Have you heard of the zero waste movement yet? It’s amazing. It’s a philosophy that encourages consumers to close the loop and send zero waste to landfills. The really cool thing about zero waste products is that many of these environmentally friendly products also save you money.
For years, I thought I was a weirdo for not buying plastic wrap or plastic bags. I’d have guests over and I’d be embarrassed when they’d offer to help clean up. Someone always asks where I store my Ziplock bags, then they are shocked when I say I don’t have any. Even though I have a ton of confidence when it comes to saving money, I’d always be a bit abashed as I’d share my philosophy on unnecessary waste. I’m confident all of my friends here in Naples think I’m a bit crazy.
I’m not going to lie, I kinda felt crazy too. At least I did until I realized that there is an entire zero waste movement full of people who are committed to changing their lifestyles to a more sustainable way of living. My favorite websites for zero waste are Going Zero Waste, Trash is for Tossers, and Zero Waste Home. I definitely suggest you check those out!
Why use Zero Waste Products Anyway?
So, why should you use zero waste or environmentally friendly products if you aren’t one of these hard core individuals trying to live a waste free lifestyle?
Because every little bit helps.
I am confident that I will never be a zero waste individual. I just can’t imagine myself producing absolutely no trash, especially as a mom of 3 young kids.
However, I do know that every little bit we keep out of a landfill is helpful.
Why is it helpful?
For so many reasons. Landfills are harmful to our health, producing toxic gasses, like ammonia and sulfides. Since most landfills are in impoverished areas, residents are exposed to terrible conditions but have very little political power to change their situation. Landfills can contaminate groundwater as well. although most new ones are very well made.
This may not matter to you if you don’t live near a landfill, so take these facts into consideration too. Landfills cost tax payers money. The more trash we produce as a society, the more we have to pay to process that trash. Recent studies say that the U.S. won’t run out of landfill space anytime soon, however some cities and states have run out of space so they charge their residents more money to export the waste to other cities and states. It’s all very fascinating if you are a complete science nerd like me!
Check out These Environmentally Friendly Products that can Save You Money
Not every zero waste swap is a money saver. Believe me, some of them are just crazy, like pure silk floss that is compostable. Yeah, I’m not going to pay $14 for that.
I will, however, gladly pay for everything on this list because it’s full of eco-friendly products and zero waste swaps that can save you a ton of money. Don’t have time to click on each product below? Head here to shop this entire list.
I’m a big fan of using this wax coated fabric as a natural and sustainable alternative to plastic wrap. It’s great for wrapping up fruit, cheese, snacks, and anywhere else you’d use plastic wrap. I love that it’s compostable and American made. All around it’s a great product.
BTW- it’s definitely worth it to buy this product instead of making your own. I failed at making my own and probably wasted a lot of time and money.
These are fabulous alternatives to plastic baggies. I’ve been using the same 3 for the last few years and they have held up well in the washing machine. I have easily saved hundreds of dollars by not buying plastic baggies.
Pro Tip: pay the extra money for the ones with zippers. The “zip lock” kind do not hold up as well.
Clear glass containers with lids are great for leftovers. I prefer to use these over cheaper plastic containers because they last a long time and are pretty inexpensive.
At $5.99, this is probably one of my most favorite swaps. My kids absolutely love baking with them because of the bright colors.
Say goodbye to aluminum foil and wax paper. These silicone baking mats are awesome for baking, and even make for great mats for kids when they are playing with play dough.
Related Post: Easy Homemade Play Dough Recipe
I know everyone is a big fan of stainless steel bento boxes these days, but I’m a huge fan of these plastic ones from Sistema. Sure, they are possibly leaching harmful chemicals into my kids’ food, but they are inexpensive enough that I don’t worry when we lose one. Because let’s get real, kids lose stuff a lot.
I’m a sucker for SIC Cups. These stainless steel insulated tumblers keep drinks ice cold for up to 24 hours and warm for up to 8 hours! You can read more about the kid cups in this post.
Pro Tip: Stainless steel can be recycled! All you have to do is find a scrap metal facility near you. You may even make money off your stainless steel waste. So don’t throw away your cups when they start looking a little worn, recycle them!
I don’t have a single use coffee maker solely for the reason that I don’t want to create unnecessary waste. Reusable K-cups are a game changer in that department!
