Be Green to Save Green: Precycle!
I love this term and it’s not super common yet so let me give you the textbook definition…
Precycle: the practice of reducing waste by attempting to avoid buying items that have excessive packaging or shopping smart to purchase items that use less packaging and are better for the environment (and you can save money by doing this!)
Precycling is a term that is newer on the “green” front and it’s something that can definitely save you money. One big way to precycle is by buying in bulk (if the products are not individually wrapped). You would think that would mean MORE packaging but it doesn’t necessarily. If you buy a big box of goldfish in one bag, think about how many little bags that is replacing. Precycling is cutting down on the waste you are taking home with you when you buy something. Here are some great ways to precycle and save!
- Print coupons instead of getting the newspaper. Printing online coupons is way more earth-friendly because you only print what you need and don’t waste paper!
- Divvy up your own snacks. Okay, I know those little box of raisins are about the cutest things ever but think of all the packaging that goes into them! Buy a reuseable snack bag or container for your child and distribute snacks yourself. This will save a lot of money too. The big bag of raisins with 20 servings cost roughly the same as the eight box package.
- Use your own reuseable produce bag at the store instead of those plastic ones. It’s way better for your produce and you can even get the bag credit (Whole Foods!) for these bags as well.
- Using your own snack bags or containers will save a lot on baggies….same with lunch bags. Brown paper bags are cheap but reusing the same canvas one for a year is way cheaper and better for the environment!
- Make a silverware set for your kids to take in their lunch! You can find cloth napkins and cheap mix and match silverware at thrift stores (in case something gets thrown away…) to make little sets for your kids to keep in their lunch bags. You’ll save on napkins and plastic cutlery.
- Use a reusable water bottle and fill it up at the water fountain or sink at home, school or work. This has been pretty popular for some time but if you haven’t jumped on this bandwagon yet, do it now! You’ll save on bottled water and be healthier and earth-friendly in the process. I find great stainless steel water bottles occasionally at Home Goods for really cheap and they make great gifts too!
- Avoid junk mail and read newspapers and magazines online (except for the Sunday edition to get coupons of course
- Use concentrated products (less volume means less packaging!) like laundry detergents and cleaning products.
- Use long lasting light bulbs like CFLs to reduce packaging (or buying more often) and use less electricity!