13 Wasteful Products You Can Replace to Save $38K & the Planet!

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Save money & the planet with these eco-friendly swaps.

woman smiling holding black menstrual cup

There’s more than one way to save money & the planet. 🙌🏻

Stop buying these 13 products that are a waste of money & opt for these reusable products! Your home, body, & wallet will thank you tenfold!


Here are 13 household items you should ditch immediately:

  1. Swap Aluminum Foil for Silicone Baking Mats
  2. Swap Plastic Straws for Reusable Straws
  3. Swap Paper Towels for Swedish Dishcloths
  4. Swap Dryer Sheets for Wool Balls
  5. Swap Water Bottles for Reusable Bottles
  6. Swap Plastic Bags for Silicone Bags or Bees Wraps
  7. Swap Kitchen Sponges for a Dish Brush
  8. Swap Plastic Wrap for Silicone Stretch Lids or Food Huggers
  9. Swap K-Cups for Reusable Cups or a Pour Over
  10. Swap New Retail for Consignment Finds
  11. Swap Swiffers for Reusable Mop Heads
  12. Swap Tampons for a Menstrual Cup or Period Panties
  13. Swap Toilet Paper for a Bidet

*Read until the end for our incredible summary of collected savings!💰💸


Here’s how these 13 easy swaps can make a HUGE impact for you & the planet:


1. Ditch aluminum foil & parchment paper in favor of silicone baking mats.

hand holding reynolds wrap aluminum foil waste of money with target cart in the background

According to Statista, 318.97 million Americans used aluminum foil just in 2020. Producing just 1 ton of aluminum foil takes about 170 million BTUs to produce which is about as much as 1,400 gallons of gasoline. The process also emits about 12 tons of greenhouse gases and takes 400 years to break down after it’s discarded.

hand holding edge of silicone baking mat on stainless steel baking pan

The average family is likely to use a standard size roll of Reynolds Wrap in about a month or less. At $4 a roll (or more for larger rolls) you’re spending around $48 a year on tinfoil.

By switching to silicone baking mats, you’ll have a sanitary and simple way to cook all your meals and they’re dishwasher safe! Plus, they can even replace any parchment paper making the savings even greater.

If you get in the habit of using silicone baking mats, you’ll save 24,000 sq. ft. of foil and $480 over the next 10 years! 🎉 


2. Swap plastic straws in favor of reusable straws.

hand holding waste of money pink plastic straws with target cart in background

Approximately 500 million straws are used each day in America alone – a massive waste of money! A lot of huge companies are nixing plastic straws including Starbucks. There are environmentalist beliefs that by 2050 there will be more weight in straws than fish in the oceans – that’s only 28 years away, friends. 😱

Smoothies with Bamboo Drinking Straws

If you have a family of 5 that uses just 1 straw per week, that’s 260 straws a year! 😱 By switching to a reusable straw, you’ll be helping save our oceans and your hard-earned cash. Plus, they come in many forms like silicone (safer for your teeth), stainless steel, and even bamboo!

If you and your family get in the habit of using reusable straws, you’ll nix about 2,600 plastic straws over the next 10 years! 🎉

Hip Tip: Shop our top highly-rated picks for all our favorite reusable straws.


3. Paper towels are a waste of money, so hop on the Swedish dishcloth trend with us!

hand holding pink swedish dishcloth wiping stove top

Ditching paper towels may be a big adjustment for many people, but they’re an even larger culprit to waste in our country. According to ZeroWasteKit “More than 13 billion pounds of paper towels are used each year in the USA, amounting to 40 pounds – the equivalent of 80 rolls – per person, per year.” 😱

And in order to produce all of that paper, it requires a whopping 110 million trees and 130 billion gallons of water per year. GULP! 😳

hand wiping down sink with pink swedish dishcloth and various colored ones in napkin holder

A 12 pack of Bounty paper towels will run you over $20. If you have a family of four, statistics show that you’ll power through them in three weeks or less! 😳

Swedish dishcloths are biodegradable, useful on many different surfaces, reusable, and easy to clean by throwing them in the dishwasher or washing machine! Over 3,500 Hip readers have already made the switch to Swedish dishcloths with us, so what are you waiting for?!

woman using zap cloth on window

There are even more alternatives to consider, such as reusable and washable bamboo paper towels, Zap cloths, microfiber cloths, bar mops, and even some new cloth diaper inserts.

Collin’s mom is a huge fan of Zap Cloths!

“I am forever hooked on Zap Cloths! It’s impossible to screw up with the Zap cloth and amazingly easy to use – no more sloppy window cleaning! Simply wet in water, wring out a bit, and wipe the window. I am constantly in awe of how it works!”

If you and your family get in the habit of using an environmentally-friendly alternative to paper towels, you’ll save 3,200 rolls or about $4,048 over the next 10 years! 🎉


4. Skip drying sheets which are a toxic waste of money, and toss in a wool ball instead.

hand holding orange box of bounce dryer sheets with target cart in background - waste of money

As EWG states, dryer sheets are “full of chemicals that can harm your health, damage the environment, and pollute the air, both inside and outside your home.” Plus, most users tend to pop more than just one sheet (natural or not) in the dryer just for good measure. 😏

woman holding wool dryer balls in laundry room

If you’re using 2 dryer sheets for 5 loads of laundry a week, you’re using an entire box of these dryer sheets in just 10 1/2 weeks. So you’re spending about $30 every year and adding to the toxic waste problem.

Luckily, Amazon offers really affordable dryer balls at just under $12 for an XL 6-pack which will last upwards of 1,000 laundry loads or until they fall apart. Dryer balls also help decrease your drying time, they’re biodegradable, dye-free, non-toxic, and don’t contain any harmful fragrances. You can also opt to use nothing at all and save your cash altogether.

