How to Combat the Cost of Living Crisis Sustainably

The term “cost of living crisis” is getting thrown around a lot at the moment, but you don’t need to read the news to be aware of the effects. From electricity and fuel to food and toiletries, everything seems to be more expensive at the moment, but that doesn’t mean we can’t come up with ways to save money and mitigate the effects!

In this article, the Brown Recycling team will be sharing some tips around upcycling and reuse that can help you make the most of what you already have.



Leave your upgrade mindset behind

One of the biggest problems that we as consumers face is that we’re constantly in an upgrade mindset. The marketing that we absorb daily is constantly trying to entice us with the latest new thing, whether it be a phone, a toothbrush, a sofa – you name it. We encounter adverts for new products multiple times daily, and over time this has an effect. We get an itch to upgrade what we already have.

However, if you want to do both the planet and your wallet a favour, resist the urge. This means choosing to repair your phone when it’s worse for wear, or simply choosing to stick with it despite the new shiny devices in the window.


Become an upcyclist!

Similar to recycling, upcycling is about taking products that you or someone else no longer have a use for, and turning them into something you do. Unlike recycling, however, you don’t actually break the product down and reform it at a recycling facility, instead you use the structure of the item more or less as it is, and then subtly change some key things about it.

A good example of an upcycling project might be to take a chest of drawers and turn it into a planter. This could involve stripping away the draws and some of the frame and using each section as a shelf.

The beauty of upcycling is that there really aren’t any rules – just find something that you no longer have a use for, and let your imagination run wild!


Food sharing apps

Something that has really gained traction over the last few years: food-sharing apps. Apps such as Olio and Too Good to Go allow local communities to connect and share food that would otherwise go to waste. This allows everyone to save a little bit of money here and there whilst also getting some extra food! It really is a win-win for everyone involved and they’re really easy to get started with. And if there isn’t currently a community in your area for this sort of thing yet, why not be the one to create it?


Online marketplaces

Online marketplaces such as Shpock, eBay and Gumtree aren’t exactly new phenomena, but they’re still criminally under-utilised. When we’re looking to replace something, we often think to immediately buy new, even though there are probably 100s of sellers in your local area with perfectly good second-hand versions at a fraction of the price. Sometimes you can even find things listed for free!


Brown Recycling is Stoke-on-Trent’s favourite waste management company. Whether you’re looking for a skip for a garden project or you’re a small business that needs ongoing bin collection, we can do it all. All you have to do is get in touch and a member of our team will happily assist you.


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