Is A Zero Waste Lifestyle More Expensive?

23 February 2023  |  Admin


There has been much debate lately over whether or not adopting a zero waste lifestyle is more expensive. Going zero waste usually means that you’ll be making changes in your life to cut down on what you buy and own. But, when switching from single-use to reusable products and fast fashion to sustainable options, there can be an increase in cost, but for good reason. 


In this blog we’ll look at both sides of the argument to give you a clearer picture.

Will I save money by adopting a zero waste lifestyle?


Firstly, the question of whether a zero waste lifestyle will save you money depends on how you currently live your life.


For example, if you live a frugal life, where you watch your money carefully and consider all your buying decisions, then you’re unlikely to see too much difference in savings when it comes to adopting a zero waste lifestyle. 


This is great news as it means that you’ll probably find the changes much easier to make than those who need to make a number of bigger lifestyle and habit changes.


On the other hand, if up until this point you haven’t really considered what you buy and how you can reduce your waste, then you might just find that you can make savings by changing to a zero waste lifestyle. These changes won’t happen overnight but you can definitely work toward them.

The benefits of living a zero waste lifestyle


What's your motivation to live a zero waste lifestyle? Have you decided to do it because you are passionate about the environment? Do you want to live a healthier life or save some money? 


Whatever your reasons for living a zero waste lifestyle, this question will provide a great opportunity for you to understand what your motivations are and use these to help you stay on track in building your zero waste lifestyle.


A zero waste lifestyle involves thinking about all of your buying habits and only purchasing items that you actually really need and will use to their fullest. 


The benefits of living a zero waste lifestyle are firstly that you will be helping the planet. If everyone took action to reduce their waste then just imagine how much of a difference that would make to the environment. 


By becoming zero waste you can be assured that you are doing your bit for the planet and your fellow humans.

Zero waste = buying less


Ultimately, living a zero waste lifestyle should mean buying less and using what you already have. Zero waste also means carefully planning what you do need to buy. Of course you’ll still need to buy food, but you can plan ahead by planning what meals you are going to make so that you’re only buying what you will actually use. 


For example, shopping for food and produce at local farm shops and farmer’s markets and buying in quantities you need is cheaper than shopping at supermarkets. Plus, you’ll get fresh produce that will stay fresh for longer than supermarket equivalents. 


Have a read of our 9 Tips For Zero Waste Food Shopping blog to get started. 

Purposeful purchases - reusables


You can make some purchases that will help you on your zero waste journey, which will be useful and save you money in the long run. Reusable items like reusable shopping bags, a reusable insulated coffee cup, a sturdy water bottle, storage jars for pantry foods (flour, sugar, beans, lentils, etc) are great investments. Once you have your basics you will find that you don’t need much more! 


So, yes your spending might peak slightly as you start your zero waste lifestyle but these products are designed to last you for many years to come and will be keeping single use products out of landfill.

Do eco-friendly products cost more?


Eco-friendly products are going to cost more, which is where the argument of a zero waste lifestyle being more expensive comes from. However, it is about weighing up the ethical and environmental costs of products. An item of clothing made from plastic fibres, made by slave labour is going to be cheaper than an item made from ethically sourced, sustainable fabrics, where labourers are paid a living wage. 


We understand that not everyone can afford sustainable clothing but rather than asking why sustainable clothes are so expensive we should consider how fast fashion is damaging to both people and the planet.


An alternative or addition to buying sustainable clothing is to buy second hand. Shopping for clothes in charity shops or on second hand platforms such as ebay and Vinted give clothes another life and they are usually very well-priced.

Final Thoughts


When it comes to living a zero waste lifestyle your priority should be to focus on the most important aspects of your life, such as money, health, and the environment. You should do your best to find a balance between your personal needs and the needs of the planet. By doing this, you will be able to achieve a positive change in your life.