Published: 21/08/2019
Category: Member Benefits
Published: 21/08/2019
Category: Member Benefits

Climate data shows we could be up for our hottest year on record. The good news is, it’s possible to go green on a budget – check out these seven financial tips from industry super fund-owned bank ME on how you can reduce your environmental footprint.

1. Invest in a water bottle

Around 370 million plastic bottles go to landfill each year in Australia, yet they can take more than 400 years to break down.

Think of it this way. If Michelangelo had been sipping from a plastic bottle when he painted the Sistine Chapel back in the early 1500s, the bottle still wouldn’t be fully decomposed in 2019. Scary right?

Invest in a reusable water bottle and fill it from the tap. It can see you save a fortune on bottled water while keeping you hydrated.

2. Save on your daily brew

Australians collectively consume more than 50,000 cups of coffee every half hour. That’s an estimated one billion takeaway drink cups every year, and most are not recycled.

The solution is to join the ‘keep cup’ revolution. A keep cup typically costs between $14 and $30, and as some cafes offer a discount when you BYO keep cup, it pays for itself – especially if you’re drinking coffee out of it every day. Head to sites like Responsible Cafes to find out where you and your cup can score savings.

3. Switch to renewables 

Explore energy providers in your area to find out if sustainable sources of power are available – check out the Green Electricity Guide collated by Greenpeace and the Total Environment Centre. Worst case scenario, you find a cheaper energy plan for your home.

4. DIY meals

Take a quick look around the supermarket and you’ll see convenience foods tend to be swathed in plastic. They also cost more than homemade meals.

Save a bundle by hitting the kitchen and cooking up a storm from fresh ingredients. Want to save even more? Try growing a few of your own veggies or herbs. Silverbeet, bok choy, tomatoes and rocket are virtually foolproof, and you’ll have the benefit of organic greens, cost savings and the minimisation of your carbon footprint. 

5. Takeaways? Bypass the plastic

Takeaway food is an effortless hunger buster. But oh, the plastic! The good news is, some restaurants happily serve cut-price takeaways when you bring your own containers (grab some pre-loved Tupperware from an op shop – it’s very budget-friendly). Check out sites like Trashless Takeaways to feast on eco-friendly savings.

6. Ban plastic shopping bags…altogether

The ban on disposable plastic bags by major supermarkets is a step in the right direction. But it can still mean paying for BYO bags made of…you guessed it, plastic. Consider buying green bags or reusable bags made from sheets or scraps of material.

7. Save on bin liners

Skip plastic garbage bin liners and save by wrapping organic rubbish in old newspaper. It composts in no time at all.

Try one or all of our tips to enrich the environment – and your bank balance.

This article is brought to you by ME. For more information, please visit

Members Equity Bank Limited ABN 56 070 887 679 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 229500.

Seven ways to save money and the planet

Seven ways to save money and the planet