More money in the bank and less plastic in the bin
“I’ve taken over 200 flights in the past 5 years…”
The room was speechless. A guy who had just spent 10 minutes advocating for sustainability, was now proudly telling us how many frequent flyer miles he’d clocked up in half a decade. It made me feel really uneasy because it showed a complete disregard for the sustainability practices he was advocating for.
It’s a hard line to walk but I try and align my values to my actions through daily choices. And for me, that includes making budget friendly consumer choices that wherever possible, are also sustainable choices.
Why choose reusable products?
The idea of reusable products is in the name – you only have to buy the product once but can continue to use that product again and again. Better still, not only will a reusable product save you money, it also a sustainable choice that adds up over time.
To help you get started, here’s 5 reusable products you need in your life right now.
This is for you if…you’re still using paper coffee cups. Many coffee shops offer a discount if you bring your own reusable coffee cup. This makes sense for the coffee shop because they save on the cost of providing you with a cup and you save money on your coffee as well saving a single-use cup from the bin. The reusable coffee cup I use in the office is a Keep Cup so I can absolutely recommend this brand. You might have seen their popular original plastic Keep Cup, made out of safe food grade plastic which I still use during the week. However, I’ve since upgraded to the heavy duty glass version, which feels like a luxury each time I use it. This is a reusable coffee cup that you’ll actually want to be seen carrying into the coffee shop each morning so make the switch today.
This is for you if…you’re still buying plastic bottles. If you come into my office, the one thing you’ll always see on my desk is this specific stainless-steel bottle. I constantly refill my reusable bottle during the day so that I’ve got a better chance of getting the recommended 8 glasses of water a day, which has the added benefit of keeping my mum happy. This brand provides a great range of colours and styles to choose from so if you haven’t already, take my lead and invest in a reusable water bottle.
This is for you if…you still need a straw. If you’ve seen online footage of turtles with straws stuck in their nostrils, you’ll likely already be rethinking your choices when it comes to plastic straws. There are countless campaigns in action to remove plastic straws from bars and restaurants but we need to acknowledge that some people, particularly those with accessibility requirements, will still need a straw option. If you still need a straw but want to choose a more sustainable option, try the collapsible stainless-steel straw which also comes with a carrying case and brush cleaner so that you can continue to reuse it time and time again.
This is for you if…you’re still buying lunch out or wrapping your lunch in cling film. My New Year’s Resolution to get more consistent at bringing my packed lunch into work so I save the money I would have spent on buying takeaway lunch. Something that will make that commitment a lot easier is having a sturdy container to put my packed lunch in each day so that my lunch doesn’t get squished at the bottom of my bag. I absolutely love the colourful style of Joseph and Joseph and already have their chopping boards and mixing bowls in my kitchen so will definitely be picking up a set of their food storage containers in the next month to start consistently packing my lunch in.
This is for you if…you’re still using single-use period pads and tampons each month. This is a controversial inclusion but I wanted to honestly reflect what is a monthly spending choice for many women. I was first introduced to menstrual cups a year ago when I was travelling in the Netherlands and a friend suggested the option to me. My first reaction was to pretend I hadn’t heard what they said and change the subject. However, I did my research and it’s clear that the menstrual cups are a smart choice for both your wallet and the planet – the cups last for up to 10 years, saving you the cost of 3,000 tampons which is more spending money for your budget. The Saalt menstrual cups are one of the most comfortable and best-selling options on the market and they also contribute part of every purchase to improving period care and educational opportunities for women and girls in need. If you’re intrigued, give the menstrual cups a go and see whether they work for you.
Whether you’re trying to save money in your budget or save more plastics from the waste cycle, reusable products can be a great sustainable and budget-friendly choice. While some people will continue to have their head in their sand about the impact of their frequent flyer miles, you can choose to be accountable for your actions and make a sustainable choice to buy reusable products. Your budget and the planet will thank you for it.
Read more: How to budget in 10 minutes
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