Disposable, single use items are available nearly everywhere. Due to this availability, people often choose disposable, single use items. These items are marketed as convenience items. It seems more and more people are choosing single use items which is having negative effects on our planet.
These items are disposable, right? They are used and then tossed in the trash, never to be seen again. Not so much. These items are found floating in our rivers, lakes, and oceans. They are found in our ever-growing landfills. It seems these items are actually not so disposable after all.
Eliminating Single Use Items in Your Household
Using reusable items is a much more sustainable option than their disposable alternatives. It is easy to replace disposable, single use household items with reusable products. Eliminating single use items in your household is not as difficult as it may sound. In this post, I share several single use items that are easy to replace and items that you can replace them with!
These changes don’t have to take place all at once! This isn’t an all or nothing situation. Make a few changes now and add more in later will make a huge difference. These changes all have positive affects on our planet, your health, and your wallet!
Cloth napkins are a wonderful alternative to paper napkins. They look nicer and are much more durable. Cloth produces much less trash than single use paper napkins.
Replacing paper napkins with cloth saves you money!
Given current prices, if you bought the cloth napkins brand new, five year’s worth of eco-friendly cloth napkins for a family of four could cost you anywhere from $20 to $108.00. If you bought disposable paper napkins for a family of four for five years, however, it could cost you anywhere from $322.64 to $2,635.60 depending on the type of napkins you buy and whether you buy them in bulk or one roll at a time. – Ocean Conservancy
Take a glimpse at my journey in 2013 when I made the switch to cloth, click here.
Plastic baggies take 1,000 years to fully degrade and they are the second most common ocean waste. Replacing plastic baggies may cost a little more than a box of Ziploc baggies up front but will save you money in the long run. The planet will thank you too.
For food storage in my kitchen I use glass Pyrex containers.
Reusable baggies are great for packing snacks and lunches while out and about. There are so many cute options, you can find your own style over at Amazon, Etsy, or a local store.
Plastic Water Bottles
Replacing plastic water bottles is an easy change to make and has a huge positive impact on our planet.
A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and the number will jump another 20% by 2021, creating an environmental crisis some campaigners predict will be as serious as climate change. – The Guardian
There are SO many eco-friendly water bottles to choose from. I have quite the collection and am constantly adding to it. You can search for your perfect bottle here.
Paper plates are great when you are entertaining but they are not so great for our landfills. At your next picnic or party, skip the paper plates and use a compostable option. There are many choices, we have used these plates that are sugar-cane based.
Please read the ingredients to avoid possible allergies. Many are wheat fiber based which are not an option for us due to celiac disease.
Plastic Shopping Bags
Plastic shopping bags can be seen littering our planet nearly everywhere. These bags are often spotted blowing in the wind and can cause death to animals on land and in the water. This is an easy fix by replacing the disposable bags with reusable shopping bags.
I keep mine in the back of my car so they are always handy. I also carry a large purse/bag that I can just toss items in when I make small purchases.
Many local restaurants in our community are eliminating straws altogether or replacing them with paper alternatives (yay!!). When we hit the beach we always find straws tangled in the seaweed.
In the year of 2017, Americans used about 390 million plastic straws each day. This data comes from the market research firm, Freedonia Group.
Reusable straws are a great alternative to plastic single use straws, you can find several options here.
Cloth diapers are a wonderful alternative for single use disposable diapers. Disposable diapers create millions of tons of waste that is dumped in our landfills each year. Making the switch to cloth removes that burden and saves a lot of money!
From infancy to training pants, your baby could use nearly 7,000 disposable diapers, at a cost of between $.17 and $.25 per diaper. That adds up to over $1,500 in diapers for one baby. You could save $1,000 a child using cloth!
The process of manufacturing toilet paper is tremendously wasteful. So many trees and chemicals are used in the production of toilet paper. Giving up toilet paper is a big step. My family uses a combo of family cloth and earth friendly toilet paper. If you are curious about family cloth you can read about our experience here.
Feminine Hygiene Items
Nearly 20 billion sanitary napkins and tampons enter North American landfills each year. Making the switch to reusable pads and cups are better for your body and our planet.
Are you ready to make a change in your household?!? Remember, you don’t have to tackle all of these at once. Begin by picking one. Once you are used to that change pick another. Every little bit makes a difference!
To read more of my going greener posts click here.
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