How to save money AND the environment by swapping to zero waste products

WE all know that ditching plastic is something positive we can do for the environment – but you could also save £377 a year by doing so.
From ditching takeaway coffee cups and plastic bottles in favour of reusable ones to swapping tampons for menstrual cups.

Of course you may need to spend a bit more on the initial outlay, such as a reusable coffee cup, but you'll be reaping the rewards for years to come.

Here's what you need to know.

1. Save £16 a year switching to shampoo bars

Shampoo bars will typically last two to three times longer than a traditional bottle of shampoo.

So while they cost more, they will save you cash in the long run.

Prices can range from well under £5 to over £10. One of the best-known brands, Lush, produce the bars for £7.50 to £13.50.
So say you buy a £3 bottle of shampoo every month then that'll rack up to £36 a year.
But buy a £5 bar of shampoo every three months and that'll set you back £20 a year – £16 less.
Plus, the quality of shampoo bars has increased significantly and they lather up and clean your hair as good as any traditional shampoo.

2. Grab a reusable water bottle and save £260 a year

If you buy a bottle of water for lunch everyday working day of the year then you're racking up around £260 based on a typical £1 a bottle price.
But if you make the simple swap of getting yourself a metal water container, you’ll be saying no to plastic waste as well as saving hundreds a year.

And you needn't spend a lot on the bottle either, Aldi, for example, has stainless steel water bottles for £3.99.

In the UK, our tap water is great for drinking and these days water fountains are everywhere, so it makes it easy to fill up on the go.

3. Do the same for a coffee cup and save £65 a year

Single-use takeaway coffee cups are a horrendous waste but many coffee shops offer a discount if you bring your own reusable cup.

Starbucks, for example, gives shoppers a 25p discount when they bring in their own cup.

So if you buy a coffee every morning before work you'd save a whopping £65 a year (based on 260 working days a year) by simply bringing your own cup.

And again, the cups don't have to be expensive – Starbucks in fact sells reusable cups for £1.

Other coffee shops also run their own schemes so check these out.

Plus, if you have your own mug, you can pop your kettle on in the morning before you rush out the door – saving even more cash.

4. Say goodbye to clingfilm – save £12 each year

Most of us hoard clingfilm in our kitchens using it to wrap up sandwiches to take to work.

But now, you can get rid of it once and for all as there are new reusable beeswax wraps and strips that will protect your food in the same way.
There’s a larger upfront cost – each wrap costs £3 to £6 compared to roughly £1 for a small roll of clingfilm, but they can be used over and over again and come in a range of sizes.

Plus, when you’ve exhausted their use, you can throw them into your compost bin.

So say you buy a £1 box of clingfilm every month, that's an annual saving of £12.

5. Give up the tampons – save £12 each year

It’s estimated women use over 10,000 tampons in their lifetime – it’s not cheap to be a lady.
But there are plenty of zero waste options for your period. A menstrual cup costs around £20, but that’s a payment you’ll only have to make once.

There are also some reusable towels that come in amazing designs, as well as period underwear that does the same job – you just pop them in the wash afterwards.

A box of 18 tampons costs £2 at Asda, so say you need six boxes a year, that's an annual saving of £12.

6. Invest in food containers – save £12 each year

This is another switch that costs more to begin with, but you’ll see big savings big time.

You only really get one use out of a plastic freezer bag so next time you’re batch cooking or freezing dishes, purchase suitable glass containers or silicon freezer bags for your food storage.

These dishes and bags can be used over and over without a reduction in quality.

You can even get silicone cupcake holders, so you’ll never have to buy packets of bun cases again.

A typical pack of 50 plastic freezer bags costs £1 at Asda, so if you use a pack a month you'd save about £12 a year by ditching them.

If you're looking for other ways to go green, Martin Lewis reveals how switching to green energy could save you £300 a year.

Meanwhile, one first-time buyer reveals how she saved £1,000s for a deposit by going eco-friendly.

And a businessman has saved £1,000 a month on bills with an eco home that costs just £15 a month to run.

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