Ditching the Plastic Does Not Have to Cost the Earth 🌍
One question we often see being asked about plastic-free living is ‘can it be done on a budget’ and ‘is it only for the middle classes’?
Well we think living plastic-free is and should be accessible to everyone. You can even save cash! Let’s have a look how…
Fruit & Veg
Some supermarket fruit and veg is cheaper loose than pre-packaged. It’s worth taking a few minutes to check the “per 100g” price for each item. Waitrose’s bananas are cheaper loose (amazing fact – banana’s come in their own packaging – a skin!) and Tesco’s Granny Smiths are too. With mounting pressure on supermarkets to reduce their plastic footprint, cheaper loose veg should become the norm.
Bags of Cash
Hopefully you never need to pay 5p for a bag as we know you are so good at saving money (and turtles) by taking your own. But why not make 5p? Ocado and Morrisons home delivery give you 5p for every bag you give back to them, even if it’s not theirs.
Buy Refills or Buy in Bulk
You may be lucky enough to live near a bulk store, there are more opening all the time. These usually allow you to take your own refillable containers. The zero-waster lists some bulk-buy shops here.
Some smaller health food stores offer bulk items such as oats, seeds, grains, dried fruit and flour. Check them out, you may be surprised.
Refills are available for some products in supermarkets, such as hand wash. Yes, it is a plastic bottle but it is a completely recyclable bottle, whereas the pump dispenser mechanisms are not easily recyclable (some Win on Waste groups collect them for charity). Refills are always cheaper per 100ml than a whole brand new bottle which another pump.
You could also GO LARGE in supermarkets. Some products use less packaging the more you buy (large packs of washing powder, toilet roll) and economies of scale mean they cost less per unit.
Waitrose now sell reusable coffee cups from as little as £2. Many cafes now give you up to 50p off a hot drink if you bring your own cup, so your reusable will pay for itself in no time.
A reusable water bottle may seem a big outlay to begin with but if you find you often purchase a bottle of water when you are out (average £1?) you will soon cover that cost too.
Banish Bathroom Bottles
Buying soap, bar shampoo, bar conditioner and shaving soap you can eliminate much of the plastic in your bathroom. ‘Bars’ often last a LOT longer than bottled toiletries and therefore, saves you money too.
Reuse and Repurpose
Pinterest is brimming with ideas on how repurpose items you no longer need or use. I love this lampshade made from plastic bottles.
Make Your Own
If you’re feeling adventurous and have the time, why not try making your own. There are recipes for everything from deodorant to houmous to toothpaste available on the internet. Treading My Own Path is a great resource.
There are many zero-waste forums and social media pages that share cost-cutting zero-waste ideas. We would love to hear yours!