I hate waste. I hate wasting money. I hate wasting food. I hate things that are used once and tossed away so I try to limit the waste in our house. That’s probably why I prefer to go reusable whenever possible.
Here are some of my favorite switches- that saves green (both money and trees!) At first it seems like more work- washing things instead of the convenience of just tossing them. Since making these switches- our family has gotten into the routine and we don’t notice any extra work.
At first, my family wasn’t on board with these changes and wanted their easy, convenient, disposables. After a few weeks they realized that our trash was filling up less and that’s worth a little extra laundry.
After: Bar Rags
We switched over a year ago and haven’t turned back. The $10 or so cost of rags is much less (even adding in the cost of water and electricity) is much less than the cost of the massive amount of paper towels we went through.
Before: disposable Swiffer pads
After: Reusable Spray Mop Pads
With 5 kids and lots of hardwood floors – I could go through 2 mop pads a day. Even with coupons and discounts- those things aren’t cheap! And they fill up the trash can so fast.
Before: Sandwich Bags
After: Reusable Containers
With 4 kids packing lunch everyday it was adding up to 20 bags a day! Since we went to reusable containers we have only used about 10 bags all year! And that was only because they had to have a fully disposable lunch for a field trip!
Before; Plastic Wrap
After: Reusable Glass Containers
I cook a lot – and always plan for leftovers so plastic wrap didn’t last long. Since ditching the plastic wrap (and foil mostly) – our trash is a lot less full and the lids go back on for the items to go back in the fridge (unlike plastic wrap that always seemed to end up in the trash before the food did).
Other disposable alternatives include cloth diapers and wipes, even washable toilet paper- you have to draw your own line but in the long run reusable will always be the better deal- for your budget and for the earth.
The upfront cost might be more for the reusable ones than the disposable ones- but in the long run the costs are much less even calculating in the cost of washing the rags or containers.