It's a common misconception that going zero waste is expensive. After all, type 'zero waste' into any social media and you will see rows of minimalist glass jars, individually labelled with a chalk pen. It doesn't just look expensive, it looks time consuming! In reality, the effort is minimal and all it takes is a little creativity and looking at what you already have to get started. In this post we'll discuss why going zero waste is not too expensive for you, no matter what your budget!
Forget the jars
There, I said it, and I'll say it louder for those in the back... FORGET. THE. JARS. I know, I know. The jars are pretty and they seem like the perfect way to organize your pantry or fridge. But let's be real here, they're expensive AF. Instead of investing in expensive jars or containers, find an alternative that you already have at home. This might mean using takeaway tupperware instead of glass canisters for food storage, or reusing the jars your pasta sauce comes in. Ask friends and family to keep hold of any jars they would usually put in recycling, just for you.
Make your own packaging
It's not too hard to make your own zero waste food packaging. Grab an old pillow case, add a ribbon and you have a pasta bag ready to be filled at your local zero waste or wholefoods shop. You'll be surprised by the prices there! Fold a tea towel and sew long the edges for another bag, and again with an old t-shirt. Old takeaway containers are great for putting groceries in as they stack neatly inside one another for the journey there and are lightweight. When you get home you can either decant them into something nicer or write on them with a sharpie as they stack very nicely full too!
Buy In Bulk
Don't have a local zero waste shop? No problem! Buying a 15kg bag of rice means much less packaging than 15 individual 1kg bags. It's not zero waste but it's lowering your waste consumption which is still something to be proud of! Afterwards the large sack can be a repurposed as a bin bag, used for crafts or taken to a soft plastic recycling point.
Reusable Period Products
If you're a menstruator then listen up - get yourself a cup and some cloth pads! If you want a truly free way then make your own with scraps you already have. Within a few periods your CSP (cloth sanitary protection) should have paid for itself in savings. No more being caught short and they're so much more comfortable without the sweaty plastic layers.
Thrift Your Clothes
Buying second hand has so many benefits, it allows you to still access the brands you love whilst fighting for social and environmental good. Stop fast fashion, save yourself a fortune, prevent impulse buys, support charities and save the environment all in one go! Many charities have online eBay stores now so you can shop from your sofa too, and apps such as Vinted and Depop are great for both buying and selling your clothes.
Going zero waste doesn't have to be expensive - in fact, it can actually save you money. In this blog post we've discussed how the typical misconception that going zero waste is expensive is just a myth. With a little creativity and looking at what you already have, going zero waste is easy peasy! Do you have any unique zero waste tips? We'd love to hear them in the comments!