A lot of people think a sustainable lifestyle is expensive. My experience is that this is not true. The most sustainable option is usually the option to not do something. To not buy something new, to not eat animal products and to not travel. And so today I want to highlight some things I no longer buy for the sake of sustainability. And they all save me money too! Here are 5 things I no longer buy.
Today I chose to share items that I no longer bought because I replaced them with something more sustainable. There are of course many other things I no longer buy but which I don’t replace with anything. Like flight tickets. So the focus is on replacement today. These are all items I don’t purchase any longer but that I have replaced with something else.
Tampons (or sanitary pads)
Years ago, I switched from single-use tampons to a reusable cup. This is a silicone cup you can wash after use and therefore can use again. This makes the cup very sustainable. This means I never have to buy any tampons or sanitary pads every again. A tampon can be used for 8 hours, so about 3 each day. Let’s say that a period lasts 7 days, each months. That is 3x7x12 for an entire year, 252 tampons each year! Let’s say a person has a period for 35 years, from age 15 till 50. 35×252, that’s 8820 tampons for one person (bear in mind, we have about 3.6 billion people with a uterus on this planet). Let’s say you buy Yoni tampons (which I would recommend, if you use tampons). If you buy Yoni, that would make 4,21 euros for 16 pieces. That is 2.320 euros in a lifetime! I personally don’t do it for the money, but it is a nice thought.
Another thing I haven’t bought in years. Hair ties! I still use them though. But I pick them up from the streets! It sounds weird haha, but look around, they’re everywhere. They’re just lying there, so I don’t need to buy those new. I pick them up, put them in the pockets of my pants which I wash and so they wash along. Afterwards they’re as new! Hair ties don’t cost much new, but I am happy I can reuse the ones that other people have lost.
I never buy books. I don’t have any books stored in my house either. I think it’s a waste effort and space. I don’t want to keep them because once I’ve read them I have all the information and stories in my head. I lend books at the local book library. This way I share all the books with all the other people who are a member too. That’s what a circular economy looks like. If I want to check something or do want to read a book again, I’ll just lend it again. I find it quite selfish to keep a book for yourself after you’ve read it. You’re depriving other people of that book. A library membership costs me 4,50 euros each month and I can lend endlessly in that period. I could read 30 books a month if I wanted, one a day. Well, I can tell you that you can’t read 30 new books for 4,50 euros. Not even one. And besides, it’s a waste to buy something new if you don’t need to. All the emissions and waste that comes with the progress.
Something I switched years ago, is single-use tissues for reusable handkerchiefs. A reusable handkerchief is something you wash along with your clothes and then you can use it again. Endlessly if you ask me! I have the handkerchiefs from my grandma’s aunt still! Buying tissues is just a waste of resources and money. All that paper, all those trees we cut just to make tissues. It’s ridiculous. And the plastic in which they’re stored too, made out of oil and they will never degrade. We just don’t need to use the resources.
Plastic or aluminium foil
The last thing I switched for a reusable: plastic or aluminium foil. I never buy them! We use bees wraps these days. We got them gifted, but right now there are also vegan options available. Vegan bees wraps! I can really recommend them! The wraps are just as easy in use as plastic or aluminium foil, but the only difference is that you use them again. After use, you brush them gently with cold water and you can use them again. It’s a one-time purchase of about 23 euros for 3 wraps, but you never have to buy any kind of foil. A pack of aluminium foil costs about 1,70 euros. That is not much, but in a lifetime I think the costs can get high. All money you can then use for different purposes. To buy organic food for example!
Do you still buy any of these things?