If you get in the habit of using dryer balls, you’ll save 5,250 dryer sheets or about $300 over the next 10 years!  🎉


5. Switch out plastic water bottles for a refillable one instead.

waste of money bottle water sitting in red target cart

Don’t stop drinking water, just stop drinking it out of plastic. Bottled water is ranked the #1 U.S. beverage by volume sold and according to the Container Recycling Institute, “more than 60 million plastic bottles end up in landfills and incinerators every day – a total of about 22 billion last year.” 😳 Talk about a massive waste of money!

close up of person holding blue hydro flask handle in woods

While water consumption continues to grow every year, the average family currently spends about $100 per person each year on bottled water. That’s about 540 bottles per person or 2,160 bottles for a family of 4 per year down the drain – literally.

By investing in a great water bottle that you can reuse every day, you’re not just saving money, but also helping mother nature, too.

If you and your family get in the habit of using reusable bottles, you’ll save 21,600 bottles of water or $4,000 over the next 10 years! 🎉


6. Say “bye” to plastic baggies for reusable wraps & silicone bags!

hand holding waste of money plastic baggie with trail mix

The number of plastic sandwich baggies I was frivolously using occurred to me when all 3 of my kiddos were in school. Every day, I was using at least 3 baggies per lunch – total waste of money! 😱 That’s 45 sandwich bags in just one week – never mind the random bags I was using for other things when it was convenient.

That’s about 4 boxes of these Ziploc sandwich bags per month! If I stayed on that track, I was projected to spend about $172.32 or more just on baggies that had a lifespan of fewer than 24 hours. 😳

Stasher Silicone Reusable Sandwich & Snack Bag

Stasher Bags come in perfect sizes for lunches and plenty of bigger sizes for storing larger quantities of food.

They’re 100% silicone, easy to open & close, freezer & microwave safe, sous vide safe, oven-ready, and can even be thrown in the dishwasher for hassle-free cleaning! They’re endlessly reusable and extremely durable – I’ve had the same ones for over two years and counting! 👏🏻

Here’s another eco-friendly solution for your foods:

hand holding corner of bees wraps reusable food wrap

Bee’s Wraps are naturally antimicrobial, made from GOTS-certified organic cotton, sustainably sourced beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin. All of the ingredients combined create a malleable and easy-to-use food wrap that can be used over and over again – perfect for packing lunches or storing leftovers! 🙌

If you and your family get in the habit of using reusable wraps & Stasher Bags, you’ll save 21,600 plastic sandwich bags and $1,723 over the next 10 years! 🎉

Hip Tip: Read more about why we love Stasher bags and Bees Wraps or if you’re more into DIY – make your own at home!


7. Ditch your old kitchen sponge and replace it with a brush.

hand holding blue sponge cleaning up spill on counter - waste of money

Did you know that the sponge is considered the germiest item in your kitchen according to the NYU School of Medicine? And you’re more likely to get food poisoning from an unsanitary sponge in your home than in a restaurant. 😱

It’s recommended to replace your sponge every 2-3 weeks. If you’re replacing your sponges every 2.5 weeks (on average) and buying a 3-pack of these sponges, you’re spending approximately $27 every year.

hand holding a oxo brush in package with target cart in background

By using a dish brush in the kitchen, you’re not only saving on disposable sponges, but you’ll even cut down on dish soap when you go for a model with an efficient soap dispenser. Plus, brushes are even dishwasher safe! 🙌🏻

If you get in the habit of using a dish brush, you’ll save 208 sponges and $276 over the next 10 years! 🎉

Hip Tip: If you just can’t ditch your beloved sponge, make the switch to a Sponge Daddy – you’ll never want to use a traditional sponge ever again!


8. Switch out the plastic wrap that’s a total waste of money and opt for silicone stretch lids instead.

three boxes of reynolds plastic wrap sitting on store shelf waste of money

According to National Geographic, the average family goes through close to 10 rolls of plastic wrap per year! That’s about $55 per year just for plastic wrap and a huge waste of money when there are better alternatives out there.

hand turning glass upside down with pink drink inside and silicone lid on top

Silicone stretch lids are perfect for storing leftovers, covering odd-shaped bowls or ones that don’t have lids, and they work a heck of a lot better than plastic wrap.

They’re also conveniently dishwasher safe, BPA free, non-toxic, keep food fresher for longer, and reduce your household waste (obviously 😏). I’ve had mine for well over two years and they’ve been so handy!

As another alternative for your fruits and veggies, try Food Huggers!

fruits with food huggers on bottom

Food Huggers are perfect for those half-eaten foods or tiny jars you never know what to do with. Simply slip these innovative silicone covers on and you have an easy way to preserve foods you may have thrown out otherwise. Yay, for even more savings! 👏🏻

If you get in the habit of using silicone stretch lids and/or Food Huggers, you’ll be saving about 48,000 sq. ft. of plastic wrap or $550 over the next 10 years! 🎉


9. Keurig K-Cups are a waste of money, so switch to reusable cups or opt for a pour-over coffee maker instead.

hand holding a box of starbucks waste of money k-cups with red target cart

I’m not one to tell a person how to enjoy their cup of Joe in the morning, but there is no denying K-cups are contributing to a huge amount of plastic waste. In fact, the number of K-Cups that have been trashed in landfills could wrap around the planet 10 times! 😱

If you and your spouse are brewing a cup of coffee with the Keurig every day, that’s 728 K-cups a year, or about 33 of these boxes of Starbucks’ K-cups…priced at $17.99 each. Psstthat’s $593.67 a year. 😳

resuable k-cup pod with ground coffee inside

If you don’t want to kick the convenience of your Keurig to the curb, opt for reusable K-cup pods – there are many options available and they’ll help keep more money in your pocket, create less waste, and still allow you to brew your favorite ground coffee blends.

