Reusable daily items that can help save both the environment and your pocket are always a good investment, so here are our top picks for ways to save.
Reusable coffee cups have been around for a while, but Stojo cups are collapsible into leak-proof 4.5cm tall disks to fit into your handbag. Better yet, they can save you anywhere from 20 cents to a dollar off the price of your coffee at Kiwi cafes.
“A lot of cafes will display their discount on a billboard outside the café or have a little sign at their checkout,” Eco Lifestyle Blogger Kate Hall, known as ‘Ethically Kate’, said.
“I once asked two cafes close to my former office to start offering discounts if my colleagues and I brought in our cups and said we were from the company I worked for at the time.
They got on board and now the cafes do it for anyone who brings their own cup,” she added.
A not-for-profit online café guide called UYOC.co.nz (Use Your Own Cup) represents cafes taking part in minimizing their environmental impact and gives an insight into discounts available.
The 355ml Stojo is $29.95 and is made from food grade, recyclable materials and is microwave and dishwasher safe.
Shampoo and conditioner bars
Instead of throwing away bottles of plastic hair care products each month, there is the option to purchase a plastic-free, biodegradable plant-based brand that even has compostable packaging.
Ethique produces beauty bars that can be disposed of in your compost bin, have not been tested on animals and is a certified sustainable business. Each bar lasts two to five times longer than a bottled beauty product because they are heavily concentrated.
Shampoo bars are $22.00, conditioners are $25.00 and hair masks are $19.90, but remember they last up to five times longer than bottled products.
Restaurants incentivising BYO packaging
Buying takeout lunches on a daily basis accumulates a huge amount of plastic waste per week and some restaurants are now incentivising reusable packaging.
Goodlife Juice Company in Auckland, for example, gives customers the option to take away their salad or smoothie in a reusable glass jar for no extra cost and then receive incentives for bringing it back for refills. Once the customer brings back their jar 10 times, they receive a discount of $10.
They are also selling stainless steel straws and Tupperware salad containers. Goodlife says that around 30 per cent of their customers are bringing in their reusable jars but their goal is to increase that to 50 per cent.
Reusable water balloons
Reusable water balloons made from crocheted polyester yarn, can be thrown three or four times before they need refilling and hold 50 per cent more water than a rubber balloon.
Eco-friendly Christchurch business, The Rubbish Whisperer, creates environmentally friendly products that are also fun for kids. Prices start at $8.50 for a single balloon or when you buy in bulk they are $70 for a 10-pack.
Rubber balloons have been known to end up in our oceans and harm sea life.
Blogger Kate Hall swears by MyCup menstrual cup, which she says saves her $240 per year.
“I continue life as normal during the month and it saves me $2,400 over 10 years,” she said.
The reusable cups are priced between $35 and $45 and the New Zealand company has a ‘buy-one-give-one’ model. Each cup they sell includes a donated cup to their community partners to improve lives of those who cannot buy feminine hygiene products due to financial restraints.
The cups are made from medical grade silicone (LSR Liquid Silicone Rubber) and last up to 10 years or longer. They cannot be recycled, however they can be ground down and used to create various high impact surfaces.
MyCup was founded by Kimberli Schuitman in 2017 after a phase of research and development since 2016.