Today I’m sharing a few tips on how you can make simple swaps from disposable to reusable everyday items. I want to show you that it’s easier and more affordable than you think by sharing a few examples of what we’ve swapped so far.
Making a few simple swaps in your everyday life means that you can go from go from disposable to reusable products without spending a fortune and you know what? It’s easier than you may think.
Personally, I’ve made a conscious decision to start making some simple swaps in our house which I know will not only save us money but will also be more eco-friendly.
Reusable Travel Mugs
You can buy reusable travel mugs all over the place these days so you can make your morning coffee (or tea) in one and take it off to work with you to enjoy on the journey. Give it a quick wash out at work and it’s good to go again so you can drink out of that instead of the disposable cups that most work canteens use. Someone I know at work has 4 cups of tea at work every day using disposable cups so over a year they would use somewhere close to 1000 cups a year – or they could switch to a reusable mug and save all that waste.
You can even buy the cheap reusable plastic cups in Starbucks for a £1 so you could invest in one of those and save 25p (or something like that) when you present your own mug to use for a drink instead of using one of theirs.
There are some amazing mugs on Amazon that cost less than £10 but equally, you’ll find some pretty ones just about everywhere – Asda, Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsburys all have some lovely ones.
Ditch the plastic bags
I have a super pretty Cath Kidston shopping bag that folds up really small and sits in my handbag so when I’m out and about I don’t need to buy a plastic bag when I buy something. You don’t need a posh one at all though – mine was a gift from Mr Frugal for a Birthday a few years ago but you can pick them up all over for a couple of pounds if that. For my weekly shopping, I have an Orla Kiely canvas bag (£4 from Tesco) stuffed with random carrier bags that I keep in the back of my car.
Invest in Microfiber Cloths
You don’t need to use disposable wipes or cloths that you use a few times and then throw away when you could buy a few microfiber cloths to use around your house. I bought mine from Morrisons I think and I have about six but you can also get them from the pound shop and I would imagine every supermarket you go in along with Amazon if you prefer. They’re so amazing as you can clean just about everything with them and then just throw them in the wash and they come out good as new.
Switch out your straws
Plastic straws are a huge waste so I would always recommend switching your plastic disposable straws out for some re-usable ones. I have a couple that I’ve accumulated over the past few months but my favourites are these amazing stainless steel ones which blew my mind a little as they came with two little brushes to clean the straws!
I did consider these bamboo beauties though but they’re double the price so I thought I’d stick to the stainless steel versions for now:
Re-Usable Water Bottles
My family have this thing about tap water – they think it tastes awful and I cannot for the life of me convince them otherwise! How can tap water taste awful? Anyway, I did at one point buy the small bottles of water which, although a waste of money in my opinion, did mean that the kids (and Mr Frugal) drank plenty of water without me having to nag at them.
I’ve got a bit wiser now and have a few reusable water bottles so I buy the big 2 litre bottle of water and decant that into the reusable bottles which is a much cheaper way of getting them to drink the water and if I happen to only 3/4 fill the bottles with this water and top up with tap water then that saves me even more money and plastic waste as my big bottle goes even further. I then pop them in the fridge which, if my three are to be believed, makes it taste so much nicer!
And before you ask, I have tried just using all tap water but that raises a flag with all three of them so they clearly can identify the tap water that they say they don’t like when it’s 100% tap water. 😉
Get rid of the coffee machine
OK, we love our gadgets as much as the next person but just think of all that waste with the coffee pods that you use in your snazzy coffee machine. We got rid of ours when I came home one day to see that Miss Frugal had made all of her friends a drink as they were revising at ours – not a problem at all but seeing all of the coffee pods that had been used really made me think about the waste just from that one gadget so I got rid of it. I sold it at the car boot sale we did recently for a decent price and now, as well as reducing waste, I have more space on my kitchen counter and I don’t have to hunt around for the coffee pods on offer every time we run out. We bought a cheap cafetiere (like this one but cheaper as it was just from Morrisons) to use for posh coffee instead.
Reduce Supermarket waste too
This one’s not a disposable to reusable swap but have you noticed how ridiculous the amount of packaging on some products is? Fruit and veg are ridiculous so where possible it’s worth switching to buying them loose which also means you can buy exactly what you need which will cut down on even more waste.
Also where possible, I buy larger packs of things usually which is generally cheaper and uses less packaging. Pasta for example comes in various different sized bags but I know I’ll always use it so I buy the largest bag, fill a big glass sweetie jar that I have with what I can get in there and the rest is stashed for when my glass jar gets empty. You can apply this to all sorts and it does save you money which is an added benefit!
So there you go, seven ways that you can swap from disposable to reusable – what else can you suggest?
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