We talk a lot about how Zero Waste functions as a way to protect the environment and correct deeply-ingrained wasteful habits. So, what about your wallet? Can you be environmentally responsible while saving money? Absolutely! Below we present six awesome cash- and planet- saving tips for you.
1. Growing your own food and composting
Seeds are cheap, and if you have some spare surfaces be it a lawn or a balcony, you've got food-growing potential! A few tomato plants can produce a lot of tomatoes for all those summer salads you no doubt are into making these days, or maybe a big batch of tomato sauce.
Composting your food waste will ensure you have excellent, nutrient-rich soil that will enhance your garden and its output. Plus, I have just got to mention that when compostable waste is sent to the landfill, it takes a very long time to breakdown, and when it eventually does, it produces about 50% CO2 and 50% CH4, (methane). This methane is developed due to the anaerobic decomposition or lack of oxygen that takes place in a landfill and then when this greenhouse gas is released into the atmosphere, it isn't a good thing. Methane is 28 times more potent than CO2 and can cause severe health problems as well as have a significant impact on global warming.
2. Wrapping up food leftovers
Little purchases like cling wrap, tinfoil, and plastic baggies can add up, just like they do in the oceans and at the garbage dump. Switching to reusable containers like mason jars and beeswax wraps will eradicate the need to buy single use products.
Strategyzing for a week's worth of meals before going grocery shopping gives you the chance to think about what ingredients can be in bulk, what is healthiest, and what is least expensive! Your trips to the market will be purpose-driven and heaps more economical. Dried goods like beans and lentils will require you to schedule in time to let them soak, but a full reusable bulk-bin-bag is dirt cheap compared to buying cans of beans.
5. Rethinking the trash bag
If you are good about composting your trash is probably lighter and dryer than those pre-compost days. Why not replace those regular plastic kitchen trash bags with newspaper liners? It's easy, and way better than having to purchase again and again plastic bags! There's a bunch of tutorials on YouTube that take you through it, like this one!
5. Thrift store threads
The fashion industry is responsible for a lot of waste and inequality, it's so expensive for what it is and how much whoever made it got paid, and often the quality is so cheap it doesn't last long. Shopping at thrift stores for you and your family is an infinitely better option. It's cheap, it's fun, it's sustainable, and you will end up finding some real treasures.
5. Reusable towels and handkerchiefs
When paper towel has been around in my house in the past, it's gone fast. It can start to add up, and it's really wasteful. If you find yourself shelling out the extra cash for that high-absorbency paper towel, you are better off making the switch to to reusable towels. Made from recyclable materials which can be washed up to 300 times, these will do the trick.
Exchange all those boxes of single-use tissue for a good old fashioned handkerchief. It's one of those items where people are instantly hooked once they try it. They get really into it! I've seen a few that are have really cool designs or are super customized, adding some stylistic flare.
6. Slick shaving
The products we use in the bathroom are a huge source of plastic pollution, and oh my god why are they so expensive? Those plastic razors seem to be the default for everyone, but there are way better options out there in terms of saving money over time and reducing waste. Safety razors are not only cutting down on all that would plastic, they are really cool looking and feel awesome to use, especially this one.
You probably have some tricks up your sleeve, too! If you have something to add, we would love to hear it! Leave a comment! Let’s share knowledge and support each other in our zero waste journey!