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There’s so much talk about zero waste.
And lots of us really want to give it a go.
But boy it can feel confusing can’t it?
With zero waste tips and plastic free ideas coming at us from all sides.
PLUS new products claiming to deliver an eco friendly lifestyle popping up every day.
And lots of those products – have you noticed? – aren’t cheap. In fact lots are crazy expensive.
Which for many of us – heck, for most of the whole wide world!!! – is a BIG problem.
Or at least a whopping big challenge.
The Whopping Big Eco Friendly Product Challenge
Yes, we want to move towards zero waste.
Yes, we want to buy eco friendly products.
BUT we NEED to be frugal AND save money.
AND it turns out, it isn’t actually that eco friendly anyway to swap out instantly ALL our stuff for plastic free, non toxic products.
BECAUSE everything new we buy pollutes.
Both in production AND shipping.
BUT BUT BUT … before we all give up on eco friendly living and a zero waste lifestyle, there ARE a bunch of awesome, frugal zero waste products that quickly:
- Slash the number of new products we buy
- Cut our carbon footprint
- Take us leaps and bounds down the zero waste path. Whoop whoop.
- AND save us BIG money!!!
I’ve put together below a big list of my fave zero waste products that seriously save money.
Don’t worry. If you’re on a tight budget.
You do NOT have to buy them all at once.
You will NOT be barred for the rest of your life from the Zero Waste Club, if you don’t!!
Just pick a few cheapies and use the snowball trick – more on this later – to use your first zero waste savings to invest in another zero waste product that saves you more again.
You could even ask for some of these as Christmas presents or give as stocking fillers.
30 Frugal Zero Waste Products That Save Us Money
OK. On with the list …
- Microfibre cloths – cleaning cloths are NOT sexy BUT are my top money saving zero waste product as they knocked out disposable cloths, loads of cleaning products, kitchen roll and more.
- A drink bottle is another money saving no brainer. Not just for water but for juice or any other soft drink you might be tempted to buy when out.
- If you can’t resist coffee from your fave barista a reusable coffee cup is a must. If you’ve got a two cups a day habit, it can save you £10 a month.
- Although a coffee flask could save you that – AND some – in a week.
- Or if you’re addicted to your coffee machine you can get refillable cups …
- … or reusable coffee filters.
- Washable beeswax wraps are another money saving zero waste quick win – I use them instead of cling film, foil, food bags etc.
- And on picnics and the like I use them in tandem with fabric napkins to cut out the waste from and cost of paper ones.
- Muslin cloths are another good old fashioned zero waste winner. You can use them in place of cotton wool, wipes, make up removers and even disposable first aid supplies we so often throw out expired.
- Reusable cotton rounds are another money saving zero waste product alternative to cotton wool.
- Reusable shopping bags are an obvious zero waste swap but now we get charged 5p for plastic bags, carrying a fold up one at all times is a money saver.
- A less obvious, zero waste product that is a bit pricey BUT actually a big money saver is a good blender. I am so NOT a gadget girl but my Nutribullet slashed our food waste. Soggy fruit and veg and leftovers all go in smoothies and soups and bread crusts are whizzed into bread crumbs to freeze.
- A wormery can handle other food waste. And long term save money on compost.
- Freezing leftovers is a great way to cut food waste but we can easily go a zero waste step further by freezing stuff in glass jars …
- … or reusable silicone stasher bags that save money on disposable freezer bags.
- Reusable silicone baking cups are another cheap easy zero waste product that can quickly save money if you’re big bakers.
- Regular bakers can also save money on kitchen foil and baking paper with a silicone baking mat.
- Now I have to be honest and say some zero waste products that are big money savers aren’t so easy to use … I’m still getting the hang of my safety razor BUT with disposable razors a £1 a pop, the money saving IS worth the effort.
- A menstrual cup is another zero waste product that can take a bit of effort to switch to BUT is again a big money saver …
- … and can be combined with washable cloth pads to save on disposable towels …
- … and period panties.
