One of the best ways to help the environment is to use less single-use plastics at home. Here are some easy ways to do just that!
More than 40% of plastic is used just once, and then tossed, according to National Geographic. And, with more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic already floating in our oceans and negatively impacting our environment, there’s no doubt that something needs to be done.
Thankfully, change can be made right from within our homes by reducing single-use plastic altogether. From switching to reusable items to changing the way your kitchen functions altogether, here are just three smart ways you can help.
Recognize the Main Sources of Plastic Waste
For many who are looking to cut down on your plastic waste at home, the most problematic areas of the home are the kitchen and bathroom. In the kitchen, single use plastics (like plastic wrap) and plastic packaging on food are just a couple of major examples of this, and can all be changed with reusable alternatives.
For example, reusable beeswax wraps (aka beeswax coated cotton cloths) can be a great alternative to traditional plastic wrap, and can be easily cleaned and last up to a year, and can even be composted. When it comes to the plastic packaging involved with food, shopping in bulk and opting for produce without plastic packaging are great places to start eco-friendly habits.
The bathroom is yet another major source of household plastic waste where changes can be made for the better as well. From haircare to skincare and even cleaning products, there’s no question that any item packaged in plastic is problematic for the environment once it’s no longer needed.
To cut down on this waste, options range from opting for plastic-free alternatives (such as haircare bars and bar soap), shopping for products that have eco-friendly packaging, or even making your own.
The Benefits of Cloth Alternatives
It can be difficult to realize just how deeply ingrained the use of plastic is in our lives, though even essentials like menstrual products involve plastic (such as the packaging) that can negatively impact the environment for years to come. Cloth alternatives, however, such as cloth menstrual pads can be a great way to eliminate such plastic waste, and save you a significant amount of money in the long run.
Cloth alternatives can also be used in other facets of life, too — such as parenthood. From cloth burp rags to cloth nursing pads, perhaps the biggest change that parents can make is switching to cloth diapers, which can also be easily cleaned right at home.
In fact, reusable diapers use 8 times less non renewable resources than disposables, not to mention how much money can be saved along the way, too.
Read more cloth diaper tips here!
A Zero Waste Lifestyle
While making changes to reusable alternatives can be made in the kitchen, bathroom, and throughout the home, starting the journey to become zero-waste can also be done to significantly reduce household plastics.
While this may seem nearly impossible, one innovative way to start integrating zero-waste lifestyle choices into your home is by shopping at stores that allow customers to bring their own containers.
BYOC (which stands for Bring Your Own Container), in Michigan, is just one great example of this concept and provides household and personal care products in bulk. By allowing customers to use their own containers to refill on essentials like shampoo and conditioner (in addition to household cleaning products), there’s no need for plastic bottles that will be thrown away.
Reducing the amount of plastic waste at home can be frustrating and may even seem impossible, though it’s important to realize just how much can be done. Whether you choose to make a few reusable switches or adopt aspects of a zero-waste lifestyle, making any positive change is a great way to lead a healthier and more eco-conscious life.