This is a list of eleven products which are affordable, reusable and eco-friendly alternatives to non-recyclable plastic or single use products. Let’s save money whilst saving the planet!
If you follow Student Skint on Instagram, you may have noticed that I’m trying to become more environmentally friendly and conscious of sustainability, specifically when it comes to fashion and single-use products.
Some influencers share fancy and expensive reusable products which aren’t realistic for the average person to buy. This blog post contains eco-friendly alternatives that you can actually afford and start using on a daily basis, there are no frills here! I’m not suggesting you buy all of these products at once (unless you really want to and have the budget to do that).
The list below is written in price order and consists of some great reusable and eco-friendly alternative products you can buy to get yourself on the right path to being a little more environmentally friendly.
11 affordable, reusable and eco-friendly alternatives you can buy on Amazon
Makeup brush silicone scrubber – 65p – £2.60. Pair this with any cheap own brand baby shampoo (in a recyclable bottle) instead of using expensive chemical-filled brush cleaners or electric machines that require batteries. I have the pink egg shaped one and it really helps to get my makeup brushes clean!
Makeup remover cloth – £2.99. Ditch the makeup wipes and switch to a chemical-free and reusable option that’s better for the environment and your skin. I bought the branded ‘Makeup Eraser’ one in a Parisian Sephora back in 2016 and I still use it to remove my makeup today in 2019! This one by W7 is sold on Amazon and is rated 4.6 out of 5 with over 570 reviews, so it must be just as good – saving you the hefty price tag (and a trip to Paris).
Minky M Cloth – £3.10. A multi-purpose reusable cleaning cloth to replace those cloths that constantly get worn out. Every household needs at least one of these and Mrs Hinch on Instagram swears by them so that’s definitely saying something!
Collapsible straw – £3.03. Lots of places have now switched to paper straws instead of plastic but I always find myself asking for an extra one because it goes soggy or breaks. This collapsible portable straw is convenient to keep in your bag or pocket so it’s there whenever you need it.
No word of a lie, I recently brought my straw along with me on a night out and it made drinking a pitcher from ‘Spoons much more enjoyable because I didn’t need to keep changing straws…
Foldable reusable shopping bag – prices vary. Sick of paying for a bag each time you’re out shopping? Keep a reusable one in your handbag or pocket. I have one by the brand Baggu which I found in my house and claimed as my own but after researching, I saw that retails for £11-12…it’s plain bright orange, not even a cute pattern. But, it’s a great size, really sturdy and I use it all the time. I would advise against spending any more than £5-6 on a reusable bag that you love because even the expensive ones will break with a heavy load.
Re-usable bamboo towels – £7.66. This is reusable kitchen roll (up to 1700 uses) which you can even put in the washing machine…don’t believe me? Check out the video on their Amazon listing to see it in action. I was so impressed with this that I bought it for a couple of my friends at Christmas!
Stainless steel water bottle – £9.99 – £20.05. Depending on size, these reusable bottles keep liquid cold for 18 – 36 hours or hot for 5-14 hours. They’re exactly the same as Swell bottles but half the price. I’ve had the ‘Carrara Marble’ one in 500ml for almost a year now and it’s still going strong.
Bees wax food wrap x 6 – £13.95. This is a reusable replacement for cling film which is a single use product that can’t be recycled. You can buy wax food wrap in various patterns and sizes, but these ones are the best value for money on Amazon (six wraps work out at £2.32 each). If you have leftover food, check if it’s safe to eat by reading this blog post before consumption.
Menstrual cup – £13.99. Arguably the best eco-friendly alternative to using disposable pads and tampons. I’ve been using this menstrual cup in size small (I cut the stem shorter) for the past six years and I absolutely swear by it, I’ve not bought any other period products since! There are so many videos, blogs and discussions online about the benefits to your body and the environment when using a menstrual cup so research it if you’re scared or sceptical. Once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll be converted and won’t want to use anything else!
Coconut bowls and spoons x 2 – £14.97. Coconut bowls are a must-have for instagrammable smoothie bowl pictures but are also great for the environment. Standard ceramic tableware is often non-recyclable and uses a lot of resources and energy to create. Whereas, these bowls are made purely from coconut shells and are surprisingly durable! You can buy slightly cheaper ones but just be sure to read the reviews as some aren’t made very well and break easily.
Glass food storage containers (BPA free) x 9 – £26.99. Whilst reusing plastic containers does the job, the toxins in plastic can get into your food which can be harmful to consume. Also, most of your old takeaway containers can’t be recycled as they’ve been contaminated with sauces and food so they have to go to landfill. Why not buy glass containers and ask restaurants and takeaways to fill those instead? Most supermarkets and IKEA also sell glass storage containers but it might be cheaper to buy this varied set from Amazon.
If you’re looking to make the switch from drugstore to natural beauty products, check out this blog post for an easy step-by-step on how to make pear scented sugar scrub bars. Making a few products at home is a great place to start when wanting to use homemade/natural beauty products.
Leave a comment if you already use any of these reusable and eco-friendly alternatives, or if this blog post has inspired you to try any of the products out!
Disclaimer: Stock is available and prices are correct at the time of publishing but this is subject to change at any given time. These are just suggestions and the products that I personally use, there may well be products similar to these that are even better for the environment.