Or ditch the cups altogether and start making pour-over coffee.

hand holding a box of bodum pour over coffee maker with target cart

You may really love pour-over brewing as a frugal alternative. This pour-over brewer at Target comes with a stainless steel filter so you won’t even be wasting paper filters to brew your steamy cup of coffee. 🙌 It’s how I enjoy coffee every morning and I’ve had the same set for over 2 years and counting!

If you and your other half get in the habit of using a reusable K-cup or pour over, you’ll save at least 7,280 disposable K-cups or $7,124 over the next 10 years!  🎉


10. Stay away from new retail and buy secondhand clothing.

woman waste of money clothing shopping at Kohl's

According to Forbes, more than 150 billion garments are produced annually, enough to provide 20 new garments to every person on the planet, every year. 😳 And Americans throw away about 70 lbs of clothing per person every year. 😱

It’s also ranked the 2nd biggest polluter of freshwater resources on the planet and accounts for 85% of the human-made material found along ocean shores, which is threatening marine wildlife and ending up in our food supply.

Getting rid of some old clothes soon? Check with your local Goodwill or other thrift stores – many of them have textile recycling programs!

designer pilcro jeans on rack at thrift store

According to Credit Donkey, “the average family spends $1,800 per year on [new] clothing” with $388 of this on shoes. Adults (aged 25-34) spend an average of $161 per month on clothing and it increases by 26% for adults aged 35-44 with an average of $209 per month spent on clothes. 😱

If you and your family get in the habit of buying secondhand clothes, you’ll be projected to save $18,000 on new clothes over the next 10 years! 🎉


11. Ditch the Swiffer dry cloths and switch to reusable mop heads!

hand holding box of Swiffer waste of money dry mop refills in store

Have you ever thought about how much waste happens with regular Swiffer cleanings? If you’re averaging 2 dry pads a week, priced at $13.79 for 52, you’re spending over $27.58 a year or more just in Swiffer pads that’ll end up in a landfill.

This isn’t even including the multiple wet Swiffer pads you might use for deeper cleanings.

woman using turbo mop on white wall

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly alternative that’s even more effective, consider a Turbo mop, which happens to be made right here in the USA, can be used wet or dry, are reusable, machine washable, and can even be used on multiple surfaces like your walls!

The good news for all of you that already own a Swiffer mop, they even make reusable Swiffer pads (made by Turbo), so you don’t have to eat the cost of a new mop!

If you and your family get in the habit of using reusable mop cloths, you’ll be projected to save more than $250 over the next 10 years! 🎉


12. Tampons & pads are a waste of money, so make the switch to a menstrual cup – it pays for itself!

box of tampons on display in-store

According to National Geographic, 5.8 billion tampons were sold in the U.S. in 2018, a third of the global total. Even more startling, when tampons are flushed down the toilet, they can end up in the ocean when sewer systems fail. Although plastic applicators from tampons are technically recyclable, they are usually not accepted for sanitary reasons – making tampons a giant waste of money altogether!

Before making my eco-friendly switch, I was personally spending over $10 every month on Tampax products, that’s more than $120 a year.

woman holding menstrual cup with savings sign sitting on couch

Menstrual cups are game-changing. They’re 100% silicone, so they’re completely safe for your body (unlike tampons), reusable, and easy to clean – mine still looks brand new two years later!

Even better, it pays for itself in just a couple of cycles! Not to mention, there are incredible benefits to wearing one as opposed to tampons and pads – read all about my experience!

As another alternative, stop buying pads and stock up on period panties.

row of period panties on tufted bench

These aren’t just for post-partum mommies. Any and every woman who gets their cycle can benefit from owning a few pairs of period panties. They’re a great backup to a menstrual cup or can absorb plenty of fluid on their own. Plus, they’re much more comfortable than a bulky or annoying pad – it’s essentially like wearing any other pair of panties, but with more peace of mind. 🙌🏻

If you get in the habit of using a menstrual cup, you’ll be projected to save more than $1,200 over the next 10 years! 🎉


13. Use less toilet paper and try a bidet!

person holding a blue package of Cottonelle toilet paper in front of store display waste of money

I certainly don’t expect your household to ditch toilet paper altogether, but there are ways to cut back significantly – and it might even save you from sewage problems down the road.

According to BidetsPlus, the average person uses 24 rolls of toilet paper per year! For a family of 4, you’re likely averaging 96 rolls or more per year – priced at $25.49 per 30-pack of toilet paper, you’re easily spending close to $80 per year just to wipe – of course, this can vary significantly with how much I know my kids waste every day!

white toilet with blue neon light under seat in bathroom with dark blue gray walls

By switching to a bidet, you can cut back on toilet paper significantly! While they’re not the cheapest alternative, they’re a lifestyle you’ll quickly become accustomed to (and many parts of the world already are!). Plus, they have many other benefits too!

When a family of four incorporates a bidet in their daily lifestyle, it averages a savings of 80 rolls of toilet paper per year – which is a tenth of a tree! This means you’ll likely only need 16 rolls of toilet paper per year for 4 people! 😱That’s a mere $17 on a Cottonelle 18-pack that should last all year!

