Do you ever feel like your trips to the store result in buying the same disposable products over and over? Me too. By never buying disposables again, not only will you save money, but it’s one of many easy ways to go green and begin eco friendly living.
Check out our comprehensive list of how to never buy disposable products again.
1. Paper Towels – Tea towels are a great alternative to paper towels in the kitchen. I like to buy vintage tea towels, and can find them at low as $.50. Target’s kitchen towels are just as cute and almost as affordable. Another option is microfiber kitchen towels, which can be purchased at Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, and Amazon.
2. Sponges & Dish Wands – My mother has always used store bought washcloths instead of sponges, and her dishes sparkled. My aunt uses this dish cloth crochet pattern to make her own, and they are the greatest. I also kind of love this adorable Norpro Dish Brush with a face. Sponges only last a few months, even if you soak them in vinegar or put them through the dishwasher cycle. The cost adds up!
3. Coffee Cups – There are a ton of reusable coffee cups on the market, from traditional a ceramic mug to a Starbucks Stainless Steel Tumbler. The trick is to remember to bring it!
4. Toilet Paper – Reusable toilet paper, really? Stick with me on this one. More and more people are using cloth wipes instead of paper. Stack perfectly sized squares in a basket on the back of the toilet, and leave a bin (like a diaper pail) beside the toilet for used squares. If that doesn’t sit well, bidets are very common in Europe, and require no need for paper.
5. Plastic Wrap – Say goodbye to plastic wrap by storing food in reusable containers (like Tupperware), or if you will be eating the food in the next 24 hours, simply place food in a bowl and cover with a reusable food cover
6. Trash Bags – Washable pail liners are a great way to avoid buying plastic trash bags. You can also make your own composter to eliminate most food scraps, and then place the rest in a large garbage can without a bag or liner for pick up.
7. Water Bottles – According to the Container Recycling Institute, 86% of plastic water bottles used in the US end up in landfills. Since many of us have drinkable tap water, alternatives like the Contigo reusable water bottle are well liked.
8. Tampons & Pads – I don’t know about you, but reusable feminine products never crossed my mind until now. With products like The Diva Cup and GladRags, think of the money you will save, the chemicals you won’t be putting in your body, and the trash you will be eliminating by never buying pads and tampons again.
9. Takeout containers – Purchase reusable food containers or cloth lunch sacks to bring with you to a restaurant or the office.
10. Diapers & Baby Wipes – Washable cloth diapers are becoming more popular and easy to manage. Buy cotton diapers online and specialty stores or make your own cloth baby wipes.
11. Newspapers & Magazines – With smartphones, e-readers, and computers, online newspapers and digital magazines are a great way to save money and coffee table space.
12. Mops & Vacuum Bags – Washable microfiber mop heads and bagless vacuums make cleaning quick, easy and affordable.
13. Batteries – Kids, gamers and TV watchers go through batteries on the regular. Avoid buying expensive throw away’s by purchasing quality rechargeable batteries, saving significant money in the long term.
15. Beer Bottles – For those of you that live close to a microbrewery or craft beer store, a refillable beer growler is a fun way to try different beers and get rid of glass bottles. Check with your local bars and restaurants to see if they offer this option. At the very least, recycle your bottles and cans, or give them to someone who homebrews.
16. Wrapping Paper & Gift Bags – I was at my third baby shower of the month and was appalled at the giant mounds of discarded wrapping paper. That’s when I discovered wrapping cloth and fabric gift bags. Not only will they stand out amongst the other gifts, they can be reused and passed from friend to friend.
17. Zip-locs & Sandwich Bags – Store food in reusable containers and send your child’s lunch to school in any one of these reusable snack and sandwich bags.
18. Hair Products – Salons and companies are popping up everywhere offering refillable hair products. If you are crafty, try making a homemade shampoo bar or DIY body wash.
This list may seem intimidating at first, but take it one shopping trip at a time and you will eliminate buying disposable products in no time!
What disposable products have you stopped buying?