Zero-waste products seem to be a growing trend in the last decade. You might be intrigued, or maybe you’ve just always assumed it was more expensive. Maybe your frugal aunt told you it wasn’t worth the high price tag, and perhaps you’re just curious if it’s in your budget to live a zero-waste lifestyle.
Regardless of why you’re here, we’re going to dive into the world of zero-waste products and uncover the truth when it comes to zero-waste swaps. Are they actually more expensive?
Just Because It FEELS Expensive, Doesn’t Mean It Is
When it comes to committing to a zero-waste lifestyle… yes, it’s a choice you have to make. You have to understand that, it will feel more costly to your wallet at times. But just because it feels more expensive doesn’t always mean it is. Here are a few things to consider.
Renewable Resources Cost Less
Many items made from non-renewable resources, such as virgin plastic, can be costly to manufacture, produce, and ship. While this can also be true for some renewable resources, it’s safe to say there are a wide variety of renewable resources that are less expensive (for us and the environment) in the long run.
For example, renewable energy was deemed the cheapest energy source in 2020!
Zero-Waste Swaps Are An Investment In Your Future
Some items will cost more upfront, but living a zero-waste lifestyle is more about the commitment you’re making to the planet than the pennies you’re spending. And it’s worth considering: you just might be spending less over time because zero-waste products are thoughtfully and intentionally made to last.
At Zero Waste Outlet, we encourage you to make zero-waste living a priority. But we understand that it can take time to invest in reusable products. There’s room for everyone on this journey to heal our planet.
The Benefits of A Zero-Waste Lifestyle
There are so many benefits to living a zero-waste lifestyle that make the investment well worth it. Hint: the most significant benefit of all is that you’re saving our planet with every choice you make to go zero-waste!
Let’s consider some of the benefits you might experience.
Zero-Waste is a Mindset Shift That Helps You Simplify and Declutter
Again, there’s grace in the process. Switching to a zero-waste lifestyle doesn’t require you to go broke trying to swap every item in your house immediately. It’s about becoming aware and making educated choices to support sustainable shopping.
And, of course, finding ways to reuse and reduce. When you use reusable products, you’re automatically buying less.
You just might find that life is a lot less stressful when you learn to condense and simplify your material possessions. Life isn’t about material things anyways!
Zero-Waste Products Are Used Longer Than Traditional Products
This might seem obvious, but take a minute to consider the average life of most products you buy. It’s important to think about how the item will be reused or recycled at the end of its life.
You use them, toss the container, and buy a new one… Repeat.
You buy a product on sale, realize it’s cheaply made, and toss it when it falls apart… Repeat.
Purchasing zero-waste items naturally reduces your waste with no effort. The whole principle of zero-waste products is creating a reusable item – sometimes infinitely reusable!
Zero-Waste and Quality Go Hand in Hand
Quality over convenience. It’s a marathon, not a sprint – remember?
53% rate quality as the most important factor (even over price!) when purchasing.
Zero-waste stores specifically carry items that are designed to be durable and reusable – so you know you’re purchasing quality products. And while we’re talking about quality, let’s also address the safeness of these items. In most cases, zero-waste products are also toxin-free and safer than the traditional alternatives.
Reduce Your Single-Use Plastics Or Better Yet, Go Plastic-Free!
Avoiding single-use plastic products is one of the best ways you can help make a difference right now. It’s estimated that roughly 12,000 megatonnes of plastic waste will be in landfills or the natural environment by 2050.
Let’s stop this number from growing! 2050 is a long way off. We can still make a difference if we prioritize zero-waste alternatives and plastic-free products in our households and lives.
How to Make the Swap for Zero-Waste Products
Making a conscious effort to start living a zero-waste lifestyle takes thought and intentional action, but it doesn’t have to be complicated or outrageously expensive.
There are plenty of cost-effective ways to gradually build the zero-waste home (and life) of your dreams. Starting small with actions and purchases might be best for you. Start with one room, and work your way through.
Zero-Waste Laundry room Swaps and Hacks
- Trade laundry detergent bottles for zero-waste detergent sheets
- Trade toxic dryer sheets for gentle, eco-friendly organic wool dryer balls
- Run a full load every wash and dry cycle to use energy efficiently
- Run loads closer together to preserve energy for heat
(P.S. Want to learn more about sustainability in the laundry room? Check out our blog on how to make your laundry room greener and cleaner!)
Zero-Waste Kitchen Swaps and Hacks
- Trade virgin plastic brushes for bamboo brushes
- Trade plastic sponges for natural fiber sponges
- Trade bottled dish detergent for a dish soap block
- Trade plastic bags for reusable silicone bags
- Start a compost instead of trashing food scraps
- Meal-prep to reduce food waste
Check out our blog on how to reduce your waste in the kitchen!
How to Feel Confident In Your Zero-Waste Products Are Worth the Money
To understand the value (or lack thereof) you’re getting out of a product, you have to put in a bit of work. But it pays off when you become more invested in your purchases. Not only do you find yourself with a less cluttered life, you suddenly feel calmer and more confident about your ability to save the earth with your choices.
The most important thing about purchasing a quality zero-waste alternative? Do your homework!
Many customers will provide honest, unfiltered feedback on products and services. Use this to your advantage and let your gut feeling guide you. Do more digging if you see a particular concern that often pops up about a product. Try to figure out where the issue lies.
→ Is there another sustainable alternative made from a different material?
→ Can you contact the owner and ask if there’s been a shift or improvement in production since the reviews? You never know until you ask!
Ask Questions and Research
Understand where and how zero-waste brands are creating their products.
→ Is it safe, sustainable, and practicing green production?
→ Are the materials renewable and compostable?
Think critically. Sometimes buying a “recycled” plastic scrub brush is not the answer. Why? You may not see the whole picture. A brush could be made from “recycled” plastic - but what percentage? Is it 100% recycled? Probably not, as that is a costly and difficult process.
If a product seems reusable but still contains plastic, you have to consider the end of its life. Where will it go when you’re done using it? If the answer is a landfill… You’re better off leaving that product on the shelf.
How to Overcome the Overwhelm
Feel overwhelmed deciding where to start? Analysis paralysis happens. Awareness is the first step to creating lasting change.
Start a journal and log what you spend on disposable items – you just might find that you’d save money purchasing zero-waste items in the long run.
Check out our zero-waste store for more ideas and sustainable swaps.