If you’re like me and don’t have a single cup coffee maker, you’ll probably love this hemp coffee filter. It can save you a couple bucks each month and will pay for itself quickly.
I’m a big fan of buying white napkins in bulk because they are great for entertaining and bleach easily when dirty. Cloth napkins are also a great thing to buy used. Head to Goodwill and pick up a few for less than a dollar!
Have you seen all the terrible videos about plastic straws littering the ocean? National Geographic has a great article about it. Help combat the fight against plastic pollution by buying reusable straws for your morning smoothies.
Instead of using a plastic Brita pitcher where you have to keep paying for filters, filter water yourself with charcoal sticks. Brita and other water filters use activated charcoal to filter water. A charcoal stick does the same thing without any waste or plastic. Pretty cool, right?!
Thrift Store China
Don’t serve up meals on paper plates with plastic serving ware. Go to Goodwill, buy some funky china and serve your guests on proper plates. I like to think of this as the thrifty ladies way to get the Anthropology look. Seriously, have you ever looked at the dishes at that store? They all look like thrift store finds but have department store prices. No thanks!
Hear me out. This one may sound gross, but I’ve heard it’s amazing. This cup is used as an alternative to tampons. I know it sounds disgusting, but everyone I know who uses it, loves it. I’ve yet to try it because I’m still nursing Max and don’t have a period. It’s definitely on my list of things to try though!
Pads are expensive! Just like tampons. I cringe every time I have to buy them because the good ones cost a pretty penny. I’m not a fan of pads in general so I don’t know how I feel about cloth pads. I’ve only ever used pads after childbirth and don’t feel like the cloth would cut it, but maybe it would!
Bar of Soap
I feel like the best bars of soap are bought locally. I like to buy our bars of soap, shampoo and conditioner from Naples Soap Company. Initially it looks more expensive, but the bars last so much longer than liquids. You really get a good bang for your buck!
Swap out your floss for a water pik and save a good bit of money over the span of a year. Floss is one of those things that always feel surprisingly expensive for something so tiny!
This is another one I haven’t gotten on board with yet. I’ll be honest, with 3 kids, my entire warddrobe turns into my kids’ hankies. I should bite the bullet and buy real ones. It’s a great way to save money by skipping tissues.
Reusable make-up remover pads feel so much better than the cotton ones you throw away. I feel like they work better too.
Cloth diapering is a big commitment but it’s a huge way to save a ton of money. It’s estimated that you can save over $1000 by cloth diapering for just one year. I cloth diapered my first for a full year and felt like it really saved us a lot of money.
Want to learn more about cloth diapering? Check out this post on cloth diapering.
Wipes are pretty expensive too! If you trade in disposable wipes for water and cloth wipes, you can save even more money. Learn more here.
Instead of letting kids eat off of disposable plates, invest in Re-Play Recycled dishes. These sturdy plates, bowls, cups, and utensils are awesome for kids because they hold up well. All of the products are made from recycled plastic. You can read my full review here.
The best way to save money on cleaning products while being eco-friendly is to make the products yourself. It’s amazing what a little vinegar, soap, and borax can do. Read more about eco-friendly cleaning products here.
Stop wasting money on dryer sheets! They are full of chemicals and don’t even do much for your clothes. You can skip them all together like I do, or purchase a dryer ball if you really need the extra softness and smell.
Instead of using paper towels to clean, try buying reusable cleaning cloths. My personal favorite is the Norwex Enviro Cloth. The cloths contains BacLock™, an antibacterial agent for self-cleansing purposes only. The agent is solely designed to inhibit odor from bacteria, mold and/or mildew growth within the product
Don’t throw away a sponge each time it gets gross, try a compostable dish brush instead. For only a few more dollars, you can get a product that works better and lasts longer. Then, when you are finished, you can throw it in the compost bin instead of tossing it in the trash.
Related Post: Stylish Countertop Compost Bins
I’ll admit that I’m still a fan of the disposable toilet brush heads. As a mom of 3 boys, I clean the toilet a lot and I don’t like the idea of a toilet brush in my kids’ reach. However, I do love the idea of the bamboo toilet brush. Just like the dish brush, it’s compostable. It would definitely save me money on those pricey one use toilet bowl cleaners!
I’m so happy you red to the end of this lengthy post. Who knew there were so many amazing zero waste products?
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