When I talk to people about being more environmentally friendly and making sustainable choices I’m shocked by the amount of people who think that a zero-waste lifestyle is too expensive for them. I will admit that the lifestyle CAN be expensive but it really doesn’t HAVE to be. When it comes to these types of products there tends to be an upfront cost, although it does pay off in time I can understand how this is overwhelming for a lot of people. In my opinion, adopting a zero-waste mindset can actually save you a decent amount of money. The whole idea is to find ways to use what you have and buy less in the future. Today I wanted to share some easy zero-waste swaps that will actually save you money. If you’re new to the lifestyle these are some easy places to start.
Reusable Period Products
Disposable tampons and pads can be seriously expensive! The worst part it that you have to buy them every month for a good chunk of your life. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to skip that monthly trip to the store and never have to worry about being caught without a tampon? There is! Reusable period products are becoming more popular. They not only help reduce the amount of waste we produce, they actually help you save money as well. You have a few options when it comes to choosing what is right for you, the most common options are menstrual cups, reusable pads, and period panties. The upfront cost is more than what you probably already pay monthly but these products can be used for years without needing to buy more. If you’re interested in learning more about these products check out my post about sustainable periods HERE!
Cook Instead of Ordering Take-Out
Ordering take-out is so damn expensive. Not only do you have to pay for the cost of your food, but there’s the added delivery charge and a tip for your delivery driver. I have found that ordering 2 meals comes to the same amount as a weeks worth of groceries for my boyfriend and I, which is CRAZY! The cost is only one issue, the environmental impact is a whole other story. Usually, when you order food from a restaurant it comes in some type of plastic or paper package and there are plastic utensils for your to use as well. These things typically end up in the trash and continue to pollute the environment. By cooking your meals at home you’ll be avoiding all of that unnecessary waste! Bonus: meals cooked at home are typically healthier and you might have some leftovers to eat the next day!
Reusable Water Bottles
It baffles me that people continue to pay for bottled water when you can get the same thing from your tap. It’s absolutely insane how much companies charge for a water bottle! Invest in a good quality water bottle and fill it up for free. If think tap water is gross (I promise it’s not!) or you don’t like the taste of tap water there are a few different options for filtering. You can buy a filter that attaches directly to your tap and filters the water as it comes out, you can buy a jug that has a filter built it (like a Brita), or there are single sticks of carbon that you can put inside your water bottle.
I switched to a safety razor a few months ago and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. If you’d like to read about my safety razor experience you can check out my post HERE! I will never go back to disposables! While the upfront cost of a safety razor is probably more than you’re used to spending, it will last you for years. Where I live a package of 4 disposable razors costs anywhere from $5-10 and each one of those will only last you a week or so. A safety razor can vary in cost (the one I bought was $30 and came with 5 blades) but you only have to pay to replace the blades. So far I have found that one blade will last 2-4 weeks, possibly even longer if you take excellent care of them. I’m sure you can see how quickly the savings add up! The best part is that you’re saving all that plastic from ending up in the landfill!
If you need to buy something see if you can find it second-hand or borrow it before buying it new. If it’s an item that you’ll only use a handful of times, ask a friend or family member if you can borrow theirs rather than purchasing a brand new one. If it’s something that you will use frequently check to see if you can buy it second hand. With social media second-hand no longer has to mean going to the thrift store and searching through a bunch of items to find something you need. There are so many facebook groups and other websites specifically made for people trying to sell things they don’t have a use for. Taking a minute to search on your phone could end up saving you a ton of money. Another great idea is to sell things you no longer have a use for, someone may be searching for it and you could make a little extra pocket money.
These are just a few ways that the zero-waste lifestyle has been saving me money and I’m sure there are many more I will discover! If you’re going to give any of these a try or you have some other tips for how to save money when going zero-waste please leave a comment and let’s have a discussion. If you found this post to be useful feel free to share using the links below! If you liked this post please subscribe to be notified by email when I post in the future and don’t forget to connect with me on social media, I would love to hear from you. You can find all my links in the side bar on desktop or below this post on mobile.
“There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew.” – Marshall McLuhan