Here at Cactus HQ, we've been chatting about the environmental impacts of COVID-19 on the great outdoors of NZ.
During our individual daily bubble excursions, members of the Cactus Crew have spotted little blue masks poking out of bushes at parks, at the beach, in the hills, blowing down the sidewalk, and in pretty much every nook and cranny you can think of.
But, of course, nobody is keen to pick them up as they could have lurgies on them. So these bits of plastic just keep blowing around until they land in someone’s red bin (highly unlikely) or the ocean (inevitably).
Safety is paramount in the current climate, but we want to know if we can achieve a safe community, without sacrificing the environment or spending a fortune?
The answer is yes.
By replacing the box of single use masks that sits on your kitchen bench, with 1 good quality, Cactus Washable Face Mask with a certified N95 filter and some Replacement N95 Filters.
Not only will you be saving some cash, you'll also be saving 30 plastic masks every month from ending up in landfill.
6 biodegradable filters vs 180 plastic masks to landfill.
The above graphic assumes the average person would use 1 single use face mask every day for 6 months, and use it correctly by disposing of it afterwards. That is 180 masks.
If you are regularly washing your Cactus Face Mask cotton outer, it should last you well beyond 6 months. Each Cactus Replacement Filter is designed to last up to 1 month.
Most disposable face masks are made from polypropylene (a fancy way to say plastic) whereas Cactus Face Mask outers are made from cotton, and the Replacement Filters are made from wool (both natural, biodegradable materials).
$0.33 per day of use vs $0.70 per day of use.
The average person would need 3.6 boxes of 50 disposable masks to last 6 months. At $35 per box from the local pharmacy, this would cost $126. Over the course of 180 days that is $0.70 per day. The Cactus Washable Face Mask is $35 and comes with 1 filter, a pack of 5 Replacement Filter's is $25. $60 over the course of 180 days is $0.33 per day.
After the initial 6 months, assuming you have regularly washed the cotton outer layer and kept it in good nick, you would only need to buy the Replacement Filters ongoing. These are $25 for a pack of 5, which drops the cost per day of use to only $0.16 ongoing.
That's more bang for ya buck, you can feel good about supporting a local kiwi-made business, AND the environment will thank you for it.
If you're feeling super environmentally inclined, you could even spend the extra $60 you just saved on another Cactus Face Mask and set of Replacement Filters for ya mate, so they can stop feeding their quota of masks to the ocean too. And you'll still have enough cash left over for a coffee!