If you and your family get in the habit of using a bidet, you’ll be projected to save $652.80 or more over the next 10 years! 🎉


Bonus tip: Bring a reusable bag instead of picking up plastic at the store.

woman holding patterned tote bag with name on it

Remember, when you’re shopping, bring along some reusable bags. Plastic bags are a huge contributing factor to our waste and if I can’t convince you to make the switch, maybe these scary facts from PADI will…

  • Every second, 160,000 plastic bags are used around the world – that’s 1 TRILLION bags a year!
  • The amount of petroleum it takes to produce 1 plastic bag could drive a car 36 feet.
  • A plastic bag is used for an average of just 12 minutes.
  • Less than 3% of plastic bags are recycled worldwide.
  • Plastic bags are among the 12 items of debris most found in coastal clean-ups and have affected 267 different species of animals.
  • If we joined all the plastic bags in the world together, they would circumnavigate the globe 4,200 times!!!

If just one person used reusable bags over their lifetime, they would be removing about 22,000 plastic bags from the environment! 🙌

Hip Tip: This is my favorite new reusable tote bag which you can personalize for FREE and it has real leather straps!


In summary… if we make these environmentally-friendly changes together over the next 10 years, we can potentially save:


  • $480 on aluminum foil
  • $4,048 on paper towels
  • $300 on dryer sheets
  • $4,000 on plastic water bottles
  • $1,723 on plastic sandwich bags
  • $276 on sponges
  • $550 on plastic wrap
  • $7,124 on K-cups
  • A whopping $18,000 on new clothes
  • $250 on Swiffer cloths
  • $1,200 on tampons
  • $652.80 on toilet paper

That’s an incredible sum of $38,603.80!!! 🎉

*Note that everyone’s family is different in size and these are just estimates based on our research and what the average person uses/buys for each of these products. The outcome or sum of savings can vary greatly and will depend on the cost of what you’re replacing these household items with.


Here are some ways our team is saving money this year!


About the writer:

Sara is a self-taught blogger and photographer with 8+ years of experience having work featured in various building, travel, and fashion publications, most notably Bassett Furniture and Fossil.


Join The Discussion

Comments 125

  1. Christi

    Great post. Thank you!

    • Sara

      You’re so welcome, Christi! I’m glad you enjoyed it so much!

  2. rshebester

    I LOVE this post!! Let’s take care of our planet for the sake of our babies and be good stewards of the resources God has given us.

    • s

      Ditto. ❤️

    • Sara

      I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for stopping by, friend!

  3. Mandym

    We bought a bidet during the great toilet paper shortage of 2020. We got one with all the bells and whistles too. Great reviews on Samsclub.com. Not impressed at all. I can do the same thing with a cheap squirt bottle. haha

    • Amber

      😂😂😂

    • Cami

      😂 That’s what I use – the episiotomy bottle from after birth.

    • Sara

      Oh no, Mandym! LOL So sorry it’s not working out for ya!

    • jason

      I wouldn’t feel too bad about not using a bidet, as the electric and water use energy that no one wants to talk about (and the resources that go into creating electric and purifying water that goes up your inards) still taxes our resources. At least the toilet paper can break down into compost.

      • Evie

        Yes, and water is very expensive, depending on where you live and how it is delivered.
        But, didn’t the globalists say it would take hundreds of years to see a difference? I guess the green movement is another way for elite control and for them to make$s. Lots of our water is being sold to other countries.
        I look at ways to save $s for myself. Use very minimally.

      • Morgan Ross

        The amount of water used to make toilet paper far outweighs the use of a bidet.

  4. Paisley

    I love that Hip2Save is featuring environmentally friendly options! Thank you 🌎

    • Sara

      You’re so welcome, Paisley!

    • Sara

      I couldn’t agree more. Thanks H2S

  5. nancypantcy

    Great post. Thank you! I’m doing most of these but can do even better.

    • Sara

      You’re so welcome, nancypantcy! I’m so glad this post was helpful to you!

  6. Jill

    I tried the cup many years ago and it was sooo uncomfortable. I saw an ad for one recently and thought Imd give it a go again, for around $4. This one is smaller and I LOVE it. I’m never going back to tampons and pantyliners. I’m so glad I tried it again. Now to get rid of paper towels!

    • Sara

      I’m thrilled you found something that works for you, Jill! Thanks for sharing!

    • Lisa

      Which smaller one did you try Jill??

      • Jill

        The June Cup! It’s smaller than the one that came out 10 ish years ago and it seems thinner and more flexible in comparison (to my memory)

        • Sarah

          I’ve tried to use the June cup and I just can’t get it right!

      • Liz N.

        If you’re unsure what cup to try, check out http://www.putacupinit.com – they are a great resource for the MANY different cups and can guide you based on age, flow, pregnancies, etc.

        • Sara

          Liz, thanks for sharing this resource. I’m going to get my first cup based on their recommendation

    • Ivy

      Wondering witch one you were able to get for$4? I’d like to get a new one and that’s a great price point.

      • Jill

        Yep, the June Cup. I had a promo code that made it $4, but even at $6 it’s totally affordable and worth it!

    • Impactbrianna

      The June cup is $6

    • Andre

      Used the Lily cup which has great reviews but found it very uncomfortable and could never get it right and would leak quite often because of positioning, switched to the Lumma cup and it’s been night and day, so comfy, I can’t even remember if i have one in and it has a perfect seal. Highly recommend, they also have a BOGO free promo running pretty much always.

  7. Jessica

    I do so many of these! I LOVE my cup or as my husband calls it – vampire shot glass. I never even thought to put the cloths in the dishwasher! I have microfiber ones, do you think it would still work?

    • Sara

      Hey Jessica! I’m not sure about the cloths you have, but the ones featured in our post are specifically marketed to go in the dishwasher so I would check with the company for the ones you have. 🙂

  8. Melissa

    Great post and while we already have made many of the switches I still some I would love to try. Another easy thing we do is use cloth napkins. I often find them at garage sales. I have found free or cheap fabric at garage sales too that we just cut up and use for our cloth napkins.

