April 11, 2015

Economics of Zero Waste

As a frugal seminary student trying to get through seminary dept-free, I am keeping an eye on my finances and pinching pennies. When starting my real transition to a zero waste lifestyle, I had a fear that Zero Waste might put a strain on my frugal lifestyle. However, that's proven not to be the case in a lot of ways! I did the math this morning on the hygiene products that I have made for myself. 

Before going zero waste these are the products that I would buy every couple months:
Face Wash
Body Wash 

I have turned to homemade, zero waste alternatives for all of these and did the math to prove I'm saving money! 

Main Ingredients
Coconut Oil (14oz) = $9
Baking Soda (16oz) = $1
Cornstarch (16oz) = $1.40
Apple Cider Vinegar (32oz) = $5.50

Packaged Price = $1.64 (6.4oz)
Zero Waste Price= $0.67 
Savings = $0.97

Face Wash
Packaged Price = $5.69 (5oz) or $2.99 off-brand
Zero Waste Price = $2.12 (6 oz)
Savings = $3.57

Packaged Price = $2.49 (2.6 oz)
Zero Waste Price = $1.98 (8oz)
Savings = $0.51

Shampoo & Conditioner 
Packaged Price =  $11 (5.50 each; 25.04oz)
Zero Waste Price = Soap @ $3.00 + ACV @ $2.88 = 7.88
Savings = $3.12

These aren't hard and fast numbers, but averages based on how I move through these products. For each product I did the prices based on about the length of time it would take to use up each one. For things like deodorant and toothpaste the savings don't seem like that much--but $3.00 on face wash and shampoo/conditioner will definitely add up! Also, I can avoid PLASTIC! :) 

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