One of the easiest ways to do our part to save our environment is to make surprisingly small changes in our everyday activities. Even the simplest adjustments, like asking take-out places not to include disposable silverware and replacing plastic bottled water with a sturdy, reusable bottle can have immense effects on the amount of waste we produce. It may be easy to understand that concept, but sometimes we get busy and find it hard to remember all the different ways we can make these changes. Here's a quick guide to help to eliminate as many disposable items as possible in your home and get a little more eco-friendly each day!
Give Up: Plastic Bags, Paper Bags
Reach For: Reusable Cloth Bags
We all know by now how wasteful using plastic, or even paper bags, can be and the damage these items do to the environment when we don't recycle them. Eliminate the need to recycle, and reduce clutter in your space, by grabbing a sturdy, dependable cloth bag for shopping.
Give Up: Plastic Bottles
Reach For: Reusable Bottles
In this case, there are a few options. You can go for BPA-free, thick reusable plastic bottles or opt for glass. Either way, you'll be sending fewer plastic bottles out with recycling or trash. If you only drink one bottle per day, switching to reusable saves the plastic from 365 bottles per year. The number only goes up!
Give Up: Ziplock Bags
Reach For: Reusable Lunch Bags
There are options here as well. We're all familiar with Tupperware, and it's a good solution over disposable bags and packaging, but there are also glass options and, in some cases, you can even use cloth (think wrapping up a sandwich)!
Give Up: Paper Towels and Napkins
Reach For: Cloth Napkins
This one's pretty easy to understand. The United States uses over 13 billion pounds of paper towels each year! That means 13 billion pounds have to be produced EACH year! Switching to washable cloth napkins can drastically reduce this number and environmental impact, even after you consider the energy needed to make and wash a set.
Give Up: Paper or Plastic Coffee Cups
Reach For: Reusable Cups
The average American drinks around 3 cups of coffee per day, especially during these cooler seasons. That's 3 disposable cups EACH day! That means for an average American, finding a fun, personality-infused, BPA-free plastic or glass option can eliminate over 1,000 paper or plastic cups each year. Need I say more?
This list just scratches the surface of ways to replace disposable, wasteful items in your life with reusable, greener and often customizable options. If you're a Swiffer user, opt for washable pads rather than one-time use. Get your clothes dry cleaned? Invest in a quality, reusable bag and eliminate all those plastic ones! There are even more eco-friendly options for ladies when that time comes!
Where can you make a small change in your space to eliminate some of our massive waste? Please share your ideas with us!