How Going Plastic Free Saves Cash as well as the Planet
Covid-19 has turned all our lives upside down and as well as posing challenges around physical, mental and emotional health, it’s been a difficult time for many of us financially. The uncertainty, being on furlough, job risks, closed businesses … well, the list seems endless right now. We know that being careful with our wallets and trying to be prepared is probably at the forefront of a lot of minds at the moment, so it might not seem the best time to transform your home into an eco-friendly haven.
If you have been meaning to make some plastic free swaps in your everyday life, but you’re worried that it might cost you more each month, then it might be good to know that you could actually SAVE money and reduce your single-use plastic consumption at the same time. Intrigued? We’ve outlined some simple tips below that might surprise you.
Never pay for water again! Tap water is free and perfectly safe to drink. There are an abundance of refillable bottles available these days, with some available to purchase from as little as £2. With a standard 500ml branded water bottle usually costing around 50p, you will have paid for your reusable bottle within just four uses.
If you’re also a regular at your local cafe, then bringing your reusable cup can get up to 50p off your hot drink every time. If you buy coffee five days a week, then it will save you £15 a month and almost £170 per year! Definitely worth the purchase. Check out all our Plastic Free Champion cafe’s here to see where you can get some refill love.
Worried about Refill because of Covid? At no point has refill been banned or ruled unsafe. You can get more info here on the safety of refill and reuse and check out the brilliant Contactless Coffee campaign here, which many of our plastic free champs are adopting.
Buy Smart …
… buy less. A few changes to our purchases can save waste and money, and there are some quick easy wins. For example, swap to a jar of coconut oil which acts as a body moisturiser, make up remover, deep hair conditioning treatment and hard skin softener. Ditch things like laundry water, spray air fresheners and other multiple cleaning products for one or two brilliant all rounders. (More tips on cleaning here)
Another thing to ask is – do I really need this? And what will happen to its packaging when I’m done with it? What can be reused, repaired or repurposed to save cash and waste?
Switch to Reusable Period Products
Let’s be honest, we’d all love it if periods didn’t exist, but unfortunately they do and the impact they have on plastic pollution is detrimental. A shocking 200,000 tonnes of period product waste is land filled each year in the UK; but there is something you can do.
Ditching disposables and switching to reusable products saves around £1700 over a lifetime, plus you’ll know that you weren’t adding to the landfill every year. Many of the alternatives are so much easier and leak free too. Get more info here
Return Used Containers
You’d be surprised at how many of our favourite businesses and brands run a recycling scheme, offering customers the chance to return old products for a free item. Make sure to check as you might be pleasantly surprised! Make-up brands are a good thing to check as well as hair care products. And you can do this at some of our local plastic free champions … including Archie Browns who take in supplement jars and Hellcat Hair who can send on containers and other hair care waste.
Sack off Disposable Nappies
Nappies are a serious hazard to the environment. Not only do over 8 million disposables get thrown out every day, the plastic ridden materials can take up to 500 years to break down. Compostable versions are not a solution, many needing to go to special facilities to break down and if it goes in the bin in Cornwall it all ends up being burnt in the county’s waste incinerator anyway.
With a variety of reusable nappies out there to purchase now, you won’t just be saving hundreds (or even thousands) of nappies adding to the waste, you could save up to £1,475 over two and a half years until your child is potty trained.
You can get more info here and connect with our local Nappy Library and support group here
Take a Packed Lunch
Maybe not so relevant right now with many of us working at home … but have you noticed how much cash you’ve saved by not buying lunch each day? It may save a few minutes on a morning but the (very expensive) habit of buying lunch in single use packaging everyday has a huge impact on the environment.
Take your average meal deal of £3 a day, that’s a saving of £60 a month already … and if you’re throwing weekend food on the go into the mix you can save over a thousand pound a year for the sake of grabbing a reuseable tin or box and using tupperware to pack your own. It’s a great way to avoid food waste too by boxing up leftovers for lunch the next day. We obviously encourage treats days! Make sure you support our local plastic free champion cafes and outlets for the Friday splurge, or whenever you fancy a takeout, who will make sure your lunch is packed responsibly.