Cutting down costs often starts with cutting down waste. Many households are filled to the brim with items designed for one-off use. Replacing these single-use items with reusable solutions will save you time, money and is a great way of contributing to the protection of the environment. There aren’t many opportunities to save the planet and save money at the same time, so get involved! Read on to find out the top wasteful items and how to replace them.
- Plastic Bags
- Plastic Water Bottles
- Takeaway Coffee Cups
- Plastic Straws
- Disposable Razors
- Food Packaging
This one is truly a “no-brainer,” especially since Supermarkets introduced the 5p carrier bag charge. Depending on how many shops you do, the costs quickly stack up and over a year you could be looking to spend close to £10 on something which destroys the environment and has little benefits for you after its one-off use. Replace plastic carrier bags with a sustainable fabric carrier bag. Usually you can buy these in the supermarkets themselves or get one online. The other advantage to these bags is that they aren’t as flimsy as plastic, so you can fill them to the brim without having to worry that they’ll tear.
Here are some not-so-fun facts. Only 1 in 5 plastic water bottles is recycled. Plastic water bottles can take between 400 and 1,000 years to decompose. Over twice as much water is used to produce a plastic water bottle than is contained within the water bottle when it is sold. Plus they sap away money unnecessarily, considering the UK is a country where tap water is safe to drink and has more stringent safety checks placed on it than bottled water!
Get yourself a reusable water bottle, this will save you a heap in the long run, stop the endless influx of water bottles lying around the house, and can be a quirky way to express yourself. Try the Joseph Joseph Dot water bottle, it’s cheap, looks sleek and even has a hydration tracker in its lid that tells you when it’s time to top up on fluids. Speaking of water, here are 12 ways to save on water bills.
MPs have recently called for a “latte levy” of 25p to be placed on disposable coffee cups. Brits drink 70 million cups of coffee per day. And a lot of those 70 million cups are single-use paper ones. It’s a huge waste, and they’re not even very handy. It’s easy to burn your hands or spill your drink. Plus, you’ll save money by using a reusable cup:
Pret gives customers 50p off hot drinks if they bring a reusable cup
Starbucks will give you 25p off
Costa will give you 25p off
Paul will give you 25p off
Greggs will give you 20p off
Hydro Flask Coffee cup won the Independent’s best buy award for reusable coffee cups. It’ll set you back £18.95 but it’s fully sealable so it’ll keep your coffee warm and you can chuck it in your backpack.
Want to find out how much you’re spending on coffee, click here.
Next time you’re at your favourite bar or restaurant, bring your own metal straw! It may seem a little silly at first, but it’s an easy way to reduce the amount of waste you are responsible for, plus it makes any drink look better. You can get them from most high street kitchenware shops, or online. It’s a cheap way to live a sustainable lifestyle.
This is one which can earn you huge savings over the years. A bag of disposable razors can set you back up to £10. Ladies, you can pick up a solid wet and dry shaver for under £15. Gents, you can get a top quality electrical razor for under £50. Not only will you save big by cutting out disposable razors, you’ll also have a far more efficient and quick shave! Look good and do good at the same time.
So much fruit and veg comes pre-packaged by nature. It doesn’t need to be wrapped in plastic. Andy Clarke, the former boss of Asda, has called on supermarkets to stop using plastic packaging – saying most of it won’t ever make it to a recycling site. Even if supermarkets continue to use plastic to wrap almost everything, you can do your bit by trying to buy plastic-free. Apples don’t need to be sold in a plastic bag, nor does Broccoli. If you can’t find these items unwrapped, try shopping at your local market instead. You’ll be supporting your local community and doing your bit for the environment. Alternatively, you could also just get all your food for free.