    • :ana

      We have used cloth napkins for 25 years and love them. No going back to thin paper.

    • Sara

      Yes, great idea, Melissa. 🙂

    • Liz N.

      Yes! We switched to cloth napkins (Ok, they’re really washcloths) and we love them! If we go somewhere with paper napkins, we agree it feels weird now! Hahaha!

  9. alexisrobinson-davis

    Am I the only one not a fan of the BIDET? It’s water splashing your buns… no soap-no soft but vigorous rub, just a splash of warm water to wet the bacteria and spread it a little. Not a big advocate for 100 squares of toilet paper either but I don’t understand how a bidet replaces toilet tissue. Just my Opinion. And I know other countries have been doing it for years but that doesn’t make it the next best thing.

    • Kim Tennyson

      I’m with u on this…can’t ride that bus…

    • MyView

      TP you’re just smearing bacteria. The water comes out at a decently high pressure and blasts everything away. You still need to blot dry unless you have a fancy drying one but between using family cloth and a bidet I only use maybe 6 rolls of TP a year.

      • So sad

        When we were in Italy I used the towel that someone used to dry their a$$ off to dry my face after I washed it 😭 my daughter could not stop laughing.

      • mrswagley

        I’ve always wondered this but where does it go? The poop that its “blasting” off your BH… It has to go somewhere, just all falls into the toilet bowl I guess??? I just feel like this poopy water would be a problem. 🤣

        • MyView

          Yes the poopy water goes in the toilet just like the poop on TP and you flush it. It’s very little water, it’s just coming out of a small hole so it increases the pressure. You can adjust the pressure, mine has a knob that you turn to choose the pressure you want.

    • rocme2

      Yup. People on this site will go to war with you over this, but I’ve lived in other countries where bidets were routinely available and I just find them messy and cold. I use wipes instead.

    • Ashley

      I’m not going to go to war on this, but water is about the best and healthiest way to clean just about anything. Also it prevents just about the germiest place on your body (your hands) from touching your nether regions. So you’re spreading less germs. Also most proctologist’s highly recommend them because abrasive papers can actually make issues like hemorrhoids and fissures worse. I will never ever go back to wiping and I kind of feel like a cavewoman when I have to. And that doesn’t even touch on the enviromenta benefits- which is just a nice added bonus.

  10. Patricia Goff

    Great post. I don’t buy most of these items though. I do buy aluminum foil but it lasts a year or more a roll. Don’ use it very often. I still have a bag of ziploc bags that we bought two years ago so don’t use them much either. I love the washable sponges. That is what we used growing up so glad that I found them thanks to your site a few months ago. We wear the same clothes until they don’t fit or are stained. The stained ones go to the local thrift store where they either send some to the animal shelter (blankets, towels, etc) or to the local quilting club. Being raised overseas by a military father and german mother I used some of these ideas already. My mom grew up with nothing during the war not even food some days so she taught us some tips. She used to make dandelion salad all the time.

    • Lisa

      I would love to hear the dandelion salad recipe if there is one to share! 🙂

      • Amanda

        The key to a good dandelion salad is not owning a dog.

        • ella

          🤣

        • Kristi

          Too late…even if you don’t own a dog yourself, your neighbors sure do I’m sure. That’s why they take their pets for walks around the neighborhood (to do their business in other people’s yard).

      • JD827

        A Star Hip2Saver is a recognized member of our Hip2Save community hand selected by our team for demonstrating a long history of engagement with helpful & friendly comments across Hip2Save.com and our social channels. Our Star Hip2Saver badge acts as a verification for readers who know the ins and outs of all Hip2Save sets out to accomplish — assisting our community to live extraordinary lives on ordinary budgets. Readers cannot pay or provide any sort of exchange in order to earn this badge. Rather, they are invited to participate by a member of the Hip2Save team and opt to have the Star Hip2Saver badge added to their profile & comments.

        Limestone soil to grow in so they don’t taste bitter and clipped very early in the spring so the greens aren’t tough.

    • animity

      Europeans do know how to stretch an Euro. They use up anything and everything. Love it!! The younger generation is getting away from it but the older generation is amazing with what they can do.

    • NikkiLLM5

      My grandma always had a garden and I LOVED turnip greens! She told me when I was older that when I would come to visit if she was out of turnip greens she would just pick some polk salad!!!🤣🤣🤣 I never did know the difference! Boy I wish she was still here to pass on that wisdom!

  11. ReneeAnn

    Does anyone make a silicone baking mat that actually covers the entire pan like up the sides and over the edge? If so I would absolutely use it! Btw, I love my period cup. Best switch ever. If it’s uncomfortable then trim the stem or completely cut it off, makes a huge difference!

    • BlueWaterGirl

      We are nomads right now and have a tiny storage unit for what we do own. My point is I can’t look at the brand but the one I have is bigger than a regular sized baking pan and fits nicely in the 20×24(ish) pan I bought last year. I got it when H2S when kept posting this kitchen site with things like that on it. Also got ss measuring spoons. If I remember it, I’ll respond again to your message.

  12. jon-0

    I saw nothing worth mentioning as appositive.

  13. marine_grl

    Love, love, love this post! Thank you so much for putting together such a thoughtful post that makes it easy for people to make the swap 🙂 You all ROCK!

    • Sara

      You’re so welcome!

  14. Blessed mom

    I wish the menstral cup worked for me… Cough… Large family mama here… It tends to fall out.. I also have extreme flooding… Working on all of that. Any suggestions? I have tried different brands…

    • Jess

      Try a menstrual disc. Same thing happened with me- the menstrual cup fell out, so I switched to menstural discs. Try the Lumma or nixit.

