10 Sustainable Swaps That Will Save The Planet and Your Wallet

With all of the sustainable products out these days, it can seem like trying to be eco-friendly isn’t exactly budget friendly.

Suddenly you feel pressured to buy cute terracotta dishware, glass straws, and $100 worth of sustainable beauty products.

Now I am not going to lie, these are all great things. And yes, I want them all. But I’m ALL about keeping that wallet thicc baby! I work hard to make my money, and I’d rather keep it in my pocket.

But the REAL tea is that a lot of these products are just companies hopping on the “zero waste” bandwagon and trying to grab your hard earned coins. We aren’t going to let that happen ladies!

There are plenty of ways to reduce your waste without breaking the bank. In fact, a great reason to start being sustainable is that it can actually save you money. YES, it can save you big time, if you do it right. Don’t worry. I’ll teach you.

Now shh. Class is in session.

#1 Use towels instead of paper towels

Do I even need to elaborate? You could buy paper towels 100 times a year OR you could buy one $10 set of dish towels and reuse them for eternity. All you have to do is wash them and they are brand new. Now I know, I know, it can be hard to give them up. The convenience of not washing towels every 3 days is great.

Confession: My fiance still occasionally buys paper towels (you already know he gets a lecture). We are all on our own sustainable journey. You can’t do it all at once. But start off by only buying one roll at a time. Try using paper towels only for those pesky messes like dog pee and red wine...or is that just in my household?

The point is, the less you use it the more you will help the planet and your wallet.

#2 Make your own DIY beauty products

Not only is making your own products cheaper than buying, it’s extremely fun. I’ve made my own rose water facial mist, body wash, face serum, and so much more. It’s like baking. Once you start acquiring all of the main ingredients, you can make just about anything. Something about using something you made yourself is just so satisfying.

Plus you can have the satisfaction of when someone asks, “You smell amazing, what perfume are you wearing?” You can give them the not so humble but humble answer of saying, “why thank you, I made it myself.”

#3 Use a reusable cup when getting coffee

Most coffee shops these days will give a discount to the kind people who show up with their reusable cups. And to be honest, I hate when I don’t bring my reusable cup for the extremely first world problem reason that I don’t get to use my boujee Yeti that keeps my drink either super hot or super cold.

Am I seriously expected to drink out of a plastic cup as the ice melts in my latte and leaves cup sweat on every surface? An abomination!

#4 Use a digital planner over paper planners

I said goodbye to my paper planners. RIP to the times we had together planning out our goals and dreams on a booklet that probably caused more paper and plastic waste than I would like to know. But that is okay, my friends. That’s why I created the Flourish Planner. I wanted a digital planner that was just as good, if not better, as my paper planners I knew and loved.

Now I plan 100% digitally. I also recommend using printable planners. I love to print out my planner sheets and use them that way if I want that pen to paper feel. And all you have to do is compost that paper or keep them all in a folder/binder.

The amount of paper you will save by simply printing at home or the library is a HUGE step in helping the planet.

Check out my freebies to try out digital planning!

#4 Start a garden instead of always buying produce

I cannot tell lies. I don’t actually do this one. But I want to and I know everything about starting a garden which counts as actually doing it right? Kidding. I live in an extremely dark apartment which doesn't make for the prime garden real estate. But as soon as this boss lady saves enough to buy a house, you best believe I am going to be growing EVERYTHING.

While the price of getting into gardening may seem a little high due to the amount of time, work, and cost of it, it’s 100% worth it. Take my word for it, I’ve run the numbers. And setting up an endless plethora of free food for yourself with the small price of watering and weeding is worth it. Plus, you can spend less time at the dreaded grocery store.

#5 Buy used books

This is something I have just started doing. I love to read and am always buying new books, because as much as I want to like the Kindle, I just love having the physical book! And while buying a new book isn’t the worst thing you can do, especially if it just sits on your shelf after, second-hand shopping is always the more sustainable option.

#6 Buy in bulk

It’s always bulking season, am I right?!

All jokes aside, bulk shopping is not only cost effective but it is eco-effective (is that a term? Probably not, but it should be.) When you go bulk shopping, bring a reusable bag that you can store the goods in. Once you get home you can either leave them in the bag, or put them in mason jars.

If you do bulk shopping for anything, at least do it to put it in aesthetically pleasing mason jars.

Most grocery stores have bulk sections and they definitely get neglected. I mean you can get enough oats to feed an army without even breaking a $5 dollar bill. Don’t sleep on the bulk section people!

#7 Use bar soap over bottled soap

STOP right there.

Before you skip over this section thinking “bar soap is trash” you probably haven’t tried bar soap since you ran out of your bath and body works shower gel and had a traumatic experience with your dads used up bar of men’s cologne infused bar soap. The bar soaps on the market now are much better quality. Not to mention, you can pretty much cut your soap budget in half with how cheap they are.

There’s body wash, shampoo, conditioner, and everything else you can think of in bar form. I’m talking bar deodorant, bar face soap, bar dish detergent. You get the picture. But this saves SO much plastic bottle waste. We are out here preaching about not drinking from water bottles, when you go through your warm vanilla sugar body wash every month (you know who you are). So make the switch and your wallet will thank you.

#8 Buy less online (I’m talking to you amazon addict)

I am an amazon lover. I am. I said it. I love amazon. It is TERRIBLE, and I mean terrible, for miss earth. But I have severely cut back on my amazon shopping, and online shopping in general in the past few months. I am doing this mostly because I am on a “no buy” which basically entails that I buy nothing that I don’t need.

Shopping in person is much better for the environment because you can control how much waste is used. You can bring your own reusable bag and there are no shipping costs. Not to mention the barrier to shop in person is much greater, especially with the happenings of the world, so you are less likely to over spend.

#9 Menstrual cup

Feminine products are priced unnecessarily high. I mean am I seriously expected to pay $10 for a little piece of cotton that probably costs a penny? And even more for organic, unbleached cotton that isn’t as bad for my body? Absurdity!

The menstrual cup is a gift from the female gods. You buy one product and that’s it. Your female needs are solved. I know some people can get weird about...well...inserting it. But it’s just like getting started with anything in the feminine realm. It’s a little weird at first and it may not be for everyone, but everyone should at least give it a try.

#10 Cook at Home

I know we don’t think of going out to eat as an “unsustainable” habit, but you can’t really control what restaurants are supporting, what their eco-friendly practices are, and if they are thinking about food waste. My guess is that a lot of places don’t think about those things. But if you cook at home, you can control all of that and more.

Plus, cooking at home is almost always easier on the wallet. I mean you can make yourself a bomb lasagna that you will eat for a week for $10 rather than spending $15 on one serving.

These are just a few ways you can save money while saving the planet. Being eco-friendly doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg. These budget friendly sustainable swaps are definitely a great way to reduce your carbon footprint.