10 surprising ways to help the planet with your cash

In the wake of the recent UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), which saw some of the world’s most powerful people meet to discuss climate change, you may be looking for ways to be more environmentally friendly.

If you are, the new year is a great time to consider how you could “green” your cash, so read on to discover 10 ways you can reduce your environmental impact with your money.

1. Invest in green savings bond

The NS&I Green Savings Bond lets you invest in environmentally friendly projects for a 0.65% AER return over three years. All you’ll need is £100 to open an account and you can save up to £100,000 in the bonds.

Buying the bonds means you’ll be helping a combination of six different types of green projects chosen by the government.

2. Switch to a sustainable pension

According to Pension Age, research found that moving your pension into sustainable (better known as ESG) funds could be one of the most effective ways to combat climate change.

It reveals that by moving a £100,000 pension from traditional to sustainable funds, you could save up to 64 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. This is nine years’ worth of a Briton’s average carbon footprint.

Researchers also suggested that moving a pension to sustainable funds could be 21 times more effective in cutting your carbon footprint than stopping flying. If you are considering this, always speak to a financial planner to ensure it’s right for you.

3. Insulate your home

Improving your home’s energy efficiency through better insulation could significantly reduce your heating bills, and also significantly reduce your carbon emissions.

Visit the Energy Savings Trust website and you’ll see there are several ways to reduce heat loss, from adding more loft insulation to upgrading doors and windows. Other ways include putting an insulation jacket around your hot water cylinder.

4. Opt for energy saving devices

The Energy Saving Trust provides advice on how to select household appliances that use less energy, and, so, have less impact on the planet. In the wake of energy price increases in 2021, choosing the most efficient electrical devices is likely to have an additional cost benefit too.

From ovens to dishwashers and kettles, the trust provides useful tips on understanding energy rating labels when buying a new appliance to ensure it’s as efficient as possible.

5. Use a green savings account

Research by Which? reveals that you can switch your savings account to a bank or building society to reduce your cash’s impact on the planet. It asked Ethical Consumer to check which banks and building societies offered the most environmentally friendly credentials, and found sustainable bank Triodos came top in November 2021.

It was followed by Ecological Building Society and Nationwide Building Society.

6. Get a green mortgage

In 2020, This is Money revealed that research suggests 89% of prospective homeowners are interested in finding sustainable homes. It also suggests 4 out of 5 said they would choose solar panels and efficient boilers over a garden.

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or moving further up the housing ladder, you might want to consider a green mortgage. They may provide a cheaper rate for buying an energy-efficient home, or making improvements to your current home that ensures it’s more environmentally friendly.

7. Buy an electric vehicle

According to the Energy Saving Trust, choosing an electric car could help you save money and reduce your carbon footprint.

It suggests that electric vehicles have become increasingly attractive because of their lower running costs and expanding choice of models available. Furthermore, with concerns intensifying about air quality and climate change, switching to an electric car could benefit your pocket and the environment.

8. Wear eco-friendly clothing

While big oil companies spring to mind when you think of pollution, The Good Trade claims fast fashion is a major polluter. It also highlights that some brands are becoming increasingly mindful of their environmental footprint and now use eco-friendly production methods.

If you shop carefully, you could buy your clothes from eco-friendly producers, meaning you can look great while doing your bit for the planet.

9. Choose a renewable energy provider

Choosing an energy provider or tariff that uses renewable energy sources is probably one of the better-known ways of greening your money.

It’s also easier nowadays, with many more providers offering renewable alternatives. That said, in September 2021, the Independent revealed the government was looking into claims that energy producers were “greenwashing” their renewable options.

Greenwashing is when companies make claims to be environmentally friendly that cannot be substantiated. So, ensure you do diligent research before opting for a renewable energy provider.

10. Buy refurbished electronics

You might want to consider buying refurbished or second-hand electronics, as it’s effectively another form of recycling, and so more sustainable. It’s also likely to be less expensive. According to Which?, you might be able to save hundreds of pounds when buying a second-hand laptop computer, for example.

Get in touch

While we hope you find this blog useful, if you would like to discuss how you might green your cash, maybe through the use of sustainable investments, please call us on 0116 262 1414.

Please note

This article is for information only. Please do not act based on anything you might read in this article until you have sought professional advice.

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