Use less plastic, they say… Eco-friendly Alternatives for Plastic

Use Less Plastic

Use less plastic they say… 

Firstly, it’s easy and convenient to use, but more people are becoming concerned about how much plastic we use and what it does to the environment around us.  Biotechnologists, for instance, are trying to discover an environmentally friendly alternative to plastics that breaks down naturally and does not represent a hazard to wildlife or human health. 

Most importantly, packaging and other single-use items form an enormous proportion of the plastic leaking into our oceans. It’s not only toxic to the environment but also to our health. The chemicals in the packaging leeches into your food, and when you absorb the product, you absorb the chemicals as well. 

  • Paper and cardboard…

Are easy substitutes for plastic packaging. Therefore, think about decreasing use in the grocery store and pick the cardboard box instead. Likely, paper and cardboard are already made from recycled products. If the paper or cardboard has to be tossed out instead of being recycled, it still breaks down a lot quicker and with a lot less chemical residue than plastic ever could.

  • Bio-plastic…

Made from plants, and it is made from waste products from the production of corn (or other vegetables). 

  • Glass…

While not biodegradable, glass is inexpensive and always recyclable. Likely, several food items come in glass. Reusing glass jars into food storage is a no-cost way to give your food packaging new life. Glass containers from jam, honey, pickles, nut butter, and so much more can be added to your no-waste options.

  • Bamboo…

Can substitute plastic in tableware and drinking straws because it is lightweight, durable, and compostable. Bamboo is a fast-growing renewable resource.

How can we use less plastic? A few suggestions are:

  • Sponge and scrubber: Use a natural sponge, luffa, or wooden brush.
  • Disposable cups: Dine in or takeaway with stainless steel or reusable glass.
  • Single-use cutlery: Eat out where they have reusable cutlery, or bring your own.
  • Lunch baggies: Reusable lunch box 
  • Shopping bags: Reusable bags or baskets.
  • One-time use produce bags: Reusable produce bags or leave your produce loose.
  • Items packed in plastic: Opt for unpackaged or choose glass or metal packaging when possible.
  • Fabric softener or dryer sheets: Use dryer balls
  • Food storage containers and bags: Silicone bags, metal or glass containers.
  • Dish soap: Use a powder for the dishwasher and a bar for handwashing. If you prefer liquid soap, you can make your own from a soap bar.
  • Cleaners in bottles: Make your cleaners with ingredients packaged in glass, metal, or cardboard. Use baking soda or a kitchen stone for tough cleaning jobs.
  • tableware: Skip disposables and use metal or bamboo plates and cutlery.
  • Cutting boards and utensils: Bamboo cutting board, wooden or bamboo spoons
  • Plates and cups for young kids: Bamboo bowls and metal cups.

And a few more suggestions…

  • Soap: Bar soap
  • Lotion in bottles: Lotion bar or oil in a glass bottle
  • Feminine products: Menstrual cup or reusable cloth sanitary napkins.
  • Toothbrushes: Bamboo toothbrushes.
  • Shampoo in bottles: Shampoo bar or ‘no-poo’ method.
  • Trash bags: Reuse paper bags, lined with newspaper, or skip the bag.
  • Laundry detergent in plastic bottles: Try plastic-free laundry strips or powdered laundry detergent
  • Fabric softener or dryer sheets: Use dryer balls
  • Clothing, bedding, towels: Choose organic cotton, wool, bamboo, or hemp; If you wash the synthetic fabric, infrequently wash in full loads, in cold water on slow spin cycles, and consider purchasing a bag that can capture fibers and keep them out of wastewater.
  • Straws: Reusable straws in glass, stainless steel, bamboo, or silicone.

In conclusion, try any of these different options. As soon as you start, you’ll see that it’s easy to continue to add several options throughout your time here on this precious planet. 

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