Photo contributor: JeniFoto
In our modern world, plastic is everywhere. From the packaging that houses our groceries to the disposable utensils we use for takeout, plastic is hard to avoid. But as our dependence on plastic has grown, so too has its impact on our planet. Plastic pollution affects our health, with potentially harmful chemicals leaching into our food and water. It clogs our oceans, harms wildlife, and contributes to climate change. And single-use plastics, like bags, bottles, and utensils, are a major contributor. According to Plastic Oceans International, 50 percent of all plastic produced (380 million tons per year) is for single use purposes. And it’s estimated that more than 10 million tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans every year.
By choosing eco-friendly alternatives, we can significantly decrease the amount of plastic waste that ends up in our environment. Making small yet effective changes in our daily lives will help make a positive environmental impact and promote a more sustainable and responsible approach to consumption, benefiting both present and future generations. Scroll on to learn our five everyday eco-friendly alternatives, which serve as a great starting point for reducing single use plastic.
1. Stainless Steel Water Bottles: Ditch disposable plastic water bottles in favor of reusable stainless-steel bottles. They not only reduce plastic waste but also keep your beverages at the right temperature. Two sustainable brands we love are S'well and Klean Kanteen.
2. Stainless-Steel or Bamboo Straws & Utensils: Replace plastic straws and utensils with stainless-steel or bamboo alternatives. They are durable and can be used repeatedly, reducing the number of single-use plastic that end up in landfills and oceans. We recommend a set like these stainless-steel straws by Klean Kanteen, and this 12-piece bamboo set that would be perfect to bring along for picnics and meals on the go.
3. Reusable Food Containers: If you haven't already made the switch, invest in reusable food containers made of glass or stainless steel. They are a much safer alternative to using plastic, which can leach chemicals into your food, and are ideal for meal prep, storing leftovers, snacks, and meals on the go, eliminating the need for disposable plastic containers or wraps. This glass Pyrex set is great to use, as well as this set by Oxo Tot which is a fantastic choice for your little ones.
4. Homemade Cleaning Products: Make your own cleaning products using simple ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils. This way, you can avoid purchasing cleaning products in plastic bottles. In addition to this eco-conscious choice, creating your own cleaning products not only helps you save money but also reduces your exposure to chemicals found in commercial cleaners. Plus, you have more control over customizing your cleaning routine. Good Housekeeping provides a helpful list eight different types of homemade cleaning solutions for you to try out.
5. Bamboo Toothbrushes: Swap out your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo toothbrush, which is made from natural materials and 100% compostable. Plus, they last just as long as plastic toothbrushes do.
We hope these simple ideas will help you further embrace a plastic-free lifestyle!