7 Ways to Reduce Your Consumption to Save the Planet (and Your Wallet)

Climate change is the world’s present reality and overconsumption worsens it. Beyond the fossil fuel industry, unhealthy consumer habits contribute to the Earth’s rising temperatures. Fortunately, actionable solutions are available to save the planet and your wallet.

Importance of Reducing Consumption

Here’s how minimizing consumption makes a whole lot of difference.

Helps Protect Environmental Resources

People worldwide buy stuff worth $44 trillion every year — or $1.4 million per second. These purchases require a huge amount of natural resources and energy. Once you’re finished using products, they usually end up in the ever-growing landfills as waste.


Further, carbon emissions from the production process lead to increasing water temperatures. Ocean life in many regions, like lobsters, have seen as much as a 96% drop in population over a decade. Avoiding excess, unnecessary purchases can help curtail environmentally damaging impacts and behaviors.

Be More Mindful

Reducing consumption forces you to reevaluate your priorities and behavior. It lets you consider whether you’re spending money on things you value. For instance, you may realize there’s much more to life than filling your home with tangible things.

Save on Other Things That Matter

The most obvious benefit is more savings in your bank account. By cutting back on spending on material things, consider investing in experiences, which are more likely to provide long-term happiness than an impulse purchase.

Importance of Reducing Consumption

These simple yet effective steps will help save the planet and some money in your wallet, too.

1. Buy Second-Hand

Did you know fast fashion accounts for 10% of global carbon emissions? That’s more than maritime shipping and aviation combined. Cotton and other materials also need significant amounts of water to grow. For instance, making one t-shirt requires a total of 900 days of drinking water for one person.


Instead of supporting fast fashion brands, shop at local thrift stores. Who knows, you may find a branded item at a fraction of the price. You can shop at garage sales, too. In addition to stylish clothes, you can score unique furniture and home decor at an affordable price.

2. Upcycle and Repurpose Household Items

Upcycling helps you get creative with your existing household items. If you can breathe new life into old things, you can curb spending on items. Here are some easy DIY projects to do at home:

  • Turn plastic bottles into herb planters
  • Cut old clothes into cotton rounds you can use for makeup removal
  • Build a castle out of paper rolls and old boxes for your child

3. Refrain from Buying Single-Use Plastics

Did you know that the world uses 5 trillion plastic bags yearly? That means more than a million bags are used every minute. Plastic pollution is one of the biggest threats to the ocean, impacting whales, sea turtles, coral reefs and seabirds.


You can do something to make a difference today. One of the simplest ways is to reduce the use of single-use plastics. Carry a reusable bottle and save money on buying water bottles. When grocery shopping, swap plastics for more durable alternatives, like eco-bags.

4. Choose Sustainable Transportation

This refers to modes of transportation that have little to no environmental impact. The most common forms include biking and walking — an exercise that provides health benefits and can help you save on costly gas and parking fees.

Electric vehicles are another eco-friendly alternative to traditional vehicles. Buying a new electric vehicle may qualify you for a tax credit of up to $7,500 and used electric vehicle buyers may be eligible for up to $4,000 in tax breaks.

5. Waste Less Food

Cutting down on food waste can help households save about $370 per person annually. If you’re a family of five, that means you have an extra $1,850 to spend or save. Start saving money by buying and cooking the amount of food you can consume. The less food you waste, the lesser garbage and carbon emissions you contribute to the planet.

6. Learn Basic Life Skills

Acquire life skills like gardening and sewing to become less dependent on consumerism. Having your own garden means you don’t have to go grocery shopping to buy fresh produce. Knowing how to sew allows you to alter your clothes and create your own. With the Internet, you can quickly learn skills by watching free online tutorials — no need to enroll for classes!

7. Pack and Travel Lightly

Traveling with lighter luggage makes your adventures more comfortable and helps reduce carbon emissions associated with heavier baggage. More importantly, packing smart can help you avoid hefty baggage fees. When you’re unburdened by heavy luggage, you can fully immerse yourself in the environment.

Save the Planet

As a smart consumer, always remember the power you hold to enact change. By taking these seven small steps, you’re actively contributing to a greener future. Don’t forget to take action today.


Cora Gold is a green living and minimalism writer and the editor of women’s lifestyle magazine, Revivalist. She writes about sustainable fashion, beauty and home living. Connect with Cora on LinkedIn, Pinterest and X.