    • Large Family Mama 2

      Definitely try the disc! I have a Lumma Large and love it! No leaks and so easy to use. I’m not a fan of the cups. I have one that works, but I also have an IUD which you aren’t supposed to use with a cup. Check out the FB group “Put a Cup In It Community”. Most open group of ladies I’ve ever (not) met. 🙂

      (I’m a large family mama too!)

    • Large family too

      YES! I thought I was the only one! Large family momma too-plus, all our babies were large-I can’t do tampons anymore, and have the cup that she’s holding in the picture. Scared to rely on it in case it falls out when I’m not home, haha. Scared to use a disc-nothing to grab onto.

    • aninity

      Also you may want to check your vitamin and mineral levels and hormone levels too. You could have low iron, or high estrogen and low progesterone etc.. Also could be iodine deficiency. There are so many things that could point to why your periods are so heavy. It is all linked to our diets here in the States. We don’t get what we need from our food anymore.

      • Blessed mom

        Thank you! I have a wonderful P.A. who checked the major hormones. My progesterone and estrogen were fine. My DHEA and testosterone were terribly low. I’ve been supplementing with DHEA, but it may not be enough. She said that the estrogen test was only circulating estrogen. It is possible I am still estrogen dominant in my fat cells. It’s an interesting journey!

    • Jill

      I just learned about the menstrual disk last summer and the ad said you can have sex with it in?!? I might have to try this 😆😁

      • RabbidBunny14

        I’ve done it with the disposable discs several times. The endge sometimes rubs weird on him but overall works great!

    • Liz N.

      Check out https://putacupinit.com/ – they have a quiz and a chart guide to help with the many choices! Hope you can find one that works! I switched 2 years ago and am so glad I did.

  15. Ang

    Great post! Thank you! I never thought to replace my sponges with brushes. I’ll be making the change!

    • Jennine

      A fun switch for sure! We’re talking environmental friendly in this post, skip the plastic if you can! They have wooden ones with Bristos as well.

    • Sara

      You’re so welcome, Ang!

  16. Emily

    I know I had tried a disposable menstrual cup back maybe 6 or 7 years ago and I didn’t like it (it was like a rubbery disk with a saran wrap-like plastic that collected the goo). But I bet the new silicone ones are more comfortable…. However, I am sooo grateful for my IUD now – it’s stopped my periods, so I haven’t had to buy tampons in over 5 years! (Your mileage may vary on that option, though).

    • Becca

      I’m on my third IUD and still get monthly periods however I usually get by with maybe 3 or 4 tampons per cycle. I also use period panties (Bambody) on light days.

  17. Jennine

    Oh goodness do not ditch parchment paper for silicone mats. Please be aware silicone is still apart of the plastic family. Yes, A better option if you cant part with plastic.

    • Zara

      Silicone is much more unhealthy too. I use unbleached parchment paper a lot.

    • rebecca

      even if silicone is in the family of plastics, manufacturing parchment or foil uses fossil fuels, too.
      and the Silpat will take up way less room in the landfill if one lasts me 15 years than if i had to throw away all the single-use options from that same timeframe.
      if you use the silpat to help with non-sticking, and easier cleanup, and more even cooking, it can replace a huge quantity of disposable items over the years.
      i don’t know how long they last, but our silpats are over 7 years old and still seem new. we have never had a problem with using the same one for meats as we use for cookies or anything else we make.

  18. ella

    I really like the Swedish dish cloths made from cellulose. I’m wondering when people will start to realize the damage that microfiber is doing to our aquatic environments. Everybody totes microfiber (which is always made of fine polyester/plastic fibers) as being environmentally friendly because you do use less paper and cleanser, but at the same time these fibers wash into our rivers, lakes, and oceans and are consumed by fish and get into the entire food chain. These fibers hold onto toxins and then the toxins accumulate in the food we eat. For these reasons, I’ve given up on microfiber and opt for safer more natural fabrics.

    • Jennine

      YES that’s why I went 😶 when loom mop was the alternative.

    • Sara

      Thanks for sharing that with us, Ella!

    • rc

      thanks had no idea

  19. Kyuu

    Not everyone likes tampons, just like not everyone likes pads. I’ve heard from reviewers that the silicone insertion is uncomfortable for some people, even among those who use tampons.

    For period panties, I suggest Thinx, Kinx, or Padkix.

  20. Zara

    Menstrual cups are so unsanitary, I imagine using public bathroom. No way in the world I would even try that!

    • blondie7940

      Three months into a cup and I love it. Slight learning curve, but just wear a liner until you’re confident. Public bathrooms aren’t an issue because they last so much longer than a pad or tampon. I go all day without emptying with the larger size on my heaviest day (which was a super every 2-3 hours). I have two sizes – Saalt Duo Pack in soft. No discomfort unless it’s not inserted correctly. Wish I’d made the switch sooner!

    • rocme2

      I hate menstrual cups. I’ve tried 3 brands. Must be my anatomy, but I find them to be terribly uncomfortable and yes, I never could go the whole work day without having to empty it. They’re a serious PITA in public.

    • Molly

      Depending on your flow, you don’t have to empty it while out in public. Even on my heavy days (1 and 2), I insert in the morning and don’t touch it until I get home after work. I also wear period panties (Thinx) as a backup, but I rarely have leaks. When I wore a super plus tampon, I was changing it regularly AND leaking, too. Glad I tried the cups, as they work super well for me and save $$!

