It’s no secret that our less-than-sustainable choices affect our own health and that of the planet. We are producing over 300 million tons of plastic every year, 50% of which is for single-use purposes – meaning it’s used for just a few moments, but is on the planet for several hundred years. And studies have shown that all that plastic storing our food, beauty products and beyond is having adverse effects on our health.
That plastic grocery bag you tossed after its quick commute from the store to your home? Waste Management tells us that it’s one of 14 billion used in the U.S. each year.
I’m generally eco-conscious, but over the last year I’ve really tried to be more thoughtful about the way my habits affect my wallet, health and more broadly, the planet. Most of us are guilty of popping leftovers inside plastic bags, and often, a quick paper towel grab turns into ten. After all, what’s so hard about reaching for that glass food storage container or using the washable dishrag? It’s easy to think that making more sustainable choices will be expensive or a pain, but the reality is that once you’ve made the swaps and get in the habit of using them, it actually saves money. Plus, my favorite sustainable practice costs nothing at all – using what you already have.
As I’ve slowly made swaps for my once disposable items, I’ve seen that living a more sustainable lifestyle really doesn’t need to be overwhelming. There are small changes everyone can make! Read on for 10 accessible and easy swaps you can make for a healthier home and planet.
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1. Swap plastic baggies for snack containers or washable baggies.
2. Swap plastic wrap for beeswax wrap.
3. Swap your to-go coffee cup with one you bring from home.
4. Swap dryer sheets for dryer balls.
5. Swap single use cleaners for refillable, eco-friendly products.
6. Swap plastic straws for bringing your own (or skipping one altogether).
7. Swap plastic water bottles and refill a reusable one.
8. Swap plastic bags at the grocery store for reusable canvas & produce bags.
9. Swap cotton balls for washable rounds to remove makeup and apply toners.
10. Swap paper towels for recycable bamboo towelettes or a washable dishrag.
Do you have any favorite products that have made cutting down on waste a little easier?