Climate change is real and now, more than ever, we have to be mindful of our actions and think about the positive changes we can make to protect our planet.
If you’re planning on switching to a greener lifestyle, whether that be ditching the plastic, switching to reusable sanitary products or getting cash for old mobiles, there’s plenty of ways to save money whilst helping to save the planet at the same time.
From supermarkets and fashion retailers to beauty giants and coffee shops, we’ve compiled a list of all the best freebies and discounts you can nab for going green.
As the Cop 26 UN Climate Change summit kicks off, we take a look at all the things you can do to help your wallet and the planet in one.
A number of high-street retailers offer freebies or discounts on future purchases if you recycle items such as clothing, home textiles, empty beauty containers etc in their stores – how good is that?
What’s more, certain retailers such as H&M even reward you for recycling any old clothing or home textiles (for example, old towels, socks or sheets), whatever the brand or condition.
Best freebies and discounts on the high street:
- M&S: £5 off £35, for recycling M&S clothing at Oxfam
- Boots: 250 Advantage Card points, for five empty containers
- MAC: ‘free’ £17.50 lipstick, for used containers
- Kiehl’s: ‘free’ £10 voucher, for empty containers
- Lush: exchange old Lush packaging and get 50p towards your in-store purchase
- Monki: 10% off, for any clothes or textiles
- & Other Stories: 10% off, for any clothes or textiles
- Schuh: £5 back for every pair of unwanted shoes
- Perfume Shop: 10% off you next purchase for returning empty containers
- Food & Drink
You can save money by taking your own cup to cafés and coffee shops. Stores will accept any brand of cup, so if you have a reusable Starbucks cup, you can still use this to get a discount at Pret a Manger, and so on.
Best coffee shop discounts:
50p off Paul & Pret a Manger
45p off Leon
30p off Starbucks (the discount’s 25p, but you’ll also save on its 5p charge for disposable cups)
25p off Costa and M&S
20p off Greggs
Did you know that across the globe, one third of food goes to waste? Wherever you’re located in the UK, or even globally, you can help rescue perfectly good food from restaurants, cafes, supermarkets, hotels and more that would otherwise be destined for landfill with these handy apps.
Best apps for preventing food waste:
It may be worth checking your drawers for this one, as you could actually make money by trading in your old phone. There are specialist, super-speedy companies which will take an old phone and give you cash in exchange.
On Carphone Warehouse, you could get up to £250 if you trade in your Apple iPhone 11. On EE, if you’ve got an old phone or tablet lying around, when you trade in your old device, you can use the value towards things like your early upgrade fee, the upfront cost of your new device or even use it to pay off your next bill. Alternatively, you can also have the money transferred directly into your bank account.
Best places to recycle old phones for cash:
Giving any area of our homes a revamp often means giving old items a new home, and furniture companies and charities are making it easier than ever.
There are now endless ways to pass on your pre-loved pieces, saving them from landfill, where no furnishings wish to end up – plus, you can even make cash on your old purchases too.
Where to recycle your old furniture:
Made.com : 10% of your order value goes to charity when you post an ad for a pre-loved piece at checkout
IKEA : Buy-back scheme means you can return old IKEA furniture to store in exchange for vouchers. Any pre-loved items that look ‘as good as new’ with no scratches will be purchased by IKEA for 50 per cent of the original price.
DFS : Customers can have unwanted sofas picked up from their homes with DFS’ landfill diversion programme Sofa Rescue
Swyft : If you have a Swyft order number, you can arrange a swift collection of your old sofa to stop it going into landfill
You can also list items to sell on Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree and Preloved. You can even list things as collection only, so it’s simply a case of taking some pictures, writing a description and waiting for someone to come and take it away.