  21. JD827

    A Star Hip2Saver is a recognized member of our Hip2Save community hand selected by our team for demonstrating a long history of engagement with helpful & friendly comments across Hip2Save.com and our social channels. Our Star Hip2Saver badge acts as a verification for readers who know the ins and outs of all Hip2Save sets out to accomplish — assisting our community to live extraordinary lives on ordinary budgets. Readers cannot pay or provide any sort of exchange in order to earn this badge. Rather, they are invited to participate by a member of the Hip2Save team and opt to have the Star Hip2Saver badge added to their profile & comments.

    What a great article! I would like to see a return to natural fibers which last forever for sheets and clothing. I would add that aluminum foil can be washed and used over again. It can also be washed and recycled. The WWII generation never wasted a smidgin of it and in turn I picked up the habit as well from my mother.

    • Irene (Hip Sidekick)

      That’s great to know, JD827. Our generation needs to learn tricks of the previous generations for sure!

  22. desiree

    Is no one gonna talk about the astronomically large tail on that menstrual cup?? 0.0

    • Liz N.

      HAHA! Agreed!! That would FREAK me out! I cut the stem off my cup anyway – but that one is HUGE!

  23. MyView

    If the menstrual cup doesn’t work for you, try reusable pads. They are so much more absorbent then disposable pads. Also I use family cloth for urine. Never thought I would make that change but it was pretty easy.

    • Dawn

      Or just coupon and get tampons for almost nothing. I like some of the ideas on here but some of them are total non-starters. Plus, I am a couponer and I spend pennies on things.

      • Sparrowfly

        Same, Dawn. I’ve never paid more than $1 a pack for pads or tampons, and that’s on the high side.

      • SavingsMama

        I’ll agree there. There are actually a growing number of churches and organizations that are providing women with quality personal products. Anytime youre able to score one of the free packs of Carefree etc. or maybe you tried a brand you didn’t much care for, there’s always places to donate. That helps the earth also 🙂

    • Becca

      I have a very light period and use maybe 3 or 4 tampons a month. N the really light days I use period panties. They are comfortable and I throw them into the wash (hang dry). Easy peasy.

  24. Liz N.

    Thanks for focusing on the environment! We have slowly switched to a lot of these. By going a little at a time, my husband was easy to get onboard and we didn’t feel overwhelmed. It did help us see how wasteful we are and look for ways to improve our eco-friendliness.

    Getting a period cup was a big win for me. It took 2 tries to get one that worked for me, but it’s been 2 years now and I love the change! If you are trying to find a cup for you, I recommend putacupinit.com – it really addresses FAQs and helps you find the right cup – there are MANY options!!

  25. georgeow

    I use bidet and love it-clean is better. Why these are not everywhere is beyond me. Clean is clean. Whoever recommended squirt bottle? Maybe for camping-but that is kind of odd and sloppy for me. Just say NO. Ditch plastic water bottles – get a culligan or an RO filter and youtube the maintenance. The wool dryer ball is cool—- I coupon paper towels for almost free and use for those times when you really need a toss away cloth and not a newspaper like for hairy wipe ups. Do not love silicone for all but for some. Aluminum is forever recyclable-just do it. Do not love reusable baggies at all. Lets ditch the mask waste and opt for common sense fresh air too!

  26. Molly

    For napkins/paper towels, we use wash cloths! A few years ago, I bought a colorful assortment of washcloths from Target and spent maybe $15-20 for a big basket full. We’re a family of 5, and we fold them nicely and use them at the dinner table for napkins, as well as grab them from the basket if we need a quick paper towel substitute. We toss them into our laundry daily and wash them with our regular loads. I love that they take no extra effort, yet save us tons of money and prevent additional waste! (We do have paper napkins and paper towels for guests, lol!)

  27. J

    I do like some of these recommendations, especially the wool balls in replacement of dryer sheets. But I do think the cling wrap one is off. We are a family of 5 and at most, I buy maybe 3-5 rolls a year.

    Also, the sandwich ziploc bag count is off. If you are using 3 bags a day, that is 15 a week, and 45 a month…not a week.

    • J

      Oops…meant to say 45 in 3 weeks, 60 a month.

  28. J

    Oops…meant to say 45 in 3 weeks, 60 a month.

  29. Carrie

    Lots of great information, however, if it wasn’t for people using paper, my dad, who has been in the paper industry since age 13, and husband, who’s been in it for 22 years, would be out of a job. We couldn’t save enough to make up for the lack of income . Paper towels for me! Bidet are just germy!

  30. Denise

    Menstrual cup is a total game changer for me love it❤️

  31. Jackie

    Be aware that the “Swedish “ towels are NOT NADE IN SWEDEN! They are made in China. Lots of people complain that they start “shedding” after a few uses and that are made in China. I found these that have amazing reviews and are actually Swedish made in Sweden (Wettex The Original 10-Pack Swedish Superabsorbent Dishcloth). They are cheaper also 😉 and I looooove them

    • csmith82

      I’m in my late 30’s and have never even used a tampon..the whole situation seems like self harm! I still can’t understand how women can violate their bodies in that way! Jam some foreign object up your privates?!!! No thank you! I call that torture

    • J

      Do these work for really heavy flow?

      • Sue P

        If you’re talking about the reusable pads, yes for heavy flow, just buy the larger size.

  32. Becca

    I’m right there with you on most of these. I use a fuzzy sock bought at the dollar store and put it over the swiffer head. It works great wet or dry. Then I just throw them in the wash.

  33. Amanda

    I’ve been following you guys for year and trust your input. I just purchased $100 of product on amazon (dish towels, silicone lids, cup, dryer balls, and the stasher bags). Im excited to try them all out!

