Plastic-free personal care items

Simple Tricks for Reducing Single Use Plastics in Your Home

15 de October, 2023Leah Foster

There is a famous saying from Zero Waste Chef, Anne Marie Bonneau, “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”

People often think zero waste living has to be difficult. It can feel overwhelming or like something that requires constant attention. When I first started to cut down on waste to my home I thought, what’s the point of for replacing my plastic floss canister with refillable floss when I still have plastic shampoo bottles, plastic hand soap bottles, plastic toothpaste tubes, etc.?

In today's world, single-use plastics have become a major environmental concern. The good news is that each of us has the power to make a positive impact by reducing our consumption of these harmful materials. By implementing a few simple tricks in our daily lives, we can significantly reduce the amount of single-use plastics that end up in landfills and oceans. Here are some of my favorite tools you can apply in your own home.
Opt for Reusable Food Containers
Single-use plastic food containers and wraps like ziplock bags and Saran Wrap are commonly used in households, contributing to unnecessary waste. Switching to reusable food containers made of glass or stainless steel is a simple yet effective way to reduce plastic waste. These containers are durable, microwave-safe, and easy to clean, making them a convenient alternative for storing leftovers, packing lunches, or even freezing food.
Move Plastic Out of the Kitchen
Not quite ready to give up on the convenience of plastic wrap? Last year I simply moved mine out of the kitchen and into the hall closet. It is still available if I need it, but the simple act of having to leave the kitchen to get it has made me think twice before using it. Similarly, I did this with paper towels and now I find I rarely use them at all.
Embrace Reusable Shopping Bags
One of the easiest and most impactful changes we can make is to switch from single-use plastic bags to reusable shopping bags. Keep a stash of reusable bags in your car or by the front door, ensuring you always have them on hand when heading out for groceries or shopping. By doing so, you'll not only reduce plastic waste but also save money in the long run, as many stores now offer incentives for bringing your own bags.
Ditch Disposable Water Bottles
Disposable plastic water bottles are a major contributor to plastic pollution. Instead of relying on single-use bottles, invest in a reusable water bottle made from stainless steel, glass, or BPA-free plastic. Carry it with you wherever you go, and refill it whenever needed. Not only will this help reduce plastic waste, but it will also encourage you to stay hydrated and save money on purchasing bottled water.
Say No to Plastic Straws and Cutlery
Plastic straws and cutlery are often used for just a few minutes before being discarded. By saying no to these single-use items, we can significantly reduce plastic waste. Invest in reusable stainless steel or bamboo straws that can be easily cleaned and carried with you. Similarly, keep a set of reusable cutlery in your bag or at your workplace, so you can avoid using plastic utensils when eating out or ordering takeout.
Choose Sustainable Food Packaging
When grocery shopping, pay attention to the packaging of the products you buy. Opt for items with minimal or recyclable packaging, such as loose produce or products packaged in cardboard or glass. Avoid individually wrapped items whenever possible, as they often come with excessive plastic packaging. Additionally, consider buying in bulk to reduce the amount of packaging waste generated. I recently had an epiphany- there is no reason in the world I need to be buying mushrooms in little plastic trays wrapped in plastic. It was one of those things I've always done without thinking. But them loose in a paper bag, conveniently located right next to the bins!
Invest in Reusable Menstrual Products
Whether you use tampons with plastic casing or without or pads and liners, these products are wasteful and honestly, not great for our bodies. I thought switching to reusable menstrual products would be a difficult switch but they are absolutely not. Menstrual cups are as easy to use as tampons, with multiple other benefits. They are less wasteful, less harmful for your body, you never run out, they last indefinitely and can be kept in for as long as 12 hours before they need to come out to be rinsed, offering more flexibility for being out and about without concern.
It's easy to tell yourself that if you can't do it all, there's no point in trying, but the reality is that every single one of us can be doing something to waste less and these small steps together make a significant impact. We have grown up with huge corporations telling us we need the convenience of single-use plastics to free us up to enjoy the world around us. But the truth is, if we don't start being more careful, there won't be this beautiful world around for us to enjoy. I'm not suggesting you get online and start doom-scrolling to see the impacts of plastic waste. I want to encourage every one to take small steps. Look around your house and see if you can't identify one change you can make. I think you'll find the one change will be easier than you imagined and help you feel empowered to make more!
Reducing single-use plastics in our homes is a small but significant step towards a more sustainable future. By embracing reusable alternatives, being mindful of our purchasing choices, and making conscious efforts to minimize plastic waste, we can collectively make a positive impact on our environment and inspire others to do the same.
Still not convinced? Check out our website or drop by the shop to see what cool options we offer for helping you reduce your impact! Good luck, y'all!

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