What do sandwich bags, batteries, pens and water bottles have in common? They all end up in the trash after single or limited use. Ultimately we spend more money purchasing disposable products than if we had bought a similar reusable product in the first place.
Sustainability makes sense. Reusable produces are quality products designed to last with minimal environmental and social impact throughout its entire life cycle. The bottom line is you save money and minimize waste by choosing reusable and/or recyclable products.
There are lots of stylish alternatives to disposable products, so it’s easy to make the switch. Consider a reusable stainless steel bottle instead of buying single-serve drinks. Reusable shopping bags are very popular, come in a variety of great patterns, and keep plastic bags out of landfills. If you have reusable bags but accidentally leave them at home, try getting in the habit of putting them back in the car immediately after unloading your groceries. Place them in a prominent spot in your car – like the passenger seat – to remind you to bring them into the store.
Switching to a reusable lifestyle is often simple and inexpensive. Take these actions, for example:
- Pack your lunch: For school or work, pack a lunchbox full of snacks in reusable plastic or glass containers. Not only will you end up with an inexpensive, low-waste (and even healthy!) meal, you’ll skip out on the single-use packaging that accompanies most on-the-go lunch purchases.
- Search for treasures at the thrift store: Northern Virginia has a variety of thrift stores where you can find gently used clothes, furniture, books, home décor, and building materials. For items in good condition that you no longer want, drop them off at a local thrift shops.
- Go Antique Shopping: Purchase antiques and used furniture to bring new life and extra character to living spaces.
- Read used books: Your County Public Library offers all residents a free and easy way to reuse books.
Dump the disposables, go green, and save some green!