What would you say if I told you you could cut down on the kind of household waste impacting our environment and save yourself hundreds of dollars a year while you’re at it?
We caught up with Gemma Rasmussen from comparison site Mozo, who shone the spotlight on some disposable household items that can cost you big bucks in the long run.
It’s crazy to think that in a country with easy access to great quality drinking water, we each spend $65 on bottled water every year. Not only is that money down the drain, but it’s a lot of plastic bottles, which can take around 450 years to decompose, and worse, often end up in our waterways and oceans.
Luckily, there’s an easy fix, both for our environment and our wallets - switching to a reusable, high-quality drink bottle which you can refill again and again.
Supermarket plastic bags
As far as I’m concerned, there are two great sins when going through the supermarket check out - coming home with a tonne of impulse buys and a credit card bill a mile long, and coming home with a car-full of plastic shopping bags.
Not only do these bags take up to 1,000 years to decompose, but with major supermarkets introducing a 10 cent charge per bag, they will start to hit your wallet hard too, to the tune of $80 a year. Instead, taking a few reusable shopping totes along to the store with you is an inexpensive and much more environmentally-friendly solution.
And if you do end up with a few plastic shopping bags floating around your kitchen, reusing them as bin liners is a great way to give them a second life before they go to the tip.
Packed lunches are definitely a nutritious, tasty and budget friendly alternative to visiting a cafe for lunch every week day, but disposable plastic sandwich bags aren’t the most eco-friendly way to transport your food.
Well, did you know you can replace ziplock bags with reusable beeswax sandwich wraps? These eco-friendly wraps are made of cotton coated in beeswax. They’re available at many health food stores and can be reused for a year or more by hand washing with warm soapy water.
Another big money drain that many women simply think of as a necessary evil is the monthly tampon shop. Over a year, you might spend $132 on tampons, but a more environmentally conscious and wallet friendly option that’s growing in popularity among women young and old is a Moon Cup or period proof underwear (if you want to learn more, check out Valeria’s blog post on these life-changing period products).
While the initial price tag and concept of these products might seem off putting at first, their reusability and relatively long life means they’re way more cost effective in the long run. Plus, no more emergency trips to the shops!
Last but not least, a personal pet peeve of mine: disposable razors. The question here is not why you should switch to a reusable razor, it’s why wouldn’t you.
Shaving with disposable razors can set you back by $66 a year, while on the other hand, reusable razors are more cost effective, create less waste and are available just about everywhere, so are just as convenient. It’s a no brainer really.
Have you swapped out disposable items for frugal reusable alternatives? Share your tips in the comments below!
Gemma Rasmussen is a money saving expert at comparison site mozo.com.au. Gemma is living proof that being frugal and environmentally conscious doesn’t have to mean giving up the things you enjoy in life