Products designed to be sustainable are often more expensive than their less environmentally friendly alternatives, but some sustainable options can actually save you money.
Check out these affordable eco-friendly products that can help you save money on household expenses in the long run.
Portable Washing Machine
Using less water and electricity are two great ways to reduce your carbon footprint. This little device helps you do both of those things. One brand, the WonderWash is hand-powered, so it uses zero electricity and claims to use 90% less water than a standard washing machine.
While a portable washing machine like WonderWash can’t hold as much laundry as your traditional washer, it does hold approximately 10 T-shirts or two pairs of jeans, and it’s especially handy for washing delicate items.
Grocery stores make it too easy to add another plastic bag to the ocean as they continue to supply plastic single-use produce bags next to the fruits and veggies. Skip the pollution with washable mesh produce bags, such as those from Flip & Tumble. Lightweight and translucent, they remain effective for weighing and paying for your produce at checkout, but their durable design will keep them from tearing, so you can use them over and over again.
Waste reduction is a huge factor in tackling climate change, but some eco-friendly trash options can be a little smelly. Composting your organic trash can help you produce green fertilizer for your garden while minimizing your landfill contribution. Countertop composting bins help apartment-dwellers collect scraps in an easy-to-clean, odor-minimizing container.
Recycled Toilet Paper
Cost: $27.40 – $48.00 for 32 to 48 rolls
You might think toilet paper is a necessary evil because its disposable nature is part of what keeps homes sanitary and healthy. But there are eco-friendly options available that can help you shrink your carbon footprint without sacrificing cleanliness. According to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, switching to toilet paper made from recycled materials as opposed to the “virgin pulp” currently used in many major tissue brands would help reduce greenhouse gases emitted during production by one-third.
Bamboo Paper Towel Alternative
Paper towels make kitchen clean-ups quick and convenient, but their disposable nature means they play a huge role in creating waste. Bamboo paper towels are washable and reusable.
While the sticker price might be steeper than the price of name-brand paper towels, if used as directed, they may replace hundreds of paper towel rolls – saving you money in the long run.
Sustainable Gift Wrap
Wrapping presents is one of those wasteful traditions most people don’t consider. Every birthday party, baby shower, wedding or holiday comes with beautiful gift wrap that gets ripped apart, then thrown in the trash.
Change the way you wrap with sustainable gift wrap, like the offering from Little Kay Gardens, which your recipients can plant in their gardens. This wrapping paper is made from 100% recycled paper and embedded with wildflower seeds – cutting down on waste and adding to the value of your gift.
Reusable Food Wraps
While many consumers have become reliant on different plastic products to keep foods fresh in their kitchens, it’s not as hard as it may seem to keep your kitchen nearly plastic-free. Plastic wrap is a quick and convenient way to cover leftovers, pack lunches and prep ingredients, but beeswax wrap is an excellent green alternative.
The initial investment will definitely cost you more than a standard roll of plastic wrap, but unlike the traditional finicky film, food wraps such as Bee’s Wrap, are reusable for up to a year when used multiple times per week. Even better, some brands of beeswax wrap can be composted – meaning while your plastic wrap continues to wreak havoc on the environment long after use, this alternative returns to the earth.
Reusable Makeup Remover Pads
Instead of reaching for a wipe or cotton pad next time you remove your makeup, try reusable pads. Soft and sturdy, bamboo velour pads have great reviews and help you cut back on waste. Instead of tossing a cotton pad in the trash after one use, you can toss these pads in the washing machine and use them again. Several brands even come with a mesh bag to help you keep all your pads together while they get clean.
The bottom line: Not only are plastic and other one-time use products bad for the environment, they’re not great for your wallet either. By switching to more sustainable products, you get to save money every time you would otherwise be replacing your disposable items.
Even if you choose not to invest in green replacements, you can save money by reusing whatever products you can before throwing them in the trash.