You’d be surprised how many ways plastic masquerades as a necessity. Like, how did I really make it multiple decades just accepting that dish soap must come in liquid form, in a squeezable, plastic bottle? No more, my friends! Below are eleven effortless lifestyle trades that can help you reduce your plastic waste, and help keep our waterways clean! If even one of these works for you, commit to it this year. The present moment is always the time for new beginnings and resolutions!
1. Toss Tampons for Period Panties
This one is for all humans who menstruate! There are lots of options for moving toward zero waste during your periods, including menstrual cups, or decidedly plastic-free menstrual products from companies like Mondays, but the best solution for some has turned out to be period panties. Find a style that suits you from Thinx or TomboyX!
2. Chuck Liquid Detergent for Laundry Sheets
When your detergent comes in a compressed sheet, you can fit a whole lot of portions in a cardboard envelope, and it barely weighs a thing. That means a lot less shipping pollution, not to mention zero waste from packaging. The pack fits right in your laundry basket and goes in the recycling bin when it’s empty. Check out the laundry sheets from Earth Breeze and free yourself from heavy jugs and bulky boxes!
3. Switch Your Dish Soap From Bottle to Bar
Much like laundry detergent, it turns out there’s no rule that says dish soap has to be liquid. And when you use Canary Clean, you’ll find it sudses up just the same, without any refilling of bottles, nor a single stitch of plastic. Run it under the faucet to fill a soap sink, or lather your sponge against the bar. Once you find yourself a fancy soap dish, you’ll never go back!
4. Upgrade To A Bamboo Toothbrush
After you’ve worn out the plastic one you have now, switch to bamboo! Try one from this woman and POC owned, 1 Percent For The Planet company, Mama P! The different colors on the handles of their brushes correlate to the social justice nonprofits those brushes support. Pretty cool!
5. Swap Toothpaste for Tablets
Another thing that can be shipped and packaged without added water is tooth "paste" in tab form. Just chew, brush, and spit as usual, minus the plastic tube! Try Bite for their “bits”, and other cool plastic-free dental care like floss in a glass jar!
6. Trade In All the Glitter in Your Life For Micas
The problem of microplastics in our waterways is getting scary. And it was a sad day when we were told glitter was a culprit. Fortunately, glitter is yet another thing that doesn’t need to be plastic! From makeup to cocktails, micas and oxides have got you covered! And why settle for regular glitter when you could be putting micas in your champagne and pretending you’re a goddess? Try edible “Prism Powder” from Fancy Sprinkles, or compostable craft glitter from the Package Free Shop.
7. Say No to Tea Bags and Get an Infuser
Surprise! Standard single use tea bags aren’t biodegradable! I know, that’s not a very happy surprise. But, fortunately, it’s inexpensive and indulgent to steep your own loose leaf tea. Just once, buy yourself an infuser, and then the world becomes your tea shop. You can always shop custom blends from nearby teamakers, but you can also mix your own! A simple copper piece like the one pictured above is easy to fill, use, and clean - Or better yet, take yourself down an Etsy rabbit hole and support a creator! We love the crystal infusers from Loveyenergy.
8. Ditch Plastic Straws Forever and Go Glass
It’s all been said, but #savetheturtles, right? These handmade glass straws from DrinkingStraws.Glass can come etched, accented, or personalized! Borosilicate glass doesn’t transfer heat like a metal straw, so you won’t burn your lips on your hot coffee, and it is extremely durable, so no need to stress about broken glass in your bag! Plus, their travel and cleaning kits make reusable straw life easy as pie.
9. Quit Liquid Shampoo & Conditioner
It’s easy when there’s a replacement like the Roses of Highgarden Solid Shampoo & Conditioner! And with just one dashing scarlet bar on the ledge, you’ll never miss the cacophonous clatter of plastic shampoo, body wash, and conditioner bottles toppling over in the shower.
10. Concentrate Your Cleaners
Created by a young entrepreneur with bad allergies and a hope to save the world from single-use plastics, Elcove's body-safe home cleaning products aren’t plastic-free, but they are plastic-smart. Concentrated refills save on shipping emissions by letting you add the water at home, and reusable bottles limit plastic waste. Plus, they give 1% To The Planet!
11. Shop Local, Or Shop From Sustainable Companies
One simple way to reduce waste is to shop local whenever possible. You can reduce carbon emissions by walking or biking, skip packaging and shipping waste, and bring a tote bag from home! But when you need to have something delivered, you always have the option of choosing to support a company that strives to be a force of good in the world. You can intentionally shop from B Corporations and companies that give 1 Percent To The Planet by using their search directories!
Every day is a new day, another chance to change the world. It takes all of us, the consumers and the creators, to choose sustainability. Here’s to a new year of new opportunities to do good. Cheers!