Mother Nature is our home and we should do everything we can to protect her beautiful resources! Contrary to what you might think, it doesn’t take a lot of money to make environmentally conscious choices. You can easily go zero waste on a budget by getting creative and using some of the ideas mentioned below.
Start the Switch to Zero Waste by Reusing Plastic Bags
Find ways to eliminate the use of or reuse plastic bags. They’re made from fossil fuels and discarded plastic bags make up a mind-blowing percentage of the waste in landfills and oceans. The negative impact they have on animals like birds and fish is immeasurable.
- Save plastic bags after your trip to the store and take them back to reuse on your next trip.
- Consider purchasing an inexpensive reusable bag each trip to eventually negate the need for plastic bags at all!
- Easy storage idea: Turn your leftover toilet paper tubes into bag holders instead of throwing them away. Stick the plastic bags inside of the toilet paper tubes. You can even decorate or color the tubes to make them look pretty and organized in your kitchen.
Learn to Sew Your Way to Zero Waste
Have you been considering a new hobby? How about sewing? It goes great with a zero-waste lifestyle. There are so many things that you can sew which will help you reuse products that will otherwise be harmful to the environment. A few ideas to consider:
- Sew reusable bags: Reuse pillowcases or old t-shirts to DIY reusable shopping bags.
- Make something new: Use old clothing that you don’t wear anymore and sew them together into new, wearable outfits for a different pattern.
If sewing isn’t your thing, consider donating old clothes or reselling them at a consignment store to reduce clothing waste.
DIY Reusable Bag
Swap Plastic for Reusable Storage Containers
Another excellent way to go zero waste on a low budget is to switch out your disposable or plastic jars for reusable glass jars. Check thrift stores and dollar stores for cheap mason jars. If you want to spend no money at all, simply reuse glass bottles from your common grocery items.
Pasta sauces and dipping sauces for chips are two common grocery items that come in glass containers. Instead of throwing it away when you are done, simply wash it and reuse it to store your lentils, beans, sugar, or other food items.
Glass storage containers reduce plastic waste and allow you to save money by buying in bulk.
Meal Plan to Eliminate Food Waste
In your effort to go zero waste, you should think about how to reduce the amount of food you’re wasting. Reduce food waste by:
- Meal Prepping: Plan your meals for the week and prep them ahead of time. Make only what you need.
- Serve smaller portions: If you find yourself with a ton of food on your plate at the end of each meal, start serving smaller servings and go back for seconds if you’re still hungry.
- Freeze leftovers: Don’t just toss that extra food in the trash. Freeze your leftovers and pull them out on one of those “too busy to make dinner” nights.
Switch to Reusable Menstrual Products
This one is for the ladies! Switching out your pads and tampons for a reusable menstrual cup canbe a challenging transition at first, but it has great benefits. A menstrual cup is a little more expensive than tampons or pads up front, but you’ll save money in the long run. You’ll also be contributing to the environment because you won’t be throwing away as much waste every month.
What is a Menstrual Cup?
A menstrual cup is a tiny, bendable cup usually made of latex rubber or silicone. It works by catching and collecting your blood drops during your cycle. When your period starts or right before it starts, simply fold the menstrual cup and insert it the same way you would insert a tampon. After a few rounds of practice, you will master inserting the cup and not even feel it during your period. After you insert it, the cup will open up and rest along the walls of your vagina. It seals securely so no blood can leak out.
To remove the menstrual cup, you can take the cup out by pulling the stem at the bottom and pinching the base that releases the seal. Empty your menstrual cup, wash it with soap and water, and re-insert it as needed. When your menstrual cycle is done, you can clean your cup by sterilizing it in boiling water.
Going zero waste on a low budget can be an easy and rewarding transition to make, both for yourself and the environment. To start living a more cost-effective and eco-friendly lifestyle, try out some of the creative tips mentioned above!
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