How To Live More Sustainably (when you have no money)

How To Live More Sustainably (when you have no money)

    Something I always hear people saying is that “they can’t afford sustainable brands”. I understand most brands have high prices and, even if it’s the price a product should have, not all of us have the budget to buy from them. 

    That’s why I decided to share with you some tips to have a more sustainable life, without spending too much. And, sometimes, not even a dime. 

    But before I start telling you the secret to more sustainable life on a budget, I’m going to tell you something: sustainability isn’t expensive when you think about the impact it has. Let’s remember that those “cheap” items you buy from brands, in the future, will only bring more pollution and more problems to the earth, and I’ll tell you why later. 

    1. Use what you already have 

    Living sustainably doesn’t only mean buying a $200 blouse from a sustainable brand. The main problem with the fashion industry is that we buy something now, and then only use it a couple of times. 

    It’s time to use what you have in your wardrobe. There are many outfit options you can create with just one item. So don’t come at me saying you have nothing to wear cause you already used everything. Clothes were made to be used!! 

    2. Donate it, if you don’t like it

    Okay, let’s say your style has changed. I get it, we’re humans, humans change. 

    Don’t throw those clothes away!! There’s nothing worse to the planet than that. 

    There are many organizations you can donate those clothes too. Don’t throw them away, but give them away. Trust me, you’ll make plenty of people happy that only use one outfit all the time cause they don’t have to wear it. 

    Stop throwing clothes that are basically new to the garbage. Give them to someone in the streets, a family you know needs them, an organization, there are many options! 

    3. Think before you buy 

    One of the main problems with the fashion industry is that we never know who makes our clothes. There are people in China, Latin America, and India dying, starving, and overworking just to make the clothes the fast fashion industry needs. 

    When you’re going to buy something, ask the brand how their clothes are made. And, if you’re too shy like me, then do your research before you buy. Brands like Zara, Shein, Boohoo, H&M, and more, aren’t sustainable AT ALL. Even if they have a “sustainable collection”!! Be careful with that, fast fashion brands can’t be sustainable unless they change the way their clothes are made!! 

    4. Thrift 

    There’s nothing more sustainable than second-hand. Giving another life to items is one of the easiest and cheapest ways you can practice sustainability.

    As I told you, the main problem of the fashion industry is that we use an item once and won’t use it again. Start thrifting, you’ll find gems in those thrift shops! 

    5. Know your style 

    Yes. This is sustainable. How? Well, if you know your style you’ll only buy what you know you’ll wear. And, that problem of only using an item once, will go away. 

    Knowing your style you’ll be more mindful when shopping. You’ll buy what you need, want, and know you’ll use. Which, as I’ve said many times in this post, is something crucial in sustainability. 

    A tip that I can give you is, don’t shop anything until you understand your style. After you find out who you are and what you like, you can put into practice many of the tips I already gave you. Like, thinking before you buy, thrifting, using what you already have, and donating what you won’t use anymore. 

    6. Say bye-bye to single-use plastic 

    I mean, this is not that hard. Just stop buying that cup of coffee at Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts! And, if you can’t live without them, take your cup with you!! 

    Stop buying plastic bottles of water, juice, soda, whatever. You don’t need them! 

    Always carry a bottle with you, so you can refill it with water. If you want juice, just prepare it at home! And don’t buy soda, it's not good for your health!! 

    7. Understand what sustainability is before you buy 

    The problem of many people out there is that they don’t understand the concept of living “sustainably”. 

    Sustainability isn’t buying clothes for $150+, nor buying nothing at all. It’s buying what you need, understanding how the items are made, and thinking before you buy.

    Sustainability is a complex term, and you need to do your research before buying anything! 

    So let’s stop thinking that we don’t have enough money to live sustainably. 

    And that’s it! I hope you put these tips into practice to live a more sustainable life! 

    What do you do to live more sustainably? Share your tips! 

    • Martina F Martina F :

      Daniela! You are super right, I'm agree with your advices! In the last years I'm focus more on sustainability and I am more careful not to waste money on clothes!    

      3 years ago 
    • Rosalia T Rosalia T :

      Great points! I personally love to thrift and even when I thrift I try to be conscious of whether it matches my style and I actually need it

      3 years ago 
    • Iuliana R Iuliana R :

      Great tips, I am doing my best to follow them all. Since the budget is always going to be on the spotlight, I do my best to save and buy the most expensive that I can afford. This is keeping me accountable of wearing and maintaining the item, as well as picking it to fit my lifestyle and personal style. Even when it comes to thrift-shopping, I found myself buying more than I needed because it was there and it was affordable, that is why I started to only buy what I really wanted and needed, rather than just scouting for what I can find. Thank you for sharing this <3

      3 years ago 
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