow Up seminars in partnership with CUA took place on 21 October and was full of useful tips on going green while saving money. It was hosted by Toni May creative director Laura Byrne with CUA money expert Emmanuel Davatzis and, at the end of the session, one lucky attendee also walked away with $500 to kickstart their savings account.

In case you missed the seminar or would like a refresher, we have a summary of the key takeaways focusing on helping you help the planet. Davatzis suggests coming up with a savings goal to keep you in check: money for a new car, a house or six months worth of rent. CUA has both a Savings Planner Calculator and a Budget Planner Calculator — two great resources to help you start your savings journey.

After that, make practical changes in your daily life to work towards your goal and be more eco-friendly at the same time.

Cut back on your daily food and drink waste

Davatzis admits to being a dedicated coffee drinker. He and his wife used to go through at least six to eight pods in a day using their Nespresso machine. But now, they have sourced their own coffee grinder and a reusable stainless steel pod so they don’t have to throw out a lot of plastic on the daily. And, instead of spending 85-90 cents per pod, they’ve cut down their cost to 17 cents.

Other little things count too, according to Byrne.

  • Use beeswax wraps instead of clingfilm to cover your food
  • Make your dishes from scratch rather than buying pre-made meals which you will end up spending more money on per serve. The creative director,  for example, saved $6,000 in a year just by giving up her regular takeaway coffee and croissants.

Say no to fast fashion

Byrne’s research on the implications of fast fashion revealed that 80 per cent of our textile purchases end up in the landfill. That’s a shocking number and beckons us to spend smartly. Do your research on which brands make things unethically and avoid them when you can. 

  • Set yourself a shopping allowance and then spend on pieces that may be more expensive but will last you longer instead of that $19 t-shirt you bought on the cheap only to wear twice.
  • Swapping clothes with friends is another way to avoid frequent purchases. Think of it as an alternative to retail therapy.

Sell things on

As the saying goes: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. If you’re spring cleaning and have items that are in good shape, sell them on eBay or Facebook Marketplace for others to use. It’ll keep the recipient from buying the same product from the shops and continuing the cycle of waste. 

Reduce your commute

Instead of taking your car to work or for an evening out with friends, consider biking, carpooling, walking or taking public transport. It will save you petrol money, get you fit and help the environment all at the same time.  

Save on your bills by saving energy

Again, making small adjustments in your daily life can make a world of difference. This includes saving on your utility bills by conserving energy.

  • Make sure to turn off your lights when you don’t need them
  • Power down monitors and computers
  • Unplug charged accessories and phones
  • Replace your bulbs with LED lights
  • Wash your clothes in cold water if you can

Join a credit union

Most of the big banks have invested in fossil fuels and coal mining in the past, whereas a credit union must invest in the community. 

In case you’re still not convinced, go watch David Attenborough’s latest documentary A Life On Our Planet, to inspire a change in you.


The third and final Finance Glow Up session on Wednesday the 2nd of December will explore financial stability, managing cash flows, chatting to your partner about finances and how to appropriately plan for the future. One lucky attendee will also walk away with a CUA everyday bank account loaded with $500 to kickstart their financial freedom. Register below.


Log in to comment on this story!