By Kimberley Graham
Minimising waste and consumption can help you save cash and the environment!
Sustainable living is all about simplicity. There are many easy actions that you can make around the home that will not only reduce your waste and consumption, but will also save you money.
1. Shop at the market
Avoid the plastic often found wrapped around fruit and vegetables in the supermarket by shopping at the local farmers market. They are also often a cheaper and fresher source of produce. If you really want to save some pennies, visit the market in the last hour of opening. Often stalls will discount produce heavily close to closing time, so visiting in the last hour can yield massive savings on large quantities of seasonal fruit and vegetables.
2. Buy in Bulk
Buying produce in bulk at wholesale outlets can result in significant savings, particularly for pantry items like rice, flour, nuts and canned goods. It may also be worth checking out if a food cooperative exists close to you. Food cooperatives buy in bulk and then divide the produce among all members. This means you get only what you need, at discount prices while minimising the waste normally used for smaller quantities.
3. Avoid Buying Frozen Products
Set aside some time on the weekend to pre-prepare meals for the week. You can then stick up the freezer for moments when you are time-poor and hungry. Frozen meals from the supermarket are often packaged in plastic boxes and plastic wrapping that cannot be reused. While frozen meals from the supermarket may offer a cheap price point, cooking and freezing your own food is still healthier and cheaper.
4. Shop Less Online
Shopping less online is one way individuals can easily contribute to lessening the particularly nasty single use plastic wrapping. Buying online often means items are individually wrapped, not to mention the additional packaging required for postage. If you live far away from a shop, or can only access particular items online, ask your seller to minimise the packaging or avoid it all together. While it may be convenient to have items delivered to your door, taking a little time to shop locally is often just as cost effective and better for the environment.
5. Buy Alternative packaging instead of plastic
Many common products are available in alternative packaging to plastic. For example, try to choose laundry detergent that is in a cardboard box, not a plastic bottle. The cardboard box can then be recycled. Or milk in a glass bottle that can be washed and reused, as opposed to a plastic carton. If there is no alternative to plastic available, try to see if the plastic is recyclable or reusable. For example, you can give plastic cartons a second life by using them to grow seedlings, or by donating them to your local school for an art project.
It’s totally possible to do zero waste on a budget.
By following these great tips, you can actually save cash and the environment – what could be better?!