- If you’re a new parent cloth diapers can seem daunting but the money saving ARE huge. As are the environmental benefits.
- The eco benefits of reusable baby wipes are also gigantic. If you don’t mind being totally grossed out have a look at this video of the fatberg blocking London sewers. It is mostly made up of wet wipes and nappies!!!
- Whilst we’re talking sewers … have you considered a clever bidet attachment for your loo? It turns your ordinary loo into a bidet and saves you money on loo paper whilst cutting waste 😉
- Zero waste products are NOT all tricky though – the simple handkerchief and a handkerchief holder can easily save money on paper tissues
- And a little tea infuser and bulk bought loose tea can save money on tea bags.
- And a stainless steel straw is easy peasy.
- Longer term a fountain pen we look after for life will save money on biros and is even more zero waste if you use a refillable converter rather than cartridges.
- And on the subject of cartridges, if you do lots of printing, it is worth looking at a printer with a refillable ink tank next time you’re replacing yours. You do need to do a fair amount of printing to save money against the extra cost of the printer but you will cut waste significantly.
- Finally, YOU might not see the savings on zero waste fabric gift bags but I kind of think they add to our zero waste karma. As they say, what goes around comes around.
NB I’ve included Amazon links as I’m a Londoner & not sure of best options where you are. For fellow Brits Ethical Superstore, Big Green Smile & The Wise House are good places to look.
So there’s our big list of frugal, zero waste products that will save money.
BUT where to start?
Well, this is where the snowball trick comes in.
Zero Waste Snowball Trick
Have you heard of Dave Ramsey’s snowball trick for debt reduction?
Basically, you use tiny initial savings to cut debt which saves money & lets you cut more debt.
Well it works the same for going zero waste.
Buy a few cheap zero waste products that WILL save money & use the savings to buy a few more zero waste products that save more.
With this frugal trick you can take big strides to zero waste AND save money in just 12 months.
AND you can use the same eco friendly snowball trick to save on energy bills as well whilst cutting your carbon footprint.
I hope this kicks off your zero waste journey.
For more eco friendly tips check out my Pinterest board …
Original image sources : jars, silicone cups,tooth brushes
Image by rawpixel.com
Great ideas, reducing waste and saving money! You might want to include a list of things like laundry detergent that can be made at home, and stored in a pot or repurposed jug . Many creams, slaves, and so on also deserve consideration.
All of your ideas rock! In addition, as online clothing seller instead of wrapping customer’s purchases in traditional paper I have transitioned into putting them into cute pillowcases I find while thrifting. I tie them with ribbon I find and I think they are pretty darn cute! Of course, fabric gift bags are just as good and I also use vintage scarves just to switch it up. The fun is finding new ideas and surprising my buyers.
What a wonderful idea Jeanette – love it x
My mom has started giving my kids gifts in reusable shopping bags. They’re not the 100% cotton ones, but I have loads now to use when shopping and they didn’t cost me a thing.
Pixie Green says
I switched to cloth napkins and silicone cupcake liners a few months ago. I didn’t think it would make a big difference because I didn’t think I used paper ones that much, but holy crap! I wash at least one napkin a week, and now I’m baking more zero waste food thanks to the silicone cupcake liners.
I love your list. I’m making notes. I have most of them, but PLEASE PLEASE, Zero-wasters need to stop recommending microfiber cloths! They not only become non-biodegradable waste, but they also release microscopic plastic every time we get them wet or wash them, which eventually gets into our water supply. The little microscopic plastic when we wash our polyester clothes or other plastic fabrics are becoming a real problem to our environment and to human health. An old cotton terrycloth towel can be cut and repurposed for cleaning, or you can invest in some linen or cotton cleaning rags.
I really think your list is awesome and helpful (just that one exception) and I appreciate that you made the list for us, thank you!