There is an assumption that zero waste is expensive but you can do zero waste on a budget too and the goal should be to work towards zero waste in small steps and not ditch all your disposable items in one go. (That would just be wasteful.) So instead, the goal should be to swap for a reusable, compostable, or recyclable option–or just skip it altogether when you run our out of something. So here are 5 Budget-friendly Zero waste swaps.
1. Mason Jars for food storage- There is no such thing as too many mason jars when you live a zero-waste lifestyle. From freezing cooked beans or homemade tomato sauce in portion sizes to storing soups and stews, mason jars are great for so many things.The best part about mason jars is that you rarely have to buy them brand new. Instead, ask around–people usually have mason jars with lids they will happily part with.
2. Make your own cleaning products-Dishwasher and laundry detergents, all-purpose window, toilet bowl and tile cleaners are surprisingly expensive; and of course lots of it contains tons of chemicals. They may contain toxins and chemicals harmful to your family and the environment. (Chemical household products enter the environment through the drain.) Replacing your old cleaning products with homemade ones is super easy: most are actually common household supplies such as vinegar, baking soda and lemons. White vinegar, for example, costs about $2 and can be used to disinfect, clean and remove stains. Lemon juice and baking soda make a great smelling scrub for cleaning kitchens and bathrooms. They work like magic and smell better, too. One pound of baking soda costs about $0.82 at Walmart and will last a long time.
3. Brew. Don’t Buy- Skip the daily visit to the coffee shop: I know that on some days you feel as if a strong cup of coffee is the only thing that will help you survive. It might not seem like a lot of money, but since one latte can cost about $5, just multiply that by 7 and see how much that is in one week. By making your own coffee at home and having a reusable coffee mug on the go, you will save around $100 per month. If you’re not ready to give up Starbucks, then choose regular coffee because that’s cheaper. And bring your own reusable cup since lots of coffee places will give a discount if you bring your own cup.
4. Replace disposable water bottles with reusable ones- Most of us drink lots of water throughout the day and if you buy a disposable bottle of water every day it does not only get expensive but it’s also very wasteful so invest in a reusable water bottle is by far one of the most easy zero waste swap.
5. Reusable silicon ziplock bags-So many people ask me what I use instead of ziplock bags, and I get it. Ziplock bags are brilliant! (Minus the disposable plastic, of course.) Luckily, now you can find silicone ziplock bags that work great, are much more durable than plastic, and can be reused many times, so they save both the planet and your wallet.
A couple of these five zero waste swaps do have an initial cost, but since most of them are reusable many times over if you take good care of things, they will save you lots of money in the long run.
For more budget friendly zero waste swaps and budget friendly tips check out my other posts: