My journey to live more sustainably started off as a long term cost saving plan. However, since I’ve moved to Portland, I’ve been more inspired to produce less waste. Today, I’ll show you how easy and affordable it is to incorporate reusable items into your everyday life (besides reusable shopping bags). These are items I purchased myself and are not sponsored in any way.
Silicone Baking Mat
($24.95 new or $13.74 used)
One of my first sustainable purchases was a silpat mat. At the time, I wasn’t really interested in creating less waste; my main goal was to save money in the long run. I figured this one time purchase would save me from buying foil for the rest of my life. To be honest, I’m still working on it!!
Silicone Muffin Cups
($5.99 for a 6 pack)
This purchase was out of necessity. My husband & I had just started meal preppin’ and one of my favorite things to make were egg cups. However, cleaning the muffin tray afterwards was a nightmare! I even tried paper liners and it was DISASTER. I’m not sure why I thought paper would be a good idea. Enter Ikea’s Sockerkaka baking cups. Talk about aGAME CHANGER. Extremely easy to scrub AND you can flip them inside out to make cleaning easier.
I started using fabric napkins under the silly notion that it would make me feel more like an adult. I’ll get back to you if and when this is true. Fabric napkins don’t have to be stuffy or expensive. You can search your local thrift store and start your own vintage collection! Better yet, if you have fabric or old clothes lying around, you can make your own! You can size it to your preference but cloth napkins are usually a perfect square with one of the following sizes: 16x16, 18x18, or 20x20.
Reusable Water Bottles / Tumblers
($15 at for a 2pk at Costco)
I was late to the game on this one. I assumed that the hydroflasks everyone carried around was expensive! And I was right! My husband and I both got free steel water bottles through work and networking events. Eventually we found another brand that was on sale at Costco and bought a 2pk for about $15. Best of all, these came with straws!
Ban.do tumbler ($13.95)
Tervis Harry Potter - The Marauder's Map Tumbler ($16.95)
I also got these tumblers for my coffee & tea. A hot beverage isn’t something you want to drink out of a straw! I try my absolute best to bring this tumbler with me to coffee shops to avoid using disposable cups and keep my drink hot.
This one is a great buy due to the straw ban in many cities. I use these at home and on the go. Keep them handy in your kitchen, car, and purse! If I’m out, I just rinse and dry these before placing them back into my bag. An old pencil pouch makes a great carrying bag.
In our efforts to save money, my husband and I started cooking more. And with all the grocery shopping that we do, I noticed we were using and throwing away a ton of plastic produce bags! I quickly purchased these reusable produce bags for its drawstring and see-through fabric. I am so happy with the product.
I hope this post encourages you to make conscious efforts to produce less waste. No matter how small, your choices to reuse, reduce, recycle helps the planet. If I could go back, I would try harder to buy second hand and local whenever possible. So much room for improvement and so much left to learn!
Next I’d like to try compostable trash bags, silicone zip lock bags, reusable cotton pads, and other personal hygiene items. What are some ways you are reducing waste? Comment below so I can learn!
Until next time!
the Crafty Coder