Washing machines that save water by pre-measuring the dosage? Fridge-freezers with climate-controlled drawers that may help you minimise food waste? The latest approaches and innovations in the home – combined with actions you can take around the house – can help you save money while living more sustainably.
A recent study looked at how consumers are embracing sustainability in 2022, discovering that shoppers are making efforts towards being more sustainable, while also prioritising finances in the face of rising living costs. The survey reported that 52% are limiting water usage and 69% have reduced food waste, all in the name of the planet… and savings. Consumers are also seeking out longer-lasting products from brands with better ethical standards and environmental practices.
Consumers in 2022 are a savvy bunch
Once you start making some sustainable swaps – cutting your meat consumption, or using the car less, for example – you’ll find that sustainability and savings can go hand-in-hand. The white goods you purchase – refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers – can also make a difference. While some might have a higher purchase price in store, it’s worth doing your research to see if they’ll save you money on running costs (energy and water use) over the years.
By doing a bit more planning and organisation ahead of time – from choosing the right products for your household to planning meals in advance so you don’t end up buying lots of food you won’t eat – you can make strides towards sustainability and savings that soon become second-nature.
Ideas to eat more sustainably
Let’s start in the kitchen, where everything doesn’t just feel like it’s getting more expensive – it really is. The latest figures from the ONS reflect that budget supermarket staples like pasta, tea and cooking oil have all gone up in the past year (the lowest-priced supermarket items have increased in cost by around 17% since September 2021, with vegetable oil up 65% and pasta 60%), so finding sustainable – and affordable – ways to eat, and make our food last longer, has never been more timely.
Researchers have advised cutting back on meat and dairy products for some years now as one of the most significant ways to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Buying local and seasonal produce is another way to minimise environmental impact while supporting local business.
Food waste is another area of concern (according to WRAP, households and businesses are producing 9.5 million tonnes of food waste a year, in the UK alone). There are various ways you can reduce food waste, from meal planning (which also helps you stick to a budget) to fridge organisation (adjusting the temp so it’s between 0-5 degrees Celsius can keep food fresher for longer; if you avoid overstuffing the fridge, you’ll use up items in a timely way). Batch cooking meals and freezing them, as well as vacuum technology for storing foods, can also help preserve food for longer. Even the fridge-freezer you choose can make a difference, like Bosch fridge-freezers with VitaFresh, which can help keep food fresh for longer*, thanks to different climate zones within the fridge. These can be set at the optimal, food-preserving temperature of 0 degrees Celsius (ideal for storing meat and fish); for keeping vegetables and fruit fresh for longer, you can adjust the humidity controls. Bosch fridge-freezers with VitaFresh also boast No Frost freezer technology, which keeps cold, dry air circulating throughout the freezer, preventing ice from forming, so frozen foods won’t thaw.
You can also play a small role in rescuing fruit and veg that supermarkets won’t accept by subscribing to a wonky fruit and veg box service like Oddbox every week.
Tips for being less wasteful around the house
When it comes to using less around the house, swapping to reusable items where possible can make a huge difference to how much you’re throwing away on a daily basis… and what you’re keeping in your bank account. This is true from packs of drinks bottles to swapping out paper towels for reusable cloths. These days, companies across beauty (reusable makeup pads, etc.), laundry (wool dryer balls) and food (reusable sandwich bags, kitchen wrap, ice cubes, etc.), have all innovated to turn daily disposable items into buy-once-and-reuse often purchases – better for our purses and our planet.
Buying items you frequently use in bulk reduces packaging to dispose of (and tends to be cheaper). So does being mindful of what’s arriving in your home, from junk mail to freebies from a work conference, to plastic bags. Composting food scraps, egg shells, dryer lint, coffee grounds and more can make a significant difference to how much trash you’re throwing out overall (bonus points if you use that compost to help your own fruit and veg flower in a planter or the garden).
If you’re looking to make changes in your energy bills, start small, according to the WEF. Reducing your shower time by one minute for example can get energy use down (and costs, too). Using white goods like dishwashers and washing machines only when there’s a full load is another thing to try.
How your white goods can help save money (as well as preserving food, saving detergent and more)
In the consumer arena of white goods (washing machines, dishwashers, fridge-freezers), technological innovations mean that the sticker price of the item doesn’t necessarily reflect all the savings you could be enjoying down the line – through increased efficiency and sustainability credentials.
Take Bosch’s washing machine with i-DOS,for example, which has integrated sensors and intelligent dosing technology to determine the correct setting for your load, as well as how much laundry detergent and water is required for each wash. You don’t even need to fill the machine up with detergent every time, which is handy and not only saves you some hassle, but also ensures product last longer, and that you’re using up less water** as you wash your clothes. With the brand’s HeatPump tumble dryer technology you can save up to 68%*** energy over a year as the dryer conserves and reuses heat to minimise energy use (and the filters are easy to clean for allergy sufferers).
Bosch dishwashers with PerfectDry are another smart tech item that can help save you energy****, and time. This is no ordinary dishwasher – it dries as it cleans. With Bosch’s patented Zeolith technology, the machine uses natural minerals to dry everything from plates to pans to plastic, so items can go straight from the dishwasher to the cupboard, or to the table, ready for the next meal (choose from a built-in or freestanding model to suit your space).
From appliances to lifestyle shifts, these small sustainable swaps may soon become what you’re used to… so much so that you won’t remember a time when you took 10-minute showers, ate meat daily, or had to throw away fruit that went mouldy.
*Compared to fridge freezers without VitaFresh
**Calculation is based on a mixed load washed at 40°C with 38% manual over-dosing of liquid detergent vs. an automatic dosing appliance with 10 kg and 4D wash system: Investigation WL 1547/19 conducted by WFK Institute for Applied Research, dated 08/2019, and commissioned by BSH Hausgeräte GmbH.
*** Based on comparing our most efficient 8kg Heat Pump dryer WQG233D8GB (A+++ energy rated Heat Pump tumble dryer @ 176kWh) versus our most efficient Condenser 8kg tumble dryer WTN83201GB (B energy rated @561pkWh). Energy consumption kWh/annum, based on 160 drying cycles of the standard cotton programme at full and partial load, and the consumption of the low-power modes.
****Bosch PerfectDry dishwasher with Zeolith®technology with an energy consumption of 0,73 kw/h compared with a comparable Bosch dishwasher without Zeolith® with an energy consumption of 0,92 kw/h, values per cycle according to EU Regulation No. 2019/2017.