With David Attenborough spearheading the public shift towards a greater environmental consciousness, we’re becoming more and more aware of our daily plastic consumption and the drastic implications that accompany irresponsible usage. However, the fact of the matter is, there’s still a whole lot more to be done.
As a notoriously cheap solution, avoiding plastic can often come at an added consumer expense, making it significantly more difficult to convince people to practice what they preach. As such, today we’re offering up some wallet-friendly and sustainable budgeting tips on how to cut back on plastic without all the added expense, helping you go green regardless of your financial situation.
Why is it important?
Single-use plastic is a cheap, versatile and practical material choice for many manufacturers, making it incredibly popular for a vast array of uses. However, its popularity is precisely the problem. Though it can be one of the most effective ways to save money for large-scale corporations, as global citizens, we’re consuming plastic at an incredibly staggering rate as a result – it’s currently estimated that at least 8 million pieces of plastic are disposed into the ocean each and every day.
And it is the disposal of this plastic that causes the most harm. Two thirds of the ocean’s plastic pollution comes directly from land-based sources – whether that be from litter that’s been washed down rivers and drains or poorly managed landfill sites. As a result, there is currently 500 times (yep, 500 times!) more plastic in the ocean than stars in the galaxy, causing catastrophic damage to wildlife and ecosystems around the globe.
But there are cheap alternatives…
It’s a common misconception that making eco-friendly changes to your daily habits comes at an increased expense. Although plastic is typically the cheapest solution for manufacturers (with costs of other materials being passed on to the consumer), there are a number of money saving tips you can utilise to cut back both on your expenses and your plastic use:
Opt for unpackaged fruit and veg
Fruit and veg sold in large-scale supermarkets is a great example of the unnecessary use of plastic packaging from major corporations. Naturally, fruit and veg stays fresh without the need for packaging, and in many cases, the unpackaged alternatives will total-up cheaper.
Moreover, this is soon to become a whole lot easier with supermarkets taking on new plastic-free initiatives. Leading the way right now is Morrisons, who are introducing plastic-free fruit and veg areas to help customers buy bagless.
Take advantage of reusable cup discounts
From Pret A Manger to Costa Coffee, Starbucks to M&S Coffee, most leading high-street coffee shops now offer discounts on your hot drink if you use a reusable cup as opposed to their paper or plastic alternatives.
Take advantage of this great eco-friendly money saving idea on your next commute or lunch break – you’ll soon notice the savings adding up if you’re a daily visitor to any of the main coffee chains. For a full list of chains involved (and the discounts they offer) click here.
Buying refills for products such as handwashes and air fresheners is a great way of cutting back on plastic by not having to buy the original packaging again. What’s more, these refills are often significantly cheaper than the original product, and can usually be found in the same shops (and even on the same shelves!).
With leading industry brands such as Dettol offering more and more refill options for their existing products as a way of promoting better environmental practice, this green money saving tip looks set to become a more common way of shopping in years to come, to the benefit of both the planet and your wallet.
Simple little changes to your daily habits can go a long way in saving you money and doing your bit for the environment, so look to implement them today for a greener and cheaper tomorrow!