Plastic was supposed to make our lives easier and more convenient. But it has taken over our lives, our homes and our planet. By 2050, the discarded plastic in our oceans will weigh more than all the fish in it. Ridding your life of plastics can be challenging especially with traces of in packaging, appliances, clothes (synthetic fibers), etc. So, how can you minimize your plastic footprint?
For starters, here are a few items you can drop from your life at once, as well as a few suggestions for alternatives you can pick up instead! This is a great step forward towards green living.
Instead Use: Stainless Steal, or Silicon Straws
Would it really hurt just to sip from the cup? Using plastic straws to sip your drinks is a habit best dropped! However, if you must use a straw (for health reasons, etc.) then get a hold of silicon straws or even stainless steal straws that way you can wash and reuse them another time.
Instead Use: Products derived from alternative materials, including processed plant starch, pressed leaf, bio-plastics, and plain old paper.
France recently became the first country to ban plastic cutlery, plates, and cups. The Europe Ecologie-Greens Party proposed the idea in order to help cut the energy used in making plastic, in addition to reducing the waste it creates. And in turn, urging producers of plastic utensils to make sure their products are now made with biologically sourced materials and can be composted.
Plastic Storage Bins
Instead Use: Repurposed Boxes or Bins made from Natural Materials
If you’re looking for large storage bins, try woven hemp or wicker baskets, cardboard boxes, wood crates or metallic bins. Find ways to reuse delivery boxes, with some quick DIY decorations these are good to use in your home. Another option would be to consider buying storage bins made of recycled plastic.
Get this perfect Wood Crates Set for your storage needs!
Plastic Grocery Bags
Instead Use: Cloth tote Bags made from Cotton Canvas, Jute or Hemp
A single plastic bag can take up to 1,000 years to degrade, plus after hearing all of the heart breaking stories of bags smothering the marine life alone makes you want to refuse using them ever again. Instead, try bringing your own reusable canvas tote or Natural Burlap Shopping Bags next time to you go grocery shopping. These are really cheap, chic and can be reused for years!
Coffee Cup Lids
Instead Use: Skip The Accessories & Buy a Reusable Coffee Cup
While getting a rid of disposable coffee cups as a whole would be ideal – getting rid of the lids, sleeves, and stir sticks could be the first step in the right direction. Next time you stop by your favorite coffee spot, skip the unnecessary accessories. But again, the world would be a much better place if we consistently drank our coffee out of one reusable cup to avoid all the waste. Try this Reusable Bamboo Eco Coffee Mug for starters.
Plastic Wrap/Ziploc Bags
Instead Use: Glass Tupperware, Stainless Steel Food Containers, etc.
While they may do a great job with storing your food, products such as plastic wrap and aluminum foil are not biodegradable. Instead of Ziploc bags, pack your lunch in a Bento Box set or a Stainless Steel Tiiffin, or store your leftovers in jars or glass containers in the fridge.
Toothbrushes & Hairbrushes
Instead Use: Plastic-Free or Bamboo/Wooden Versions
Over 2 billion plastic brushes will reach landfills each year, and these brushes take over 1,000 years to degrade. Therefore, instead of opting for am environmentally-unfriendly toothbrush or hairbrush that you would toss into the trash after it’s served its purpose (which will then only end up in the oceans or landfills), try something a little more eco-friendly like a bamboo toothbrush/hairbrush! They are far better for the environment, and even will also help reduce your exposure to BPA and other chemicals that come with plastic.
Instead Use: Reusable Water Bottle
Plastic water bottles have been contributing to the waste for a while, yet people still continue to buy it in excess (Americans buy about 29 billion water bottles a year!). A solution to this dilemma couldn’t be easier – a reusable water bottle! They come in all shapes and colors to your liking, so why not save the environment and get an Eco-Friendly Alternative to Bottled Water!