When it comes to Zero Waste many people immediately think of package free shops which offer a variety of some more costly products. Of course this is absolute nonsense because Zero Waste is so much more than just a package free shop. We can all produce a little less waste in our everyday lives – even without a package free shop and that does not have to cost much. For this purpose we’ve put together some tips for you to help to Zero Waste on a budget.
Use what you already have
Zero Waste can look quite fancy. Stainless steel cans or mason jars are currently in trend, but not required for a Zero Waste lifestyle necessarily. In the end, we discovered that there are at least eight zero waste products that you do not have to buy extra. Because honestly: who buys new – although one can use old – definitely saves no money; and does not necessarily spare resources.
Drink tap water
Tap water is probably the best savings in a Zero Waste lifestyle. On average you pay 0.2 cents per liter. That means you get around 500 liters of tap water for 1 euro. The mineral water from the supermarket, however, costs between 19 and 50 centers per liter.
Make household detergent yourself
Also much cheaper: Make household cleaner yourself. We have already published DIYs such as detergents or liquid soap for the bathroom. In the DIYs, only five ingredients play a fundamental role: backing soda, washing soda, vinegar, citric acid and curd soap are the miracle weapons that everyone should have at home. In the end, the home-made detergent or liquid soap, for example, does not even cost an euro.
Make hygiene products like deodorant yourself
Also, simple cosmetic products such as a DIY deodorant are cheaper than purchased, finished variants. Also useful for those who drink coffee every day and do not know what to do with the coffee grounds: DIY scrub from coffee grounds. Suggestions for creams or make-up we cannot personally provide you with ideal home-brew solutions. In some areas you should simply rely on professionals and trust them.
Make food such as pasta, bread or almond milk yourself
It is much cheaper to make food such as pasta or bread yourself. From a nice reader we learned that with a mixture of durum wheat semolina, water and flour with a ratio of 1 : 1 : 1 creates a wonderful pasta dough. You can process the pasta dough into the pasta shape of your choice. Naturally, you need a lot more time to produce food yourself, but you have created a plastic-free alternative that costs much less in the end.
Huh!? Probably some you might think now that vegan is a lot more expensive. Well, that’s not true. For what makes vegan often so expensive are the vegan substitutes and the replacement products are often packed. The result: eating more packaging-free foods, such as fruits and vegetables, while saving money. Of course you could also grow herbs or vegetables yourself. However, we know the problem with the missing garden, so we omit the topic here.
Shopping regionally and seasonally
Those who shop regionally and seasonally are not only more sustainable, but also save some money. In particular, weekly markets offer a wide selection of regional and seasonal foods. But not only regional and seasonal, but also packaging-free shopping will enable you on a weekly market.
Also consuming or saving food belongs to the topic of Zero Waste. Because everything that ends up in the garbage is simply garbage. Garbage that we do not want to produce. To bring more appreciation for food, we advise you to first try a #eatupchallenge and secondly to save food. At the #eatupchallenge you can find out which foods are actually in use all the time and which were just bought on a whim. The latter often stay in the closet until they have to be thrown away. Of course, that does not have to be. In our article Why we have to save more food you learn with sobering facts more about the topic of food waste.
Thanks to various initiatives, you can save food today. It does not matter if it is the Savior Market SirPlus, an Etepetete-Box or even a sign up for Foodsharing. Save food. The prices may vary for each initiative. In any case, salvaged food is always cheaper than a new purchase. At this point you can, for example, invest the money saved in an unpacked shop in dry products. So it’s easy to redistribute the money and you can afford unpacked organic food on a small budget.
Buy only so much as you really need
Would you have thought that the Germans per capita throw about 235 euros food in the bin? That makes for a four-person household a proud sum of 940 euros. That hurts. We can easily avoid that if we just buy what we really need.
Use reusable zero waste products
Reusable products may be a bit more expensive to buy, but after a short while they will pay off. Here is a small list of reusable zero waste products that are more cost effective in the long run:
- Safety razors instead of disposable razors
- Menstrution cup instead of tampon / tie
- Make-up removal pads (from old T-shirts) instead of cotton pads
- Jute bag instead of plastic bag
- Glass / stainless steel straw stat plastic straw
- French press instead of coffee filters
There are probably many more products that you only need to buy once and then use it for as long as it lasts. Of course, the break-even point, the moment when the reusable product pays off, is different from product to product. In order to save costs again, we also recommend you to put more on Second Hand. For example, we bought our French Press for 15 euros instead of 50 euros.