Zero Waste On A Budget
Updated: Apr 2
I've been hearing a lot about the zero waste movement only being an option for those who are financially comfortable, or more. While that is partly true, I'm here to show you how you can have a sustainable lifestyle while on a budget. You may not be able to afford the aesthetic, and that's perfectly okay! The aesthetic was never the point anyway, saving the planet was.
1. Use What You Have
I would say this to anyone, but especially those on a budget. Instead of buying a matching utensil travel kit, just choose a few utensils from your kitchen and carry them in your bag. Instead of buying beeswax, make your own. Rather than buying a reusable cloth make-up wipe, make your own out of an old towel.
2. Discounts Are Your Best Friend
I'm sure you already know this, it seems pretty self-explanatory, right? Wrong. It isn't just looking for the discount stickers, there is so much more you can do to save money. One technique I highly recommend is Honey. Simply download the app and add it to your computer's dashboard so you can get notifications whenever items you are looking at have online coupons. Another great option is Groupon.
3. Buying Second Hand
Every time you need to buy something (within reason), check out your local second-hand store first. Whether that be a new pot for cooking in or a new pair of shoes. If you are unable to or do not have access to a second-hand store, there are plenty of great online stores as well! Shops like Depop or Poshmark. If you do end up using shops like this, I recommend leaving a note with for the person you are buying from and ask them to use as little waste for shipping as possible. If that does not happen, make sure to recycle properly or even save the materials in case you sell something as well!
Rather than buying a cute, zero waste lotion on Etsy; learn how to make it yourself. Materials for things like this are generally cheaper when not put together in a product, and now you can customize it to what you want! This not only will save you money but is a greener option. You are saving on shipping waste and carbon used to get an ordered product shipped to you.
5. Grow A Green Thumb
Gardening is an amazing way to save money on produce and herbs. Once they begin to flourish, you won't need to buy tomatoes or carrots from the store anymore. Did you know that you can grow many vegetables from their scraps? This is a fairly simple way to start gardening, use the products you buy and then try to grow more from the scraps. Now, what if you live in an apartment or don't have enough yard space to garden? If you have a balcony, reserve a small corner for that! If not, use pots and find areas near windows inside.
6. Tell Everyone You Know
This will not only spread the idea of zero waste to others, but it will help you out as well! If the people in your life know you are trying to get things second hand, they might come to you before donating something they don't want or need anymore. It will likely be free this way, and completely sustainable.
I hope these couple of tips have inspired you to start living more sustainably today! Zero waste is possible for anybody and saves you money if you let it. Aesthetic and matching items are always nice to look at, but there is nothing wrong with simply using what you can find.
Hunter J Morgan