Guest Post by Alison Gallagher
Taking out the trash is a much loathed household chore by many young Australians. It’s stinky, dirty, sometimes is dripping with the festering juices of the past week’s discards. But it feels good to get it out of the house and feels even better to line the bin with a nice clean bag. Taking out the recycling has become an additional chore, another carton of rejected bottles, cans and cereal boxes destined for another life somewhere other than your laundry floor. But did you know recycling can save you money?
Recycling has become an automatic reflex for most Australians, with many people installing bins with dual compartments to separate the recycling, and in some homes the recycling tub is more densely filled than the rubbish bin. This is great news for the environment and is having an impact on the way companies package their goods. Many companies are listening to customers’ requests for recyclable packaging and even better, some are even use recycled packaging. One of the best things about recycling and buying recycled good is it can save you cash.
Here a few ways to save money while recycling at the same time.
• When buying office paper and envelopes, toilet paper and paper towels always try to opt for a product that is mostly or 100% made from recycled paper. It is almost always cheaper saves resources and reduces waste.
• Invest in high quality electrical goods and clothing to ensure they last for longer and don’t need to be replaced every 6-12 months. Your initial investment may be higher, but in the long run you will save money. Alternatively you can check out places like Vinnies and the Salvation Army for second hand toasters, kettles, electric frypans and curling irons. You will pay a fraction of the price when new and also be supporting a charity and recycling all in one!
• ‘Green bags’ are a fabulous concept that has been embraced by many people. Some shops are taking responsibility by no longer providing plastic bags for free, instead charging a small fee for each plastic bag used. This is a great incentive to bring along you own carry bag to the supermarket or shopping centre and save a few dollars. It’s also much more stylish walking around with a trendy tote than dragging plastic bags around.
• Reuse your takeaway plastic container to store stationary items, pegs, dry pasta, lunches, leftovers, frozen food. They don’t have an especially long life and aren’t very durable, but can be good for temporary storage.
• Buy in bulk whenever you can. Refill your empty shampoo bottles, liquid hand washes, detergents etc. It will save you money in the long run and you are recycling the packaging over and over again.
• The price of print ink stinks! Get your printer ink cartridges refilled to save a few bucks.
• Have a garage sale or car boot sale and sell your unwanted clothes and household goods and make some moolah while giving your rejects a new lease of life.
• Wash glass jars and re-use them again to save money on storage and store food or odds and ends like buttons and nails. You can also give glass jars to friends who make jams or pickles. If you’re feeling adventurous you could also make home brew and use beer bottles collected from family and friends
These tips might not make you a millionaire, but they will make a small difference to your hip pocket and to the environment, and they may just make you feel good and resourceful like your Nan.
Bio: Alison Gallagher is a ‘creative communicator’ and Program Coordinator for Regret Nothing, a financial engagement program for young people aimed at making finance fun! She is also an actor and meditation teacher and enjoys inspiring others to help make the world a better place.