Between power bills and rent increases, we’re all feeling the pinch of rising costs of living. Eco-friendly choices might be the last thing on your mind, but you'd be surprised how much money you can actually save by reducing waste!
Another great way to reduce costs (and help the environment!) is by ditching disposables. Either switch to the reusable items you have, or invest in some reusable options that will help you save up in the long run.
Here are some of our favourite no-brainer swaps.
#1: Bottled Water vs. Refillable Water Bottle
If you haven't already ditched plastic water bottles, now's the time to start! You already pay to have water available in your kitchen tap, so get a reusable bottle and start refilling. Or when you're out and about, download the refill app to find refill stations nearby.
The cost of bottled water really adds up! If you buy a bottle of water for lunch everyday working day of the year then you're racking up around £230 based on a typical £1 a bottle price. By making the simple swap of getting yourself a metal water container, you’ll be saying no to plastic waste as well as saving hundreds a year.
#2: Disposable Coffee Cup vs. Reusable Coffee CupSingle-use takeaway coffee cups are a horrendous waste, but many coffee shops offer a discount if you bring your own reusable cup. Pure in London, for example, gives shoppers a 50p discount when they bring in their own cup. So if you buy a coffee every morning before work you'd save a whopping £115 a year by simply bringing your own cup. Other coffee shops also run their own schemes, so check these out. Of course, brewing your own coffee at home will save you even more, around £720 if you're buying coffee every working day.
#3: Cling Film vs. Beeswax Wrap
Even with the best intentions of smoothing out and reusing clingfilm, it’s not the easiest thing to manage. If you’re buying a £1.50 box of clingfilm every month, you’re spending £18 / year. Not the highest number, but when you combine it with other expenses, then it piles up.
Switch to reusable beeswax wraps that will protect your food in the same way (only less toxic!). They can be used over and over again and come in a range of sizes. To make them last even longer, check out our blog post for tips to revive beeswax wraps.
#4: Kitchen Roll vs. Swedish Dishcloths
Let’s face it, kitchen roll is handy for mopping up all kinds of spills, and it’s easy to get through at least 2 rolls a week. At around £2.50/roll, that adds up to a mind-boggling £260 / year.
Swedish dishcloths are the perfect alternative, as they can absorb up to 15 times their weight in water. They’re both reusable and compostable, and can last years with proper care. We just wish the Swedes had told us about these sooner!
Above: Swedish dishcloths are made of 70% wood cellulose and 30% cotton, and are completely compostable.
#5:Take-away Lunch vs. BYO Lunch in Reusable Container
Now that we’re back in the office, our take-away-lunch-at-the-desk habit seems to be creeping back in. An £8.00 lunch, 3 times a week, adds up to around £1,100 each year, not to mention a lot of packaging waste!
You can make your own lunch at home for a fraction of the cost. If you're stuck for ideas, check out our zero waste lunch blog post! Bring it to work in whatever container you already own or impress your colleagues with a stylish new lunchbox.
#6: Disposable Razors vs. Safety Razor
A safety razor can save you a lot of money in the long run. If you take proper care of it, it will be the last razor you ever buy. They also look way better in your bathroom and feel more like a proper shave is supposed to be. You realise quickly that it’s the way everyone should shave. And if you're nervous about trying one, check out our beginner's guide.
The average disposable razor only stays sharp for 6-9 shaves – meaning if you use one to shave daily, you’ll be throwing away some 40-60 razors per year. Disposable razors on the Boots website are currently averaging 89p per razor. So by ditching them, you can save about £40/year.
Adding up all of these swaps, you can save £663 every year! And that isn't including making your own coffee and lunch, which will add up to hundreds more.
Do you have any zero waste swaps that save money? Share in the comments below and help others!