In my last blog in March, I floated the idea of using some of the time we’ve gained through no commute and / or hardly any social life to break the habits of a lifetime and do a bit of research on switching to greener products. It doesn’t even need to take you very long as, if you trust me, I’ve done it for you.
March now seems like a lifetime ago. Since then, 6.3m people have been furloughed, potentially taking a 20% pay cut, and an unknown number have lost their jobs. So, as a few people have said to me, wouldn’t it be more helpful to focus on how people can save money rather than the planet? Yes, fair point. And as this is a sustainability blog, how about I cover both?
The big money saver is buying refills. I know this needs some space, of course 5 litres of shampoo takes up more space than 1 litre. But anyone with a garage shouldn’t have too much of a problem. So here’s the maths, all on products I use and can vouch for:
Faith in Nature shampoo: buying one 5 litre refill container instead of the equivalent in 400ml bottles saves £24.88. Conditioner, exactly the same.
Ecover washing up liquid, a 15 litre refill saves £10.64 on the equivalent 950ml bottles.
Bio toilet cleaner, a 15 litre refill container saves £16.70 on 750ml bottles.
So for simplicity, let’s assume you get through two of the bigger sizes of each per year. That’s £154 saved per year, just on those four products. There are many more.
Here’s one that takes up a smaller amount of cupboard space than it’s less eco friendly, more expensive alternative: an Eco laundry egg: one egg and pellets lasts for 720 washes. Yes, really. At £24.99, the cost is 3.5p per wash, compared with a large Ariel mega pack at £10 for 60 washes, 16.7p per wash. When you add in that there’s no need for fabric conditioner (yes, honestly, I promise), taking out a 4 litre bottle of Lenor at £6 for 114 washes, that’s a total of 18p per wash saved. OK, not mega bucks, but better than a poke in the eye with a dirty sock.
Moving down the scale, bamboo reuseable make up pads cost £12.99 for 16, versus 80p for 100 cotton pads. This one would take about 18 months to break even (assuming you use three a day like I do), but still a saving over the long term.
I could go on, but that’s enough maths for anyone in one day. Point being, it’s possible to save money and the planet – especially when, like me at the moment, you have no commute and almost no social life, so have time to do the research into what works for you. And the best news is that you can buy everything I’ve mention from one place: ethicalsuperstore.com