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11 Things that Will Make Your Life More Eco-Friendly On A Budget

11 Things that Will Make Your Life More Eco-Friendly On A Budget

Which Products and Habits Save Money and Are Eco-Friendly?

Sustainability is important and while the upfront cost of some items seems expensive, they can save money in the long run.

Below are items I have used to be more environmentally friendly and to save money.

You don’t need to overhaul your entire life, choose one thing and make adjustments as you can afford it.

Some of the things I have listed below I did as soon as the opportunity came up e.g. when I was pregnant the first time, I got cloth nappies.

Others I was unsure about or wanted to trial it slowly e.g. switching to period underwear and a menstrual cup.

Choose the things you are interested in or can afford and start there.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

1. Period Underwear and Menstrual Cups

I read about these long before I was willing to try them because I thought it would be gross but when I finally tried them I wish I had switched sooner.

The period underwear available now is fantastic and comes in a variety of styles, sizes, colours and even swimwear.

Most teenage girls I know are requesting to use this instead of pads so they never use disposable options.

As for the cup, I love it and it has been so useful for travel, especially as we spent a lot of time in Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands.

I did not want to contribute more to waste there with pads and tampons plus, we were quite remote at times which meant no access to those items anyway.

Menstrual cups, when inserted correctly, are more comfortable than pads and tampons for me and other women I have spoken to about them.

A cup can be in for up to 12 hours and it also means when my health issues play up I know exactly what is going on.

At 17 I was diagnosed with mild Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and this year it’s showing as severe along with adenomyosis.

Using a cup enabled me to be exact about certain things and made it quicker and easier to get the tests I needed to get the help I needed.

Check out how to switch to reusable period options and tips on using them, along with reviews on a few brands.

Where to get Periuid Underwear and Menstrual Cups

The easiest place to get them now is with your groceries and they often go on sale for 30 to 50% off.

Bonds are popular because they are similar to the underwear many Aussies grow up with. Love Luna is silly compared to cotton, Toms felt thicker but more absorbent than Love Luna.

Libra is another good option so you could buy one of each with your groceries or when on sale and see which you prefer before buying more.

Bonds also have bigger nighttime options and a few styles.

For swimwear, we use ModiBodi but be aware, the Brazillian cut is verging on g-string and we didn’t like that, the rest is great though and the sizing on the site makes it easy to know what to get.

2. Cloth Nappies

When I had my first kid 16 years ago, another mum introduced me to modern cloth nappies instead of the big towels you had to fold.

They were a total game-changer!

Modern cloth nappies or pocket nappies as they ar sometimes called, are easy to use and similar in size to disposables so I started making them and sold some too.

Buying modern cloth nappies can be a bit of an upfront cost but if you use them, they definitely pay for themselves.

All four of my kids have used them, although we did use disposables sometimes.

My older two kids were toilet trained full around the age of two and I am positive part of that reason is because cloth nappies are wet compared to disposables wicking away moisture.

They wet feeling is there for a bit so they associate it with needing to go to the toilet quicker compared to disposables.

The nappies should last for 4 to 5 years at least, longer if you take care of them or they might need their elastic changed but the fabric can last years.

Where to Get Cloth Nappies

I got mine brand new from Facebook Marketplace when I needed to buy them and a few newborn ones from Aldi.

Big W and many other places have both the new modern cloth nappies and the original terry cloth squares. If you are an Everyday Extra member you can save 10% on them as well.

3. Buy Once, Buy Right

Do your research and buy quality items, buy the best you can afford based on reviews and longevity instead of only getting the cheapest item.

Too often we go for the cheapest option and then end up having to replace it quickly which results in more junk going to landfill and it costs more.

Learn how to research and check reviews to decide on the best option for your budget and needs.

Pay a little more for better quality if necessary and buy once instead of buying cheaper multiple times.

Items such as reusable period underwear, cloth nappies, bamboo toothbrushes, reusable coffee cups, thermos and similar are all great examples of buy once, buy right when it comes to small items.

