Investment vs budget options for a low waste living


Some people believe that living sustainably can be quite expensive. A lot of brands sell eco-friendly products which are expensive and not affordable to everyone, but if you’re trying to create a more sustainable lifestyle for the long term, you should definitely invest in items that last.

When you start your transition to a low waste lifestyle, you will find out that you already have most of the things you need at home. However, if you prefer to invest in a few new products, many sustainable alternatives are to choose from. Before making any new purchases, do your research and evaluate the product’s longevity and quality. Moreover, you may consider buying secondhand options from a thrift store, or online dedicated apps and groups, so you will save a lot of money as well.

Eventually, ask yourself if you need to replace any disposable items with new zero waste options, as your aim should be reducing consumption as much as you can. For this reason, here’s a list of investment vs. budget options that will help you to make the right choice for yourself.

1. Food containers

Investment: reusable food containers

For all those who do lunch and dinner away from home, a good investment is to buy food containers that can last over time, to avoid disposable takeaway containers. The most purchased are bamboo, glass, and stainless steel containers. In recent years, silicone food bags and beeswax wraps are also becoming very popular.


Budget: use what you have

You probably have a kitchen full of reusable containers, such as glass jars or other containers where you usually store your food. If you want to save money and avoid new purchases, the best solution for you is to reuse everything you already have at home.


2. Clothes

Investment: buy from sustainable fashion brands

Many people support sustainable brands which produce and sell garments made with eco-friendly fabrics like organic cotton, hemp, linen, and recycled materials as they have a less negative impact on the planet. In addition, most ethical brands, give back to the environment and the community, by donating part of their proceeds to environmental causes. Many sustainable clothing brands use eco-friendly packaging so they create less waste and let people be able to reuse packaging materials.


Budget: look for cheaper options

To all the fashion lovers here…don’t worry, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on fashion garments. A first budget option is to find a thrift store in your area where you can buy amazing clothing items with a very little budget. The second option is to organize a clothes swap party with your family and friends. This is the best way to try new outfits at zero cost. The third option is to learn to sew or upcycle old clothes. If you are a creative person and you’re willing to learn new things, these two are amazing activities to do at home.


3. Packaging

Investment: choose eco-friendly packaging stuff

When it comes to sustainability, it’s very important to use the right packaging. As a conscious consumer, when you buy things from a store, you should ask for sustainable packaging options. For example, you may consider buying a reusable shopping bag to avoid plastic bags or other wasteful alternatives. For all business owners: make sure to wrap your orders in reusable boxes or bags, and use sustainable tape.


Budget: reuse, reduce, recycle

These three are the simplest ways to drastically reduce waste. Reuse all you have at home like an old shoebox, fabrics, towels to pack gifts or your stuff. There’s no need to buy a new box or a gift bag. Get creative and find some inspiration online to wrap a special present. Have you ever considered transforming a glass jar into a beautiful gift container?


4. Oral care products

Investment: find eco-friendly oral care brands

Nowadays you can buy eco-friendly oral care products from sustainable brands. Let’s think about bamboo toothbrushes, which are affordable and replace thousands of plastic ones. Moreover, there is a huge range of sustainable products for your oral care: toothpaste powder, mouthwash tablets, refillable dental floss, oil-pulling mouthwash, and so on.


Budget: DIY your oral care products

Yes! You can make your own products with a few simple ingredients that you can get from your local grocery store. It takes two minutes to DIY a homemade mouthwash by mixing a cup of water with ½ tbsp salt and ½ tbsp baking soda. Easy, cheap, and effective. Isn’t it? Don’t be afraid to try new things, just go online and look for a couple of recipes to make, try them and if they work, you’ll save money and make a more sustainable oral care routine.


5. Make-up remover pads

Skincare products are very popular and there are many people interested in spending their money on sustainable beauty items. A great way to reduce waste when you take care of your skin is to avoid the disposable make-up remover pads and invest in a couple of washable and reusable ones. I use them and I can’t recommend them enough. In some cases, you don’t even need specific lotion to clean your face but these pads work just with water.


Budget: upcycle old clothes in make-up remover pads

If you can sew, you won’t need to buy anything new. Old garments are all you need. Make sure they are made with organic fabrics or other eco-friendly materials. Then cut your make-up remover pads in your favorite shapes. I think this is a good budget option when you have a lot of unused items at home and you don’t know what to do with them. 


Don’t let anyone but yourself decide whether to invest your money in sustainable products or choose to go for budget options that you can easily find even at home. Let us know in the comments what you prefer, and if you have any tips to add to the list above.


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