In 2013, Americans created 254 million tons of trash. Eighty-seven million tons of this trash was recycled or composted. Despite our efforts to reuse our waste, millions of tons of trash still piles up in our landfills, leaks into the waterways and fills our oceans. We’re at a point now that it’s imperative we make more sustainable choices.
Plastic and paper alike have been reliable friends in our fast-paced world. But it’s time to make the switch from plastic and paper to reusable items. As you start to make changes, you’ll find that it’s not initially cheap to buy reusable items. But if you keep your eye on the long-term, you’ll realize you’re more likely to save money while you save the planet.
9 Sustainable Swaps
You can reduce your environmental impact by making these 9 sustainable swaps today…
1) Use reusable sandwich and gallon size bags.
Now it’s easy to find such bags available across the internet. These bags come in different styles of fabric, zippers, velcro and more. Whatever your specific needs there’s a reusable bag for you.
2) Stop using plastic tupperware.
This is about the planet and your health. You probably know by now that heat plus plastic plus your food doesn’t go over well with your body. Choose either glass or stainless steel. Both are readily recyclable if need be.
3) Ditch sponges and plastic scrub brushes for wash clothes or recyclable brushes.
The thought of sponges alone should make you uncomfortable. While wash clothes aren’t too much better, they’re at least a recyclable alternative. When cleaned properly, they are suited just fine for a waste-free kitchen. But if you’re averse to any of the bacteria-hosting capabilities of a cloth towel, then look to a recyclable or compostable brush made out of bamboo.
4) Read eBooks.
Easy enough. It’s a train we’ve all hopped on in the last few years. There was a lot of hullabaloo in the beginning but eBooks truly do cut back on the stacks of books now piling up in resale shops across the country. If you’re an avid reader, then this is a big way you can make in impact.
5) Opt-out of gift wrapping.
The holidays are upon us. As you start to shop for gifts, look more to purchasing experiences rather than things. Experiences can’t be wrapped. Plus it’s one less thing-a-ma-jig your friend, sister, mother or uncle has to store in their overstuffed houses.
6) Replace plastic toothbrushes with bamboo brushes.
Bamboo is an amazing resource. It grows incredibly quick, at a rate of almost three feet per day. Plastic toothbrushes have to be replaced regularly to continue cleaning your teeth effectively. Instead of dumping more plastic sticks in the waste pile, choose bamboo.
7) Swap your tampons and pads for period panties and cups.
The average woman uses 240 tampons in a year. Then add on the use of pads for added protection on heavy days. With the simple switch to menstrual cups or the amazing period panties, you can not only cut back on your environmental impact but save money in the process.
8) Carry your own handkerchief.
Handkerchiefs are multipurpose tools for any person. Tissue turned hand towel turned snack saver. Handkerchiefs keep you waste free even while you’re out and about. Plus, you can feel legit with any cool style or print handkerchief that you desire.
9) Swap aluminum foil for moldable waxed fabric.
Most containers these days come with lids. But sometimes you need a lid that molds and fits to meet your needs. Aluminum has been a staple in households for years. Back in the day women would wash, save and reuse aluminum foil. But you can let that habit go to the wind because now you can use reusable waxed moldable fabric. How cool!
Making theses sustainable swaps can be challenging at first. It does require a few changes in habits. Maybe you’ll have to clean more tupperware, bags or cloth. But you’ll feel proud to do so since you’ll know you’re doing what you can to preserve our precious planet for generations to come.
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