Every year Americans throw away 8.5 billion tons of waste. That’s a whole lot of garbage if you ask me. However, there are many ways to help save money by recycling products and using them for other things.
If everyone took the time to follow these easy steps we could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 850 pounds per year. Not only does that help the environment but it would help us all breathe a little easier too.
In the kitchen alone there are several ways to save money, and reuse items to help with all that waste.
Although paper plates can sometimes save you money, because you are not wasting water and energy to wash them like regular plates, they can be costly over a period of time. Save money by washing regular dishes and save the paper for outside use.
Instead of buying Kleenex when you have a cold, etc., use handkerchiefs, or cut a piece of fabric from an old T-shirt into a small square. One box of Kleenex can be well over $1.00 and during certain times of year, using a handkerchief can save you up to over $52.00 a year!
Save your money! Sponges, towels and even washcloths are perfect instead of a paper towel. And the best part is, they can be thrown in the laundry and reused. Sponges need to be throw away when they appear to be falling apart, but washcloths and towels will last for a long, long time!
There is no reason to brown bag it. You can get lunch boxes free as giveaways all over the place and a regular lunch box at the store only costs around $5. They come in soft sided and plastic. If you have kids in school, using a lunch box rather than paper bags can save you $180 per year, per child! That’s a whole lot of savings if you ask me. And a lunch box can usually be handed down among children.
Why do we continue to throw these away? If there is a hole or the closure doesn’t work, great – toss it! But if it is still in good shape, especially the sturdier kind, re-use them! Wash them inside out with the same dish soap you use for your dishes. Prop them up or place them over something to dry.
Obviously using regular silverware is much more cost effective, however if you’re like me, you might like sending your children to school with a piece of plastic cutlery so in case it does get thrown away, you haven’t lost a piece to your silverware set. However, you can encourage your children not to throw them away (you might even use permanent markers to decorate the plastic fork or spoon). You can throw a piece of plastic cutlery in the dishwasher and provided your heating element in the dishwasher is not too high, it will come out perfect. If you are concerned about your heating element melting the plastic (very rare), hand wash with regular dish soap.
2 Liter Bottles
Don’t throw those soda bottles away! You can wash and reuse them for kool-aid, juices, iced tea and lemonade. They are the perfect size to hold those beverages and because they are usually thinner, they take up less room in the refrigerator than a normal pitcher.
Don’t throw away butter or sour cream containers, wash them out. You can use them all over the house, but you can also use them in your refrigerator as storage for leftovers or to carry food from one place to another.
Plastic Grocery Bags
I won’t go into great detail here, because I just recently wrote an article entitled Ode to the Plastic Grocery Bag. There are some great ways to reuse your plastic grocery bags in this article, so check it out.
Do you have an useful ways to save money on your kitchen disposables?