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Five ways to save money while advancing the UN SDGs

Enjoy watching your savings grow while making the world a better place with these tips.

2-minute read

1. Plan ahead when you shop for groceries 

Before shopping for food, understand what you need and how much you will use. A third of the food produced worldwide goes uneaten.1 Eliminating food waste saves on grocery costs, reduces methane in the atmosphere, and helps ensure enough food for the planet. Also look for businesses committed to sustainability, such as Certified B Corporations and UN Global Compact members

Supports SDG(s): 2 — End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture; 12 — Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns; 13 — Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 

2. Use energy efficient lighting 

Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) don’t just last up to ten times as long as incandescent bulbs. They also use 75% less energy2, meaning electric bill savings and fewer CO₂ emissions. 

Supports SDG(s): 7 — Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all; 13 — Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 

3. Adjust your thermostat 

Use a little less heat in cold weather and a little less air conditioning in hot weather. A 4°–6°C (7°–10°F) difference for eight hours a day could save you as much as 10% a year.3 

Supports SDG(s): 7 — Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all; 13 — Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 

4. Shop for secondhand items 

You can find deals on clothing, furniture, and appliances that are sometimes as good as new. When the time comes to upgrade, keep the cycle going by donating your old items instead of throwing them away. 

Supports SDG(s): 12 — Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns; 13 — Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 

5. Conserve water 

Save on your water bill while helping ensure access to this essential resource for all. Installing efficient faucets and showerheads in your home can save almost 3,500 gallons of water per year.4 

Supports SDG(s): 6 — Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 

Further reading

How much should you spend and save each month? Try using the 50-30-20 rule for one easy way to plan your budget.

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