Often times, when the words “green,” “eco-friendly” and “sustainable come up; we think about higher costs in the products we purchase. There are many ways that to maintain a sustainable life while being thrifty. Here are four eco-thrifty ideas to get you started.
Alternatives to Plastic Wrap
The amount of wrap used to protect a sandwich might seem tiny when you scrunch it up into a ball and throw it away, but think about how much plastic you go through in a year. Here are some alternatives to using cling wraps:
- Reusable boxes with lids-perfect for sandwiches, snacks, cheese, cooked meat and salads.
- Glass jars/dishes with lids-great for storing vegetables, sauces, dips, and yogurt.
- Cake tins and biscuit tins-good for storing bread, biscuits, crackers, etc.
- Plate over the top of a bowl-great for covering food that you will use soon.
Buy Second Hand Clothes
Purchasing second hand clothes is not only more economical, but it is truly more ecological as well. New clothes are filled chemicals like-dyes, antibacterial agents, and anti-wrinkle. It is always recommended that you wash new clothes before wearing to remove some of the harmful chemicals before they come in contact with your skin. Used clothes have been worn and washed a few times and have less of these chemicals hanging on them. Think about the additional cotton, water and pesticides that are needed to produce new clothes as well.
Sure wrapping paper and bags are pretty to look at with their fancy designs and glitters, but is it worth it to spend money on something that someone looks at for 5 seconds? More importantly, paper that cannot be recycled due to the decorations that are on it. There are many more interesting, thrifty and environmentally friendly ways to wrap gifts. Kids art work, paper bags, old new papers, and extra fabric can all make great wrapping material.
Toilet Paper Free
If you had to choose, which do you think has more of an environmental impact: a large SUV or toilet paper? As more companies go paperless, there are less recycled material going into the production of toilet paper. Americans use an average of 7 billion rolls of toilet paper a year. A typical tree is only able to produce 1,000 rolls. The author of Eco Thrifty Living, Zoe Morrison, took up the challenge of going toilet paper free for an entire month. A few of her alternative options were washable cloths, spray bottle, or a water gun!