I could you bore you today with tons of statistics about trash. I could tell you how it’s clogging up the landfills and making once beautiful areas look…trashy. But, I’m not a boring kind of person. I don’t really care for statistics either. They bore me. And the truth is, most of the time they’re not correct – you have to be careful about exactly WHO sponsored that research.
Today I want to talk to you about disposing of your disposable lifestyle – whether it’s because you want to turn “green” or just because you want to be frugal.
For me, the reasoning behind using reusable products is mostly an issue of money. I like buying something ONCE and having it around for a long, long time. I hate buying things that I know have to be replaced after one use. Blech. It makes me nauseated. But for me it’s a BIG plus that I know I’m helping the environment.
Our family is moving to a more sustainable lifestyle by choosing to use reusable items instead of disposable items. We’re still making the switchover, but I’m tickled pink with our progress.
Here’s something that might take you by surprise (cough!) – cloth napkins cost more than paper napkins. Most reusable items cost more…but guess what? You only have to buy them one time…they pay for themselves rather quickly.
Yes, you have the added expense of the water and electricity for washing some items…but that amount is pretty minimal if you’re washing them with other things. For example, I wash my cloth napkins with my other towels, so they don’t have their own cost of laundering. Dry your items on a clothes line or use a drying rack to cut your expenses even further.
Oh, and I must warn you…you’ll get labeled as gross. People will tell you that you’re nasty. I’ve heard that I’m really nasty because I use handkerchiefs and cloth diapers. Blah, blah, blah. All I can say is “Honey, it’s a good thing you weren’t born before 1950.” Disposable items are fairly new. And I’m quite certain that using cloth diapers isn’t very dangerous.
So, let’s take a look at a few items that you might consider switching to. Please try not to start using them all immediately – tackle one thing at a time. They do take a bit of an investment at first, but I promise they’ll pay off…and you’ll feel quite pleased with yourself. And you’ll laugh when they call you gross as you take your money to the bank.
- Reusable bags instead of plastic bags
- Rechargeable batteries instead of single use (haven’t gone here yet, but I HATE batteries )
- Get rid of the plastic utensils and stick with the REAL THING
- Cloth napkins instead of paper napkins
- Cloth diapers instead of disposables
- Huck towels instead of paper towels
- Handkerchiefs instead of tissues
- Mama Cloth instead of disposable pads
- Water bottle instead of bottled water
- Reuse gift bags instead of using wrapping paper
- Ditch disposable razors (I’m starting to work on this one)
This is really only the tip of the iceberg…but hopefully it gives you a place to start. If you’re already doing all these, great! Leave some items below that others might also consider switching to.
Note from Kate: If you get really brave, you can try family cloth. I have been interested in that for over two years, but my husband might kill me. I believe Barry might kill Stacy too. But I’m still intrigued….