We are always looking for ways to live more sustainably. There are numerous ways to reduce our carbon footprints, specifically the amount of plastic waste we produce in our everyday lives. Here we will explore some simple changes that can go a long way in being kinder to our planet (and our wallets!).
First, try switching shampoos. If you read the back of your shampoo bottle, water is most likely the first or second ingredient. You already pay a water bill, why pay for shampoo that is mostly water? We have switched to shampoo bars. There is no unnecessary water used, and it comes in small paper packaging. We have been using ethique and J.R. Liggett’s brands, and each bar is the equivalent of 2-3 bottles.
Secondly, invest in reusable storage bags and plastic wrap. Stasher and rezip bags are great. However, if you are using a dishwasher, I prefer the Stasher bags as the rezip bags may melt. And, to replace your everyday plastic wrap, try Bee’s wrap food wraps. It uses the warmth from your hands to fit snuggly around bowls and foods, which eliminates the drama of trying to get the plastic wrap to stop sticking to itself.
One of the easiest changes you can make (and probably already have) is to invest in reusable or canvas grocery bags. But another bag you may not have thought about is produce bags. There are numerous kinds, but I like the mesh ones best. You can purchase them, or you can reuse the ones that limes, sweet potatoes, and other foods often come in.
For some people, eliminating straws all together may be an easy way to reduce their plastic waste output, but it’s pretty impossible with a toddler in the house. We have been using stainless steel straws the last few months and love them! You never run out, they can be cleaned in the dishwasher, and they make a great addition to any holiday gift bag. We got ours at Richmond’s Ellwood Thompson’s smoothie bar. They have them for one dollar each, which is cheaper than a lot of the ones you will find on Amazon. I like that they are straight; the bent ones seem like they would be harder to clean, especially if you were using them for smoothies, pulpy juices, or milks.
Lastly, we bought a soda stream over a year ago and it has eliminated so much plastic and aluminum waste in our house. We use it mainly for seltzer water, but you can purchase syrups to make more soda-style beverages too. Our toddler loves having some bubble water with a splash of juice or squeezed lemon. The cartridges are refillable, and not terribly expensive to switch out.
These are just some of the simple lifestyle changes we can all make to reduce the impact we have on the planet. It takes some time to create new habits, but once they are made, it’s easy not to look back. With New Years’ right around the corner, making a resolution to reduce our plastic use is an achievable goal.
Bees Wrap: https://www.amazon.com/stores/page/8FB1D7E6-E0B3-4EA0-85EC-D76CAF8BC039?store_ref=SB_A05851573D8QQF0KV6XFZ&pf_rd_p=3ff6092e-8451-438b-8278-7e94064b4d42&hsa_cr_id=8617979950201&lp_slot=auto-sparkle-hsa-tetris&lp_asins=B0126LMDFK,B017MAAD5C,B017MAGYVY&lp_mat_key=bees%20wrap&lp_query=bees%20wrap
Rezip Bags: https://www.amazon.com/stores/page/3572B21B-BD56-4F87-82D9-E0454699F047?store_ref=SB_A05095261ZUPKRVNZUTBU&pf_rd_p=3ff6092e-8451-438b-8278-7e94064b4d42&hsa_cr_id=3298630130701&lp_slot=auto-sparkle-hsa-tetris&lp_asins=B01KRCRXG4,B01KRA981E,B01M4K2SZD&lp_mat_key=rezip&lp_query=rezip%20reusable%20storage%20bags&sb-ci-n=headline&sb-ci-v=Lightweight%2C%20flexible%2C%20leakproof%2C%20reusable%20storage
Ethique Products: https://www.amazon.com/stores/page/1DB016FB-4188-4A58-B6DD-84AA5D2ADCAF?store_ref=SB_A0145704J16M8N3T6DSU&pf_rd_p=3ff6092e-8451-438b-8278-7e94064b4d42&hsa_cr_id=7412765490301&lp_slot=auto-sparkle-hsa-tetris&lp_asins=B07571LXYD,B0761X424Q,B079SKBXTP&lp_mat_key=ethique%20shampoo%20bar&lp_query=ethique%20shampoo%20bar&sb-ci-n=headline&sb-ci-v=Plastic%20Free%20Beauty%20in%20a%20Clever%20Little%20Bar