We’re all trying to do our bit for the Earth, but a lot of the time you pay a premium for eco-friendly options. 

Not only can it be off-putting to pay three times the price for a compostable washing-up sponge, but for most people, it’s financially unviable.

Over the past few years, I’ve tried lots of products that are friendlier to our planet, and while some of them were duds, here are a few that actually saved me money.

Eco-friendly toilet paper

We switched to Who Gives A Crap in 2020 after I researched how to improve our bathroom product footprint. It’s biodegradable, comes in plastic-free packaging and the shipping is now carbon-neutral.

I was initially skeptical because toilet roll isn’t a luxury product. It’s not something I can skip using, so it needed to be competitive with the supermarket price.

Fortunately, it is. You can buy 48 rolls with 400 sheets (double the average roll) per 3 ply roll for £38. That’s £1.33 per roll and £0.003 per sheet. At ASDA, you can buy 24 rolls with 180 sheets per 2 ply roll for £7.75. That’s 32p per roll, but £0.002p per sheet. Not much difference at all.

While it may seem more expensive initially, a pack of 48 rolls will last a small household (1-2 people) 16 weeks. I don’t think a normal nine-pack of loo roll has ever lasted us longer than a week.

Cleaning with washing up liquid

When we moved to our first home, I bought every single eco-friendly cleaning product there is. I became obsessed with Method, used the Smol cleaning tablets, and everything in between.

But, no matter how eco-friendly a cleaning product is, buying so many plastic bottles and having specialist cleaners for everything is awful for the planet and your bank account.

Instead, I’ve started cleaning our kitchen surfaces, bathroom sink, and windows with washing up liquid and it works so well. Better than some of the other surface cleaners I’ve used and a little drop goes a really long way. 

If you’re worried about germs, standard washing up liquid kills bacteria, so is great for use in kitchens and bathrooms. It won’t do every job, but it’ll definitely replace the majority of your everyday cleaners.

DIY reusable cotton pads

Reusable cotton pads are a perfect example of where the eco-friendly option is overpriced. I’ve seen a pack of six pads sold for £10+ which is ridiculous when six pads will never be enough for one person to use. Especially when a pack of 100 disposable cotton pads costs less than £1.

Instead, buy a couple of flannels from anywhere, cut them up into squares, and put them in a nice little pot for storage. Also, get yourself a mesh bag that you can put in the wash. When the pads are dirty, put them in the bag and in the wash and they should be good as new.

Refurbished technology

We’re obsessed with having the latest tech. And it’s no surprise, with new features and gadgets coming out every year, it’s completely normal to want to stay up-to-date. 

But electronic waste leads to toxic substances like lead and mercury seeping into soil and water and often, our tech contains valuable non-renewable resources that could be recycled and reused.

Instead, most companies offer refurbished versions of their latest product. You may have to wait a few months until there are some new products to refurbish, but not only is it good for the planet, but it’s cheaper. The products usually come with a warranty and are professionally checked, so it’s good as new.

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