When you have to replace big items including white goods, compare their energy and water efficiency, not just price.

Read reviews and if needed, spend a little more to get an efficient one. Your bills will thank you long term.

4. Eco-Friendly Cleaning

We do not need all the cleaning products you see advertised.

Vinegar is great for cleaning a variety of things and it can be used as a fabric softener.

Reusable cloths are so much better than disposable wipes, you don’t need to buy cloths either, you can use old sheets or clothes as rags to clean with.

Hang your clothes to dry instead of using a dryer to save on electricity.

For most of my adult life I haven’t even owned a dryer and rarely needed it when I did.

We’ve always had a clothesline and racks we can move around to dry our clothes anywhere.

On the odd occasion I needed a dryer, I’d use the laundromat and it often did the job faster than any I’d owned.

Check for eco and sustainable options before buying a million cleaning products for different things.

5. Repair vs Replace

Whatever you are considering replacing, check if it can be repaired first.

If the repair is affordable or works out cheaper than replacing, do it.

Be aware though, that sometimes it is cheaper to replace an item.

If you do replace it, is there anything about the current broken item that can be repurposed? E.g. buttons or zips on clothing and use the clothing for rags or turn a shirt into a dress for a kid etc.

6. Repurpose

As just mentioned, repurposing is both environmentally friendly and frugal.

Many items can have a second life if you make a few changes.

For inspiration, Google whatever it is you need to repurpose and see how others have done it.

Some items we have repurposed include turning a loft bed into a day lounge, pallets into a garden bed (safely), leftover wood into a clock etc.

7. Buy Local

Shop at your local farmers’ markets for the freshest produce which has not been shipped from far away.

Farmers appreciate it and you are helping the local economy while also being environmentally friendly.

Plus, buying local usually means you get to know whoever is growing your food, baking your bread, selling you meat etc.

Thus creating a strong community feel too.

In my experience, the farmers markets have much fresher produce that lasts longer and sometimes, if you want to, you can grow your own from what you buy.

8. Get Outside

We spend most of our time outside hiking, bike riding, swimming at the beach etc. Check out these 37 frugal activities to get an idea of our lifestyle.

It reduces our electricity usage at home and the active lifestyle means we are healthier and closer as a family.

Rather than sitting inside with air conditioning, watching Netflix or playing video games, we are enjoying the outdoors for free and reducing our carbon footprint.

(For reducing electricity, I am currently with Red Energy for electricity. They offer a $25 bonus when you join too. )

9. Grow Your Own

Establish a garden to have some of your produce such as tomatoes, herbs, cucumber and maybe some fruit trees.

Along with saving money, this helps clean the air and gardening has been shown to reduce stress.

It is one of the many hobbies we enjoy that can make or save money.

Check out these 9 plants to grow to save money. And this DIY lettuce planter to save space.

10. Safety Razors

These are the razors where you change the blades rather than the whole razor or razor head.

The blades are extremely sharp and last a few weeks if you shave every day.

Shaves are closer to the skin than disposable razors and it works out significantly cheaper to use a safety razor and replace the blades.

Plus, much less waste goes to landfills.

Amazon has a great selection of safety razors.

11. Reusable Items or Ditch Them

Straws, napkins, paper towels and other products have become the norm when they are not needed at all.

Thankfully, most restaurants are getting rid of straws now and there are rules in various places banning them.

If you truly need a straw, get a reusable one.

Also, reusable coffee cup, thermos for your lunch so you can take lunch from home, use cloth instead of paper towel and fabric napkins instead of paper ones.

When it comes to reusable items for my kids lunches I have lunch boxes with sections so I don’t need plastic bags or plastic wrap.

Beeswax wraps are great instead of plastic wrap and you can get reusable pouches for yoghurt, custard etc. If you want to make your own yoghurt to save more, read these tips for what to do when Easi-Yo doesn’t work.

Look at everything you use and see if there are reusable options.

What eco-friendly habits and products do you recommend?

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