Sometimes money isn’t the only cost

You can’t only look at your actions and what you choose to buy from a dollars and cents cost perspective.

Sometimes, it’s cheaper to just buy new and dispose of it when you’re done:

  • Ziploc baggies
  • Printing any sort of email or paper without needing to
  • Wipes of any sort
  • Paper towels
  • Paper napkins
  • …and the list goes on

But this is just my little plea to just consider the environmental impact of what you’re doing.

I am not saying to NEVER use a disposable item again

I know that sometimes a Ziploc bag is the most convenient, and even in some cases, the most logical option (such as when you separate tomatoes from your sandwich so that it doesn’t end up soggy).

But using disposable items 100% of the time, when you could be limiting your usage to just 5% of the time by taking a conscious decision to do so, just seems.. well, lazy.

I say lazy for lack of a better word, because it doesn’t really change your life and your actions — you are still “bagging” the items, but it could help the environment in a bigger way.

Every small step is a step, and you never know when someone else might quietly follow suit after observing your actions, and the chain reaction will cause a much larger impact.

The numbers may never make sense

It might just be cheaper at the start to throw away each plastic Ziploc bag you use, rather than to re-wash them.

$0.017 per plastic bag, compared to a $20 in glass containers just to pack one sandwich?

It would take 1176 glass container uses before they will break even.

Assuming you make a lunch to bring to work 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year (2 weeks for vacation), you are looking at 250 uses a year, or almost 5 years (4.7 to be exact) before those glass containers “pay off’.

Eventually, it will pay off, but sometimes it may never make financial sense.

But sometimes it isn’t about the cost to your wallet.

It’s also the cost to the environment.

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.