Finding financially viable ways to be sustainable can seem daunting at first. There are many ways to lessen your impact as a consumer, but some of these products and methods can be expensive. It's easy to get swept up in the idea that sustainable living is a luxury lifestyle. So, is it really worth investing in sustainable options if the initial cost is so high?
We looked at three types of disposable products - makeup wipes, paper towels, and plastic sandwich bags - to see how much money could be saved by purchasing reusable versions. We also looked at three specific time frames to see how long it would take to pay off the initial investment of the reusable products.
Our research found that the cost of regularly buying disposable products can be more than triple the expense of buying reusable options. Here is what we found to be the cost of disposable products after the first 6 months:
- Paper Towels: $136.08
- Makeup Wipes: $44.93
- Plastic Sandwich Bags: $52.82
In contrast, the initial cost of purchasing reusable alternatives from Coast to Coast Sustainables (C2C) are:
- REtowels: $51.00 ($17.00 for a pack of 6)
- RErounds: $7.00 (for a pack of 6)
- REusable Sandwich Bag: $36.00 ($12.00 for 1)
These costs and quantities account for a week's worth of each product, assuming an average household does laundry weekly since the reusable products need to be cleaned before reusing.
Our data showed that the initial investment from purchasing the reusable products is paid off within the first 6 months by a significant margin. Meaning that within the first 6 months, customers save:
- $82.08 after switching to REtowels
- $37.93 after switching to RErounds
- $16.82 after switching to REusable Sandwich Bags
The cost of buying any type of disposable good piles up over time. Even using paper towels for just 6 months will cost the average user $136.08. The annual cost is nearly $300. Not only is buying these products detrimental to the environment, but it's also costly for the consumer.
We would like to point out that our company is new and that these products have only been in manufacturing for the last 3 years, so it is quite possible that they will last much longer than what the data here shows. Meaning that the total savings could increase over time rather substantially.
There are a bunch of options for more sustainable product alternatives so you can choose which one works best for your lifestyle!
One alternative to disposable paper towels is to use a kitchen rag, but there are other options worth considering. For example, you might want to try using REtowels, which are made from 100% cotton flannel and can be used similarly to paper towels by being placed on a roll. Not only are these towels more eco-friendly, but they can help you save money in the long run. They also add a pop of color to your kitchen with a multitude of fun and creative designs!
If you're looking for more sustainable self-care options, you might want to give RErounds a try. These rounds are made from 100% cotton flannel, which means they can be washed and reused multiple times. Plus, they are soft and gentle on your skin.
For days when you need multiple makeup wipes, consider using the Makeup Eraser. This cloth only requires water to effectively remove all your makeup, making it a convenient and eco-friendly choice.
While Tupperware is a great option for food storage, reusable bags may be a better choice if you need to fit more in your lunchbox or bag. These bags are available in a variety of sizes and materials, such as cloth or silicone. Silicone bags can be washed in the dishwasher for easy cleanup.
C2C’s REusable Sandwich Bags have a cotton exterior and an OEKO-TEX certified, food grade cotton laminate interior which is resistant to water. They function similarly to a bag and are easier to clean than silicon! Only thing to note is that they should be washed inside out.
If you’re interested in hearing more about OEKO-TEX certified products, check out our blog post about the fabric here!
REusable Sandwich Wraps (left) and Bags (right)
Another option to consider is C2C's REusable Sandwich Wrap, which is easier to clean than other reusable options since they can open up completely flat and be thrown in with the laundry. They are made from the same materials as the wraps and come in a wide variety of colors and designs.
These alternatives are often more durable and long-lasting than disposable products. Coast to Coast (C2C) products in particular have lasted customers at least three years and may have a life-cycle period of much longer. C2C products are also some of the easier options to clean and reuse since they can all be tossed in with a load of laundry, and come in a variety of colors and patterns.
We hope that this list provides you with a range of options to choose from so you can make more sustainable choices for both you and the planet!