We go through a lot of disposable items a year and it’s costing us hundreds of dollars, but there are a few environmentally friendly swaps that could save you big.
“The zero-waste lifestyle is not about recycling more or going out and buying all these fancy things to live with less waste. It's literally about using the least amount of things you possibly can in your life so you aren’t creating more trash," said Lyndsey Manderson, an expert on zero-waste.
Manderson owns Zero Market in Aurora, Colorado. It’s an all sustainable store that sells reusable items like metal straws, food wraps, dryer balls and wooden toothbrushes. She understands living a zero-waste life can be intimidating, but guarantees it will save you money.
“Baby steps. If you try to go zero waste overnight you will probably fail because it’s so overwhelming,” said Manderson.
To start, simply try swapping three disposable items you use daily with sustainable ones.
According to Growing a Green Family, an average family goes through about 2 rolls of paper towels each week. That’s about $110 a year we spend on paper towels. If you swap them out for bamboo dish towels you can find, for example, on Amazon for $14.99, you can save $95 a year.
An average box of sandwich baggies costs about $3.50. If you go through a box a month, that’s $42 a year. By switching to reusable silicone bags we found on Amazon for $17.87, you can save $24 a year.
Waterproject.org says on average, Americans spend about $100 a year on water bottles. If you swap out plastic bottles for one stainless steel bottle like this one on Amazon for $10, you’ll save $90 a year.
You might have to spend a little now to save later, but if it means more money in your pocket in the long run and you’re helping the environment, then it sounds like a win, win.