Going plastic free was an easy decision to start. After the initial excitement and first few smaller purchases came the reality. Going plastic is a grand idea, and can also cost you a grand.
Okay, so maybe not a grand, but still a lot of money! In the long run it’ll save you money, like a good pair of shoes. However, to start, you really notice the cost. For me, I had to wait until I was out of University and making more money (not much more, but better than part time). I collected mugs and got reusable bags from work promotions.
How To Afford Going Plastic Free
Take it slow: Don’t rush into being completely plastic free, rookie mistake. Start out slow, buy what you use the most first, with me it was grocery bags, and you can check out the rest of my journey below! One step at a time, one post at a time. There is no rush, it still makes a huge difference even if it is only one thing at a time.
Ask for help: For me this is when someone asks what I want for my birthday or Christmas. I want reusable sandwich baggies! Friends and family, even coworkers for those secret Santas will love this idea. From little baggies and fun mugs, to straws in any colour! For them it makes gift giving easy, and for you, makes being greener cheaper.
Go second hand: Be wary of straws! But try second hand to limit waste, and to look for reusable grocery bags, travel mugs, you name it. As the movement becomes more popular, the more stuff will start to show up second hand. There is no rush, it’s a life long journey.
Buy on sale: If buying second hand gives you the willies, and you have no one to get it for you, shop the sales! Online advertisements are great for this, once you look at a page for something (or Amazon) you’ll find advertisements for that exact thing, only cheaper, come across your screen! Yaay online cookies.
Even small actions matter: Even if you can’t afford any multi use materials, reuse your plastics. Refill that one time use water bottle throughout the day before recycling it, wash out your sandwich baggies, make your work coffee in the tims cup you brought in that morning.
Buy Local: I can’t tell you how many times I have had my eye on something exciting and new to continue my plastic free journey. Fromm tooth floss and tooth brushes to cleaning brushes and bags. Then after falling in love, realizing that with the shipping cost from another country was more than the product! I do my best to buy local now, limit shipping costs and support your neighbours!
(However there are times when there are just some things I have to have, like everything at Net Zero! I won’t lie, I love this site, most days wishing shipping to Canada wasn’t so much, but their stuff is great and well worth the cost. My fav? The tooth floss, no joke.)
The take away
Going plastic free has been a big move for me, and hasn’t always been easy or smooth sailing. I figure, this is a life long journey, a complete lifestyle shift. One that I hope is permanent. Not just for me, but for others as well, and if I can share my journey.
The costs has been especially hard for me. From originally starting this journey in University, to signing Trent’s green pledge upon graduation, and working my way up the latter at work. Anything that is worth it won’t come easily in my mind. The convenience along with the cost are the biggest obstacles for me. But if I can help just one other person through this journey and make it as easy as possible that’ll be enough.
Join the conversation, find and offer help through our Facebook Group if you feel you can’t do it alone.