The role of single-use plastics in global pollution is undeniable on a global scale, but where do we start if we’re hoping to reduce our personal plastic consumption? As it turns out, you don’t have to tackle saving the entire environment all on your own. Any step, no matter how small, is still a step in the right direction– so here are a few small ones to consider if you’re on the hunt for ways to swap out disposable plastic for eco-friendlier options.
Tablets just might be the future of chemical products.
In the last several years countless everyday essentials, from toothpaste to cleaning products, have debuted new technology for cutting down on plastic waste: dissolving tablets. Hand soap tablets, for instance, involve filling a reusable dispenser with water and simply dropping a tablet into the bottle. Many of these companies ship refill tablets out in eco-conscious packaging, as well, making for an even smaller carbon footprint while oftentimes being more cost-efficient, too.
Bar soap is making a comeback, but it’s not your grandmother’s.
While liquid hand soap, body wash, and shampoo have been the standard for some time, that doesn’t always make them the most environmentally friendly. While looking for products packaged in recycled materials is a great option, it’s even better (and often cheaper!) to stick with old reliable and use bar soap. There’s also been a recent boom in popularity for shampoo and conditioner bars, with brands like Ethique offering a range of choices for different hair types. You can even find salicylic acid wash and other skincare cleansers in bar form, too.
It’s time to think beyond paper straws.
Obviously, paper is a lot more biodegradable than plastic; but did you know that you can now buy more paper-packaged alternatives than ever before? Be it deodorant or drinking water, cartons and tubes might be the perfect solution for some of your most common single-use plastic items. Bonus points for recycled cardboard and paperboard.
Disposable plastic food storage could end up a thing of the past.
Reusable food storage comprises a lot more than just the Tupperware of yesteryear. You can find reusable silicone snack bags to replace your Ziploc variety, as well as reusable food wraps made from cloth and other materials. If you’re in the market for a more traditional disposable takeout container, you can also find recycled and compostable varieties that keep you from having to do the dishes without taking a toll on the environment.
Rethinking your grocery run could save a lot of plastic.
Reusable grocery bags are touted as one of the easiest ways to eliminate a lot of your plastic waste; this is true, but you can also find reusable vegetable bags for organizing produce as you shop. Many more traditional canvas grocery bags now feature extra dividers and loops to keep any necessary items in place, as well as eliminate the fuss of trying to collect your groceries with an uncooperative bag. And as always, the most sustainable option is the one you already have– so it may be time to bust out your old tote bags if you want a cheaper alternative to brand new grocery bags.