Anything you need for your home or everyday life can be made sustainably. It doesn’t always have to be the more expensive version at boutique sustainable brands, either. Eco-friendly options are sold at most stores nowadays for so many products. The problem is that we resort to buying what we know instead of trying something different and thinking about the environment first.
Our plastic pollution in the U.S. and across the world is not being dealt with. The majority of the tons and tons of plastic waste we produce ends up in the ocean. Take reduce and reuse to the next level and try to limit your need for recycling plastic.
1. Compostable Trash Linings
Not only do we throw away incredulous amounts of plastic each year but the linings of our trash cans are also plastic. How many garbage bags do you think you go through in a month? (Probably way too many.) By lining our trash with biodegradable bags, we can limit the plastic headed towards landfills and further eliminate our single-use products.
2. Bamboo everything!
Bamboo is an incredibly sustainable material to swap out for plastic. Next time you’re out at the store, look for a bamboo toothbrush, cotton swabs, hairbrush, a bamboo calculator! EarthHero is a really good site to visit for all sustainable and bamboo products. They even have a bamboo speaker!
3. Feminine Hygiene Products
This is one that I feel like isn’t getting enough attention. The Ocean Conservancy found over 27,000 tampons and applicators in a single day during 2015. Our “feminine products” are bought discretely and quickly tossed out before anyone can even think about the impact. It may be a hard switch to get used to but you know how many tampons or pads you go through in a month. Imagine every woman’s environmental impact this way. Try making the switch to Organicup, reusable pads, somewhat sustainable tampons or alternative underwear.
4. Powder Dish Soap and Detergent
Just like most of our home products, dish soap and detergent come in plastic packages. Whether it’s recyclable or not, our packaging is most likely not environmentally-friendly. (Remember that only 9% of all plastic ever produced actually gets recycled.) Powder dish soap and detergent that comes in a cardboard box is completely sustainable and will most likely last longer than liquid soap. Try to buy an eco-friendly sponge for your dishes too!
5. Beauty Bars
While we’re along the topic of plastic packaging, let’s talk about body soaps and shampoos! Throughout the year we all go through so many body soap, shampoo, conditioner, face wash or other products with plastic containers. Using a shampoo or conditioner bar may be a bit hard to get used to at first, but it’s so worth it. Most beauty bars come in paper boxes and contain more eco-friendly ingredients. Look for beauty bars next time you’re at the store.
The main idea: every product that comes in plastic has an alternative. Did you know that glitter is made from micro-plastics that easily end up in our water systems and earth? Eco-friendly glitter made from plant material is an easy swap that is safer for us as humans and the environment. Are you aware that cotton swabs are not made completely of cotton? Try looking for ones that say 100% cotton or made from bamboo and cotton. Need a new ice cube tray? Buy one made from silicone instead of plastic. Silicone degrades into natural materials rather than plastic breaking down into toxins.
If you can’t find an eco-friendly alternative at the store, try searching for eco-friendly “x” or sustainable alternatives to “y” and find new ways of making your everyday routine green.
Need some other examples? Check out my post on 20 ways to limit your plastic use.