Recently we made a few changes to our home/lifestyle in an attempt to cut back on our overall waste. These three changes are small but we felt small simple changes were a great way to begin our journey and maybe save a little money along the way.
Reusable Paper Towels and Napkins
Before making these changes we used paper towels for everything, we went through at least a roll per week. We own dishtowels but they stay tucked away in a drawer and grabbing the paper towel roll on the counter was a much easier grab.
For this change I bought the napkins and the paper towel roll from TheTailoredHome on Etsy. I also picked up these microfiber towels from QVC for cleaning. I like that they are a multi colored pack so I can keep specific towels for each area of the house.
To date, we’ve been using the reusable towel option for two months and we have only opened ONE roll of paper towels. From a cost savings a 4 double roll pack of paper towels runs about $8.50 ($2.13/roll) and over two months that’s about $17. I’m not washing more laundry as I already wash towels 3x week. On the in between days we rinse anything that’s especially nasty and put it in the laundry room bin. Now since I spent about $75 on all the towels they will need to last about 8 months to make the investment balance out. I guess we will have to revisit this in a later blog to see how they last but in the meantime, we are throwing a lot less away every day.
Reusable Water Bottles
Prior to this change my husband was going through 2-3 one liter bottles of water every Monday-Friday then a few more on the weekends depending on what we were up to – let’s call it 15 bottles a week, which would be 60/month. Basically we were spending about $150/month on bottled water. I’m only factoring my husband in on this because I’m a camel and barely drink anything.
The reusable water bottles have helped us in three ways. From a cost saving the approximately $10 bottle Chris carries around (not pictured) helps the wallet, the reusable cups I have (one for the car and one for the house) have been helping me drink an appropriate amount of water a day, and the amount of plastic we are throwing away every week is insane. My cups were free since I put them on my Christmas list but these metal cups typically run about $25 each. Having our cups will help us not throw away at least 750 bottles a year.
This one is another “my husband” math problem as my coffee issue lies outside of the home. He doesn’t really have a magic number for amount of cups he drinks at home per week so for basic math’s sake a 72 pack of pods cost about $30 and a 1 lb. bag of coffee priced at $15(ish) have enough coffee to fill a reusable k-cup about 40 times. These reusables run about $8 a piece and last a few years. Over time the cost for filling your own is less but as pods continue to get cheaper this may become more about the waste and less about the cost savings. Just in our home that’s close to 375 pods a year.
These changes make a small difference in our day to day lives but over time can make a great impact. Hopefully they will stick and truly become part of our everyday routine so we can add more changes and do more.
What small changes have you made or can you make to do your part?
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