Plastic is a practically unavoidable part of our daily lives. If you look around you right now, you’ll probably see something containing some form of plastic.
From plastic bottles to plastic bags and microplastics, plastic is one of the most prevalent materials in the world today. However, unlike other materials, plastic does not biodegrade, and as such, is becoming very damaging to the environment. Our seas, landfills, and even drinking water are all filled with plastic.
Thankfully, due to increasing awareness of the damage plastic does to our health and the environment, more and more plastic-free alternatives are becoming available. We can all do our bit for the planet by replacing our plastic products, particularly those that are single-use and using products that are made out of environmentally friendly materials. These products are often more durable, too, so you’ll save money in the long run!
Stainless Steel Straws
As we all know, single-use plastic straws are a huge part of the plastic problem. Many cities, states, and businesses have made moves to ban them entirely. However, the disposable alternative, paper straws, is not ideal for many as they tend to become soggy and fall apart easily. A stainless steel straw is a cheap, reusable alternative to single-use plastic and paper straws.
Reusable Coffee Cups
Over 16 billion disposable coffee cups are used every year. They aren’t recyclable due to the plastic lamination on the inside of the cups. A great and easy solution to this is to get a reusable coffee cup. These will last you a long time and come in a range of materials such as stainless steel or ceramic.
What’s more, many coffee places will give you a discount for using your own reusable cup instead of a disposable one! They can also be a cute accessory as you can get all sorts of patterns and colors.
Plastic-Free Shaving Brush
A plastic-free shaving brush is a great alternative to disposable plastic razors, electric razors, and traditional shaving brushes. Disposable razors are, of course, highly damaging to the environment as they can only be used for a few shaves before needing to be replaced, and, while longer-lasting, electric razors will also eventually need to be replaced, and so will ultimately end up in a landfill.
Traditional shaving brushes are more durable but still often have plastic handles and bristles that will not biodegrade if they do ever break or get thrown out. However, a plastic-free shaving brush is a great option that will last you a long time, and as it is made of natural materials, it will naturally degrade if it is ever thrown away.
Bamboo cutlery is a great alternative to plastic cutlery for when you’re on the go. This travel set contains a bamboo knife, fork, and spoon that all come in a handy pouch. Bamboo is ideal for reusable travel cutlery as it is more lightweight and durable than wood and, of course, more environmentally friendly than traditional single-use plastic cutlery.
So, if you travel a lot, be sure to get yourself a good set of bamboo cutlery!
Single-use plastic grocery bags are one of the easiest yet also one of the most impactful items you can replace with a plastic-free alternative. Although you may already own some canvas or other reusable bags, it’s important to have a wide selection, so you always have enough bags on hand to avoid using disposable bags completely.
It’s common for shoppers to get caught short at the store and have to resort to plastic bags, as they have forgotten their trusty reusable bag or perhaps don’t have enough of them to pack all their items. So, make sure you have a good selection of reusable bags for all your shopping needs so you can successfully cut plastic out of your trip to the store.
Reusable Water Bottles
Single-use plastic water bottles are a huge contributor to the plastic pollution problem. Over 50 billion are used every year in the US alone, and it’s totally unnecessary as the water quality is no better than tap water. If you are concerned about your water quality, you can put your tap water through a water filter rather than buy bottled water.
Whether you decide to filter your water or not, the best way to take your water around with you during the day is in a reusable water bottle. Like reusable coffee cups, reusable water bottles come in a variety of materials and styles and are more practical, cheaper, and more environmentally friendly than disposable ones.
Swap Bottled Shampoo for Bar Shampoo
Bar shampoo is a great alternative to traditional bottled shampoo. It may sound unusual or difficult to use, but it’s actually just a case of massaging the bar into your scalp and getting up a good lather, much like regular shampoo. They’re also super convenient because you can simply grab one and use it, and then put it straight back again.
No packaging means less fuss. They’re also more convenient to travel with than traditional shampoo, as there’s no chance of leakage. If you’re worried about putting a wet bar back into your toiletries bag, you can always get a reusable travel case to carry your shampoo bar in.
What’s more, shampoo bars are often made of all-natural ingredients and are usually free from plastic microbeads, which are small beads of plastic found in many beauty products that often end up in the ocean, work their way up the food chain, and eventually end up in our own food and water supplies.
You Can Make a Difference!
Even if you pick just one plastic-free alternative from this list, you will be making a difference. It’s practically impossible to cut out plastic from our lives completely, but we can all do our best to make small changes that will hopefully add up to something bigger.
Remember, where you spend your money helps businesses to decide what products to invest in and research, so vote with your dollar by buying plastic-free products!