5 of the Easiest & Cheapest Everyday Eco-Friendly Swaps

We completely understand that there is a misconception about how going green is inconvenient and expensive. Our purpose at Elephant Trunk Moving Supplies is to help prove that wrong, starting with our affordable and convenient service! We understand reusable plastic moving boxes are just one step closer to reducing carbon foot print. There is much to be done to achieve this ambitious goal of going green and saving this planet..

So it’s only appropriate that I put together a list of some other cheap and easy green swaps for your everyday life (no, straws are not on this list because you probably already know about that. But if you need some options for reusable straws, these, these, or this are all great and have solid reviews!)

1. Cotton Round

Standard Q-Tip brand cotton rounds sell for ~$4 after tax for a 75 pack at walmart, or ~$2 for the generic brand pack of 100 at Target. However, these organic bamboo makeup remover pads come in a pack of 16 for $10.99 on Amazon and can be reused up to 1000 times! Just toss the used pads into the laundry bag and into your washing machine and they are as good as new! With over 300 5 star reviews, and an overall 4.4 star rating, these should not disappoint. And the price breakdown, if you wash the full bag once a week for a year and reuse the price breaks down to being a penny per pad!

2. K-Cups

K-Cups are incredibly convenient, but in this case the package of Donut Shop coffee comes with 72 K-Cups for $35.97. On the other hand, these four reusable refillable coffee filters for Keurigs cost $8.25, and then pair them with whatever coffee grounds you’d like! This Caribou Coffee comes with ~24 servings, equivalent to the amount of grounds in each K-Cup, and it costs $10.43. The first purchase of this may not seem like a less expensive option - but in the long run it really is a less expensive option AND means you get to enjoy higher quality, fresher coffee while not creating waste! It may take an extra 30 seconds to scoop coffee grounds into the filter, but that’s a small burden for saving money and helping the planet!

3. Plastic Storage Bags

The average family uses around 500 ziplock bags per year, which can be recycled! But statistics show that only about 1% of the world’s 4 trillion used plastic bags are actually recycled. In this case, you can buy 90 XL sandwich bags on Amazon for $9.21, which comes out to about ~$0.10 per bag. On the other hand, this 5 pack of reusable extra thick FDA grade PEVA bags cost $12.99 and can be reused as many times as you want! AND they come with a 12 month, 100% satisfaction or money back guarantee! There are other brands that make these - a very well known brand being Stasher. They are very high quality and come in lots of different shapes, sizes and colors and are made of silicone. But as a starter, the Amazon option is a great one!

4. Parchment Paper/Foil When Using the Oven

Now I know very well, no one really wants to clean the cookie sheet after baking on it. Whether you’re making cookies or roasting vegetables, putting down parchment paper or foil on the baking sheet is a best practice for all of us who don’t want to scrub the pan. This is where silicone baking sheets come into play. The link is for a set of 3 sheets for $16.95, so ~$5.65 per sheet - then they can be reused many times! 60 feet of parchment paper is $4.99, and 75 feet of aluminum foil is ~$6.50. I did select these silicone sheets over the Amazon brand sheets sold online, because these had much better reviews and were about the same price per sheet.

5. Food Covers

Covering leftover food is important - waste-not-want-not and such! But In 2016, world plastics production totaled around 335 million metric tons. Roughly half of annual plastic production is destined for a single-use product, so if we could reduce that just a bit with our food covers, that would be for the best! 200 sq. ft. of cling wrap costs about $3.29, but honestly it is one of the most annoying pieces of plastic to deal with so is it even worth it? I found two really good options for replacements: first being a 12 pack of silicone stretch lids for $8.98. These are great because they can fit over containers of any shape, like that Tupperware you somehow lost the lid to! The second option is really cool - Bee’s Wrap is made of organic cotton, sustainably harvested beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin. Just use the warmth of your hands to seal it around any item, including bowls, cheese, avocados, or whatever else you need covered! They easily wash in cool water with mild soap and air dry, and they cost $18.00 for a set of 3 sheets.

Now these certainly aren’t everything you can swap out - this is merely the beginning! But it’s is a great start for anyone trying to make small steps! If you bought every item on this list it would cost a total of $86.59 (including the coffee for the K-Cups and BOTH food covers). But that covers all that you would have to buy for a long time, and you wouldn’t be creating any waste once you start using them. Here’s hoping this has been of help!

Under $100 to start making steps to reduce your personal carbon footprint!

Elephant Trunk Moving Supplies would like you to learn from experience of families around DFW, that chose to use plastic moving boxes instead of cardboard boxes.