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Here’s the post where you learn how much of a hippie I am…
Lately I’ve tried to eliminate disposable items when possible for a few reasons:
To Save Money
I’m tired of spending money on stuff like napkins. Seriously, that’s not a fun way to spend money! Disposable items are always going to be recurring costs. Buy it, use it up, buy more. I’d rather use that money for something else.It's no fun spending money on things like napkins! Click To Tweet
I’m all about simplifying life lately and reducing the amount of stuff I buy really does have an impact. It might sound like laziness, but it’s more about reducing the amount of time and energy I spend on menial things so that I can put more time and energy towards things I enjoy. I’m a frugal person, so if I buy napkins, I’m not going to automatically buy the same brand every time. I’m going to look at the ads and the coupons, calculate price per napkin, and go with the best deal.
If I stop using disposable napkins, I just eliminated that entered thought process.
Of course, I’m a bit of a closet hippie. Disposable items were mainly created as a means of convenience and that comes at a price, both in our wallets and the environment. It just seems so unnecessary. (Hey, Earth Day is coming up too!)
What I’ve Swapped
This list is growing as I find more disposable things in my life:
- Paper napkins replaced with cloth napkins.
- Plastic shower curtain replaced with waterproof, washable curtain.
- Paper towels replaced with rags.
- Dish sponges replaced with rags.
- Swiffer cleaning pads replaced with a reusable version that I actually think do a better job of picking up dirt versus pushing it around!
- Swiffer dusters replaced with rags. (Are you seeing a trend here with the rags?)
- Lint rollers replaced with this magical pet hair remover. (I keep one at home and one at work!)
- Earplugs switched from disposable to reusable. (I’d love to get rid of this habit completely someday, but ever since Iraq I can’t sleep without earplugs.)
- Disposable furnace filter replaced with reusable option.
- My previous humidifier required a filter to be replaced, so I switched to a new filter-free humidifier. (Those filters aren’t cheap!)
- Ziploc bags replaced with glass storage containers for my lunches.
- Disposable razors swapped with an electric razor. (This was like learning to shave all over again!)
- Makeup remover replaced with….water! (Works just as well! All these products they convince us we need….)
- Cotton balls replaced with wash clothes for removing makeup.
- Loofah replaced with a wash cloth.
- Dryer sheets swapped with cute dryer balls.
- I’ve long ago stopped using bottled water, paper plates, and plastic utensils.
And then there’s all the stuff I just stopped using:
- Air freshener sprays
- Makeup remover
- Shaving cream
- Fabric softener
- About a gazillion hair, skin, and makeup products
- Bubble bath (all the bubbles disappear so quickly anyway!)
- Single purpose cleaning products. Now I mostly just use Better Life’s Whatever spray on everything.
The Things I Won’t Replace
While I may be a bit of a hippie, I won’t be going without toilet paper. Also not sure I can find an alternative to kitty litter, tissues, and trash bags. I’d like to break the qtip habit since you’re not supposed to stick them in your ears anyway, but that’s easier said than done. I also haven’t figured out a good alternative to my Brita filters and not sure I could give up Kcups. (I know they make reusable ones but I don’t drink real coffee, mostly cappuccino!)
This started over a year ago and I’ve slowly been replacing disposable items with reusable alternatives as they run out. It won’t take long to make my money back at all. I immediately could feel the positive impacts in my life: less to maintain, keep up with, keep track of, fewer shopping trips, more savings, more time for the things I love.
Would you eliminate disposable items? Which would go first?