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6 sustainable items to buy once and use for years


There’s nothing worse than spending your hard-earned cash on items that break or end up in the bin after just one use.

But while many of us resign ourselves to the fact that repurchasing certain household goods is an annoying necessity, there are plenty of ways to escape the vicious circle of single-use consumption.

Not only will these reusable suggestions save you lots of time and money, but they’re also way better for the environment too.

No more ’emergency’ trips to the shops and no more buying the same product over and over again with these six simple suggestions…

1. A set of reusable straws

If you love nothing more than starting the day with a smoothie, think about ditching the plastic or paper straws and opting for a reusable set instead.

There’s a wide range of options from glass and stainless steel to silicone and hard-wearing, BPA-free plastic. Best of all? They won’t go soggy and crumble while you’re still slurping.

2. An ice cube tray

Instead of wasting your money on buying bags of frozen ice at the store, invest in an ice cube tray and make your own.

A silicone or stainless steel ice tray is a BPA-free, lifetime investment that’s less likely to get dented and cracked in your freezer than plastic.

3. Rechargeable batteries

From TV remotes and fire alarms to kids toys, so many household gadgets rely on battery power.

Not only are regular batteries expensive to keep purchasing over and over, but they can also be a pain to dispose of once they’ve lost their life, because you have to return them to a battery recycling point.

They won’t exactly last forever, but rechargeable batteries can significantly slow down your consumption. The average set lasts for 500 to 1000 charges or approximately two to three years. Make sure you safely recycle them afterwards as the metals inside batteries aren’t kind to the earth.

4. Reusable produce bags for fruit and veg

Instead of putting your loose fruit or veg in those disposable plastic or paper bags you often find in the supermarket, purchase a set of reusable mesh drawstring bags instead.

They will do away with the headache of having to deal with heaps of packaging waste and will come in extra handy if you’re heading to the farmers’ market or greengrocers.

5. A menstrual cup

Tampons and pads can be expensive and tampon applicators are almost always made from single-use plastic too, making them bad for the environment.

A menstrual cup is an alternative friendly to both the environment and women’s wallets. It’s inserted like a tampon but holds three times what a tampon can keep and can be worn for up to 12 hours. It can also be reused after a quick rinse. According to Mooncup, their version will last “for years and years” if cared for and stored according to the instructions.

6. Reusable cotton pads

If you’re still taking your makeup off with single-use face wipes, it’s time for a rethink. Wipes can contain plastics meaning they’re non-biodegradable and chemical components to keep them moist and preserved.

Instead, treat yourself to a set of high-quality muslin face cloths and cotton rounds that you can use to remove makeup. Chuck them in with your weekend wash and you’ll have a fresh set ready to go again on Monday morning.


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