Zero Waste Can Save You Money
There’s been a lot of talk in Portland about plastic lately. Since China has stopped buying our mixed paper and plastic scraps, we’ve seen as much as a 10 percent increase in our garbage bills. On the flip side, we’ve also seen a movement toward using less plastic. There’s a whole host of restaurants ditching plastic straws like Widmer Brothers Brewing, Pok Pok and more.
Going plastic free in Portland can start with your eating habits. Best of all, you can save money by ditching plastic—or at least cutting back. Here are a few easy steps you can take this week to go plastic free with your food bill.
Bringing your own beverage helps you eliminate plastic waste and save. Make a cup of coffee before you leave your house in the morning to save money and produce less waste. Don’t forget to pack a water bottle with you as well.
Coffee may be a no brainer for you, so what about the other beverages you enjoy? You may find your favorite drink is easy to make at home. Let’s take kombucha, for example. Not only is it in single use bottles, it is also expensive, ranging from $2.50-$4 a bottle. NW Ferments in Oregon City has all the supplies and instruction you’ll need to make your own.
Don’t have reusable mugs? Or maybe you need a large glass jar for that homemade kombucha. Head to your nearest Goodwill for cheap options or try one of these thrift shops.
The next time you order take out, ditch the delivery charge and dine in instead. Eating with reusable plates and utensils reduces your waste. Ditch the Straw PDX lists all the restaurants in Portland that have pledged to go straw free. Choose one of them for your next night out!
Say goodbye to plastic bags with Imperfect Produce. The produce delivery service claims to be 30-50% less than store bought produce (I’ve paid as little as 29 cents for a pound of potatoes). I get a produce box delivered every two weeks to my house. The cost averages about $10 for a mix of veggies. You pay less and help reduce food waste. Imperfect Produce is a win-win.
I know this may sound a little too “domestic” for your lifestyle, but canning is one of the easiest things you can do to save year round. Last year, I made enough strawberry jam in one visit to a you-pick farm to last the entire year. Right now, it’s you-pick berry season in Portland. Bring a reusable containers and fill them to the brim at these you-pick berry farms. Here are a few recipes for your harvest, including a strawberry jam recipe.
These steps are easy changes you can make in your daily life to reduce your waste. You may even like it, and save some money along the way.