Monday, December 29, 2014

One Small thing- Ditch the Disposables

I challenge you to make a commitment this year to not purchase as many disposable products.

For one it really helps with your grocery budget. If on one shopping trip you didn't purchase the following items, how much would you save?
- pack of plastic cups
-plastic spoons and forks for lunches and such
- paper towels
-paper napkins
- paper plates
- facial tissues
-aluminum foil
-plastic wrap
-zip lock bags
-brown lunch bags
-water bottles
-Lysol type cleaning clothes or windex wipes
Other items some may buy :
-Feminine hygiene products

Just those few items and you probably are spending what $30 a week( more with the diapers)? That's $120 a month. $1440 a year!!!!And depending on what other items you purchase it could be much more for things you are just going to throw away.

Then think of the trash.... not only will you throw away each plastic spoon, but normally they come in a box with plastic wrap, more trash... You will really start to see a difference in your trash if you opt to use reusable products.

For plastic spoons for school and work lunches and picnics I simply send metal ones. My kids have yet to lose one. They also each have a reusable lunch bag they take daily, so that cuts down on the old school brown paper bags. My husband and I each have a lunch bag we take daily as well. We also have several water bottles that we refill and keep in the fridge so no more throwing away water bottles!
Here is a nice lunch set from please note I don't sale Tupperware, and if you know someone that does I'm sure they would appreciate your business. This also eliminates needs for ziplock type baggies daily.
For facial tissues we simply use hankies. Yes I know, so uncivilized. But I find them softer, and then I won't have the trash of used Kleenex and the boxes they come in. I simply wrote our initial on the bottom corner of the hankie so we would know whose was whose after the wash.
For ziplock baggies, plastic wrap and foil, just use reusable glass or plastic Tupperware like containers. My kids have little reusable snack bags as well, they use to take snacks in while hiking or to school.
For those of you that have children or may be thinking about more children, cloth diapering and wipes may be a good option for you. They have adorable prints and styles now and make it easy for moms. My youngest is finally out of diapers now, so I gifted all I had left to a friend that was very grateful.
For those of you that have a menstrual cycle you may want to look into these reusable pads. The picture is just a random one I found on etsy similar to the ones I have. With a house of three girls I'm sure these will come in handy. I would think if you have multiple daughters you would just have each one their own pattern or something if they were concerned about wearing someone else's. You wash them and wear them over and over. I've had a set of about 6 I've used for over 18 months now. That's a big saving monetarily and our bathroom trash is way down. It's not for everyone, but I would encourage you to try it. They have patterns to make your own, you can search for them on etsy, or other sites sell them.
For paper towels we just use kitchen towels or rags, and of course use them to clean my counters and windows replacing the need for Lysol and windex type wipes.
We use cloth napkins for paper napkins and I have several sets. I send them in our lunches, and use them at home for each meal as well as for picnicking and camping. I do have a nicer set that matches I use for company.
I realize many of you probably do this and more! What other ways are you finding to cut down your disposable costs and well as your trash?
Happy Homesteading!

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