11 Easy and Sustainable Swaps to Reduce Single-Use Plastic

“We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly”
– @zerowastechef

This year my eyes were opened to HOW MUCH PLASTIC I was really wasting and how much I would only use ONCE. It was crazy. I started doing some research, swapping out items, and changing my habits. By no means am I perfect or zero-waste, but I truly believe that, “No one is perfect, but the world deserves our best effort”

No Shame. No guilt. Just do your best.

“There’s a lot of guilt and shame that surrounds people who aren’t perfectly zero waste. So you forget your reusable bags or use a plastic straw now and then. That’s not the point of the movement. Doing your best to care for the planet is.

I’ve noticed that it can shame people right out of trying at all. They’re embarrassed for not being perfect so what’s the point? And don’t even get me started on shaming people who still eat meat.

We shouldn’t be putting people down who are trying to be better. We should be encouraging them.”

Source: Why the zero waste movement isn’t sustainable

1.Toss the tinfoil and parchment paper

silicone baking sheet sustainable alternatives to single use plastic
Image source: Apartment Therapy

“A silicone baking mat can see more than 2,000 uses in the oven before it starts to show signs of age. Even the best, most high-quality parchment paper can only be reused about four times before it becomes soiled, greasy, or too crumbled to bake on.” thekitchn.com

2. Buy in bulk

You can bring your own glass or plastic containers to most stores. Just weigh your containers before you put anything in them, so you can pay the right amount, and fill up!

3. Use reusable produce bags

I was already bringing reusable grocery bags to the store so why not bring reusable produce bags? I love not having to search for the produce plastic bag dispenser.

Pictured product: Simple Ecology mesh produce bags

4. Bring your own shopping bag

grocery bag sustainable alternatives to single use plastic

This has become a really popular since many grocery stores now charge for plastic bags.

5. Take a sip with a metal, glass, or cardboard straw

metal straws sustainable alternatives to single use plastic
Image source: The CUT

For matcha and smoothies at home or us a portable to be prepared for drinks on the go!

6. Use reusable lunch bowls on the go

porter ceramic bowl sustainable alternatives to single use plastic

Think ahead head and packing a portable lunch instead of buying lunch wrapped in plastic and to-go containers at work or at the airport.

7. Carry a reusable water bottle

reusable water bottle porter water bottle glass sustainable alternatives to single use plastic

Pack it for travel or in your gym bag so you don’t have to purchase and throw away ANOTHER plastic water bottle.

8. Ditch your zip-lock bags

stasher bags sustainable alternatives to single use plastic

Everything you use ziplocks bags for, you can replace them with these and do even MORE with them. Dishwasher, oven, microwave safe, and ready for the fridge and freezer.

9. Invest in glass storage containers

glass containers sustainable alternatives to single use plastic

The next time you run out of something plastic or disposable, try replacing it with one of the more environmentally friendly options below. Make sure you get some that are microwave and oven safe so it’s easier to warm up food.

10. Replace your plastic wrap with bees wax wrap

bees wax wrap sustainable alternatives to single use plastic

“The way it works is that the warmth of your hands softens the wrap, and when it cools, it hardens and creates a natural seal. You can wrap any type of food with it or use it to place over bowls and dishes. Use it the same as you would with regular plastic wrap or tin foil, minus the waste.”

11. Toss out the dryer sheets

wool dryer balls sustainable alternatives to single use plastic
Image source: dhgate

Wool dryer Balls are a natural fabric softener that will substitute the need for dryer sheets, plastic dryer balls, and/or liquid fabric softeners in plastic bottles.

Do you have any more to add to the list? Share with me over on my Instagram!

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