5 Ways to do good every day with your money

You can make a difference!

01 October 2021

We know from our latest research that girls feel that the pandemic has made the world today more unequal, from digital inequality, to food poverty, to unemployment.

These are big problems, and it’s hard for us as individuals to know how we can make the world a better place for girls. But one of the biggest ways you can make a difference is with your money.

It’s Good Money Week, a week to talk about how your money can do good for communities and the planet. We’ve teamed up with our friends at Legal & General who sponsor our Saver badge, to suggest five ways that you can make a positive difference in your local community with your money choices. 

1) Shop sustainably

More and more fashion brands are wising up to the fact that they need to do better when it comes to how they make our clothes. Fast fashion is responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions and nearly 20% of waste water. But shopping sustainably means much more than just buying from sustainable brands. It’s also about trying not to over-buy and create waste. There’s so much we could say on this topic alone, but here are some ideas:

  • Shop second hand and vintage. Lots of us do this already, but it can be hard to remember to do when you see a new sale! Before you buy something new, search out sites like Depop or Vinted to see if you can find something similar that you like just as much - you might be surprised. 
  • Invest in sustainable brands. We’d all rather know that the clothes we buy have been made in an ethical way, but this can be tricky to put into practice. Lots of brands make claims about their positive impact on the planet, and it’s hard to sort what’s true from what isn’t. There are lots of websites out there who can help. Good on You rate brands based on their impact on the planet, people, and animals so you can make better choices easily.
  • Take care of your clothes. The longer they last, the less you’ll have to buy! Make sure you check the instructions on the washing label, and consider whether or not damaged clothes can be fixed before you buy something new. Sometimes visiting a local tailor to make a repair works out cheaper for you.
  • Ask yourself – ‘will I wear this more than once?’ One of the biggest things we can do for the planet is just to buy less overall. One study in the UK found that over 50 million garments were thrown away after being worn just once in the summer. Remember, buying less doesn’t mean you have to go without new clothes entirely. Aiming to buy a few pieces that you wear over and over again will mean that you have more money to spend on higher quality clothes that will last.

2) Go green with your energy

More and more suppliers are specializing in clean energy. This means they only get their energy from renewable sources, like solar, wind or hydropower. By switching to renewable energy sources, you know you’re doing your bit to help the whole of the UK reach its goal of becoming carbon neutral.

There are tools to help make the switch easy for you! Big Clean Switch compare quotes for your area so that you can see which renewable suppliers can offer you the best deal on your energy. Saving money and the planet – perfect! 

3) Donate to foodbanks

In our latest research, 70% of girls told us they thought food poverty had got worse during the pandemic, and they were right. The Trussell Trust reported that food banks were seeing ‘historic levels of need’ in 2020. Donating to foodbanks regularly is a great way to support people and families who are in need. Here are a couple of things to bear in mind:

  • Check out the Trussell Trust’s map to find out where your nearest foodbank is. Big supermarkets often have a collection point by the exit – look out for it next time you shop.
  • Check the foodbank’s wish-list. Most foodbanks will have lists of products that they want online – check that first to make sure that you’re donating what’s most needed.

4) Buy seasonal, local produce

Buying local produce means that the food you buy will probably have had a shorter journey from the field to your plate.

Visiting local markets or greengrocers can feel like more of an effort than doing a big shop all in one go, so try starting small. Save buying your fresh fruit and vegetables for a market day, or take a trip to a local bakery the next time you need a loaf of bread. The more you do it, the easier it will feel.

5) Buy from small businesses

When you buy from small or medium-sized businesses, you’re helping to boost employment and income in their local communities. You also get the satisfaction of knowing that your purchase means a great deal to local people and families. You might find that you receive a very personalised service and great value for your money.

Guides can learn about the ways they can do good with their money by completing the Saver badge. With this badge, girls can learn how to manage their schedules, set a budget, and save energy. Have you done it yet?