Reduce, reuse, recycle. We’re all familiar with this phrase, but the question is why? A significant factor for most recyclers is the environment. Wanting to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills and instead send it to be reused and recycled into something else is an admirable choice. However, did you know that choosing to recycle doesn’t always come at a cost? Instead, you can actually save money when you recycle.
Buy Reusable Items
Start recycling while you’re shopping. Shopping with recycling in mind is the most efficient and fiscally responsible way to reduce and reuse. Thinking through the long-term lifecycle of an item can feel overwhelming, but there are a few tricks to help you.
Think about how long you want to use an item for its specific purpose and ask yourself if that item is high enough quality to last as long as you’ll need it to? Or will it end up being replaced or purchased again? Buying an item of better quality that will last for as long as you’ll need it is typically a wiser financial decision.
For example, a recycled plastic picnic table costs more than a wooden table up front, but provides long-term savings. The planks don’t require repainting or staining, which in itself saves money and time, and they don’t rot or decay so they will never have to be replaced. And because they last for decades, it is a generational product, meaning it can be handed down to children and grandchildren because it remains durable and useful.
Also, consider if the item can serve more than one purpose in its lifetime. Upcycling is one of the best ways recycling can save you money. Below are some upcycling examples.
- Cut up old clothing that can’t be repaired into cleaning rags. Doing this is a dual purpose! First, you’ll save on buying rags, and you won’t need to purchase paper towels that aren’t recyclable.
- Soup cans offer a wide variety of secondary recycling. Cleaned out, they can be made into planters, vases, pencil holders, candle votives, and more.
Upcycle That is an incredible resource for reinventing items you have and giving them a new life.
Reusable Items vs. Single-Use
Buying reusable items vs. single-use can be tricky, but is a great way to save you money once you get the hang of it.
On average, you should drink 100 ounces of water per day. What is the cost difference between filling a reusable water bottle and single-use bottled water?
Single Use: The average price of a 24-case of 17-ounce water bottles is $5.49. It costs you about $0.22 per bottle of water. To drink 100 ounces daily, you would need to drink 5.8 bottles of water. Annually this comes out to $472.35 a year. In addition, you’ll put over 2,000 single-use plastic bottles into the recycling/landfills.
Reusable: If we take the same metrics, wanting to drink 100 ounces of water daily, you can purchase one reusable water bottle for an average price of $15.99. If you prefer your water filtered, you can buy a water filtering system and one year’s worth of filters for about $113.99. You can keep or recycle your water bottle at the end of the year and you’ve saved around $340!
This is just one example of how investing in reusable items can save money.
Limit Your Purchases and Save Money
Purchasing items that are built to last, although they could cost more upfront, saves you long-term money. For example, buying one quality leather belt you wear for ten years vs. a new less-expensive one that needs replacing every year. A plastic outdoor bench will outlast metal and wood so it won’t have to be replaced and will be used for decades.
Kitchen appliances often break and aren’t easily recycled or repaired. Most second-hand stores don’t even take them anymore. If the appliance is one you know you’ll use regularly, invest in something that will stand the test of time, putting more money in your pocket and fewer toasters in the landfill.
The Polly Products Difference
Businesses selling items that are built to last value recycling and it’s part of their mission to keep their products out of the landfill by providing high quality. And they might even use recycled materials for part of their manufacturing. At Polly Products, we believe in producing products that last. That’s why we’ve specially designed our outdoor furniture to stand the test of time! Unfortunately, typical outdoor furniture needs to be replaced due to harsh weather wear and tear, resulting in a lot of old furniture going to landfills. However, Polly Products makes unique products that are built to last, not just decades but for generations!
We use only stainless-steel fasteners to ensure the maintenance-free longevity of our products, proven to outlast wood, concrete, and even plastic-coated metal furnishings! Our non-porous, recycled plastic is naturally graffiti-resistant, so paint and ink are easily removed with a detergent wash. And it’s solid color throughout and UV protected. It won’t rust, rot, peel, dent, split, or spall in weather extremes. We stand behind our products and offer a 20-year warranty on our recycled plastic furniture. Buy the best, and you’ll enjoy it for decades, if not generations!