Does Skipping Disposables Really Save You Money?

Here it is folks, proof is in the numbers.

I've learned that it doesn't cost a lot to switch to a more eco-friendly lifestyle. The key is to recognize what you use the most and find alternatives that are better for the environment. I thought I would do a quick exercise on things I've invested in starting a zero waste or low waste transition and my ROI or in this case, my savings. Now, we may not need to spend any money at all if we are handy and are resourceful. I took 3 of the top items that you can replace today.

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Item 1: Single-Use Water Bottles

Replaced with: Klean Kanteen 20oz Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle**

**By far my pick for the top reusable water bottle. If you browse around for my travel posts, you'll note I mention this baby all of the time. It's because it goes with me everywhere from the Philippines to Machu Picchu to Vegas to Iceland.

Purchase Price: $25

Days Used In a Year: 347 Days (95% of the year, give or take not needing it some days)

Water Bottles Skipped Per Day: 694 (rounding it to 2 bottles a day)

Price Per Bottle: $.35 ( price of a 24 pack of Poland Spring 16.9 oz)

Total Avoided Cost: $242.9

If All Were Home Refills: 91.63 gallons at $.0122 = $1.12 (including fees/taxes charged by NJ water company)

Total Yearly Savings Using Reusable Kanteen: $216.78 (for one person)


Item 2: Single-Use Disposable Plastic Bags

Replaced with: 2 Reusable Canvas Bag for Groceries

Purchase Price: $11 for 2 bags

Usage Per Week At Conventional Grocery Store With Bag Refund: 1x for all 2 for $.20 refund

Total Yearly Savings Using Reusable Bags: $10.40


Item 3: Single-Use Disposbale Coffee Cups

Replaced with: KeepCup 16oz Reusable Cup OR Klean Kanteen 16oz Stainless Steel Insulated Bottle **

**By far my pick for the best reusable cup. I use the loop cap and am able to throw this in my bag without worrying about spills. Keeps my Bulletproof Coffee Mocha hot, hot!

Purchase Price: $16

Days Used In a Year: 365 (coffee, everyday!)

Disposable Cups Skipped In A Year: 365

Cup Discount at Starbucks: $.10

Total Yearly Savings with Reusable: $36.50


Alternatively, I didn't need to purchase any of these items at cost. I also chose higher end items as quality reduces quantity. I could have found alternatives by reusing old items (like jars or t-shirts to make bags), heading to the thrift store or asking friends for extras.

There it is folks. Proof is in the numbers. Reusing pays off. And think of all of the plastic bottles, cups and bags you've just kept out of the waste stream. Double high five!


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Does skipping disposables really save you money?

Does skipping disposables really save you money?


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