  34. Sandy Bottoms

    Yuck

  35. Morgan Ross

    The best way to be eco friendly is to reduce first, reuse and recycle. Don’t buy a bunch of crap, especially new. Stop at garage sales when you see them. Use up your current stuff before you buy an eco-friendly replacement. You don’t need 50 reusable straws and water bottles. You save a ton of money using these methods too.

  36. Andre

    Instead of replacing aluminum and parchment paper with silicone mats, use a stone dish, food actually cook better on stone because silicone is heat resistant. Stone is also much easier to clean. For those worried about the microfiber leaking into the water from washing microfiber washcloths, you can use a cora ball to catch them during the wash cycle https://earthhero.com/products/home/cora-ball-microfiber-laundry-ball/?attribute_pa_type-2=single&gclid=Cj0KCQiA0rSABhDlARIsAJtjfCcT2cpDlONQsSdP5ZgkMofEHwN-jC51hNBkbso6TwjL977v3glTBlkaAqsZEALw_wcB

  37. Family First

    I can’t part ways with aluminum foil. There is no other easy clean up method. You cook, ball it up, and put your pan back, so easy! Silicone mats however, they get greasy and hard to clean. You can’t cook cookies on the same one you had fish on, always have to have multiple on hand. I use more water and dishcloths cleaning them off after, plus time wasted that I could be spending time doing something with the family.
    Menstrual cups just seem worse than tampons and I personally never liked those unless it was a necessity for swimming, rare occurrence. They seem gross and intrusive. No way can they be made by a woman, I’d be surprised!
    Wool balls are fine for the dryer, but fabric sheets leave your clothes smelling good! I know they’re not for every type of material.
    Also, as far as paper towels…during the sick season and especially now through COVID, I’d discourage any use of shared towels or reusable clothes. Use the tear-a-size paper towel and save that way.
    Straws, they actually have recycled material ones now that are disposable and don’t feel like paper. The reusable straws are easy to get mixed up when you have a big family and back with the towel thing, it’s too easy to spread germs with them.
    Just my opinion!

  38. snezhinka

    with the cup, are you all ok to actually reuse it? I think there is a reason why some things are meant to be disposable.

    • kiki

      I use a menstrual cup. Highly recommend. It is silicone, washable, you can boil it – I was on the fence for a while and wish I would have gotten one years ago.

    • rebecca

      When you go to the ob or a hospital, they use many things that are not disposable and get used by thousands of people over time. they don’t throw away the speculum or a scalpel after they stick it in you. or if you bleed on sheets or gown at a hospital they don’t throw it away.

  39. Evie

    Why is everything left up to the people to foot the bill?
    Packaging is created by corporations. I would gladly take empty bottles to stores for refills, but it seems unavailable.
    I would use green energy. But I cannot easily plug into it as they want me to pay a higher cost.
    An electric car? Way too expensive.
    Humm, looks like the elite expect us to pay for research for a problem they have been working on 50 years or more.

    • Lora

      Yes, companies need to stop using clamshell plastic packaging.

      People need to stop sending off hundreds of balloons in the air. They can honor someone or an event by planting trees or flowers.

  40. Elizabeth

    As for the bidet, something simple and inexpensive (sometimes $30) like this is all we need:
    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B075MMHQX7/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    We are really happy with this one, and have had it for a few years. Some of the bidets in other countries are messy hand held ones. My husband was skeptical of bidets after living in Spain because of that, but he is totally sold on these kinds after trying it. No need to go too fancy. Doesn’t use too much water at all, adjustable pressure, not hard to set up and seems much more sanitary than toilet paper alone. Just my 2 cents.

  41. llc

    I get the depo shot every 3 months. No period so no need for menstrual products. Also no PMS meds needed either. It’s a game changer for me since I had a 10 day or longer cycle with at least 5 super heavy days.

  42. Jen2020

    I love to be environment conscious but when it comes to essential items and personal hygiene , it’s not worth it for me to ditch toilet paper or menstrual pads.
    I love to use reusable bags, straws and minimize the use of ziploc bags. Best way to go green is to buy only what you need and not be wasteful.

  43. Jill

    This should be reposted closer to Earth Day. There is bound to be some sales on these products then.
    Love my Stasher bags!

  44. Alla

    We have a bidet and we love using it. I wanted to know why is that bidet on the picture plugged to an outlet? Are they heating the water up to use warm water with bidet?

    • rebecca

      ours uses an outlet to run the fan on it (helps with the smell in addition to your bathroom fan)
      and some have an air dryer to help dry you. and especially in certain countries, some have sounds (like a bubbling stream) to help mask bodily noises. heated seats are also standard on some.
      (i’m definitely not saying all these are necessary options.)

  45. Hollsmo

    No

  46. rebecca

    also a great swap to make — reuseable face wipes!
    i have stopped using any cotton balls or cotton rounds or disposable remover wipes on my face, and the specialty face ones are SO much softer than washcloths, and absorb way less toner or astringent than washcloth fabric. somehow mine have never stained, even from mascara or BB cream. they are so effective. they wash up great in a little zippered mesh bag!
    i love my ones from Make Up Eraser, but i know other people have found cheaper ones, too. they say they can be used with just water, and that works, but i also use them to apply toner or micellar water, eye makeup remover, etc.

    • maggie

      Same! I bought a 6-pack of them on Amazon and have been in love with them for removing eye makeup. I used to buy the big pack of Swissper cotton rounds at Costco, but these soft, washable face cloths actually work better.

  47. Heidi

    I’ll share something I have been using lately – bar shampoo/conditioner. So much plastic waste with hair care products. Some things are harder to switch out, but this one was easy (for me).

    • Maggie

      What conditioner are you using? I picked up the new Shampure bar from Aveda when they released it as a new product recently, but I haven’t seen a really high-quality conditioner yet.

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