Every April, Earth Day celebrations remind us to keep the planet’s resources and health in mind when we purchase and use products. Often choosing more environmentally friendly products for our families is more expensive. But there are ways that saving the planet can save you money. Here are some easy on the earth, easy on your budget suggestions to reduce your consumption and waste.
Ditch the Disposables! Or as the saying goes: Reduce and Reuse. I transitioned from disposable to reusable products gradually. When I needed to restock a disposable product, I would buy a smaller package of the disposable product and apply the rest of the money to buying some reusable items to get my stash going. It does cost a little bit more until you have a good supply built up, but then you can eliminate your budget for these items altogether!
- Paper towels. I stopped using paper towels several years ago and I haven’t missed them since! There are high tech earth friendly products like EcoTowl that easily take their place. But my favorite has become simple flour sack towels. They are 100% cotton, easy to find at department stores and craft stores, inexpensive, absorbent, easy to wash, lint free (great for dusting and polishing), and they are durable enough to be used year after year. If you are willing to spend a little more upfront, buying organic cotton towels is even easier on the environment and will pay off in no time.
- Paper napkins. The same goes for napkins. Cloth napkins are more absorbent, more elegant, more useful, and much less wasteful and costly over time. Basic whites are usually the least expensive, and seasonal colors and designs are fun to have on hand too.
- Sandwich and snack bags. There are some really fun, easily washable, durable, reusable sandwich and snack packs like these from SnackTaxi and ReSnackIt. On a different note, I love packing snacks in Kid Konserve’s little steel containers. And of course there is no shortage of reusable plastic containers in multiple sizes. Having some kind of reusable snack containers on hand is a double bonus. Not only are you saving money and reducing waste, you can also buy in bulk or larger packages instead of the snack size packs.
- Water bottles. With warmer weather arriving staying hydrated is important. Replacing bottled water with filtered tap water in a reusable bottle can save a lot of resources. Whether it’s lightweight and colorful BPA free plastic, functional and durable stainless steel, or tasteless glass bottles you will be doing the world a favor and saving a lot money by bottling your own water.
- Disposable dinnerware. Instead of paper or plastic plates, cups, silverware, I use festive and bright picnic and outdoor tableware. When they go on sale, I buy a few extra so I have some on hand for guests. They hardly cost any more than a set of disposable dinnerware and will last at least a couple of seasons.
Don’t forget, on Earth Day many of your favorite stores will be giving away free reusable shopping totes!
This has been a guest post by Angela from Denver, CO
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