If you pause for a moment and try to calculate the amount of plastic currently found in your home, you may be quite shocked. We are all guilty of using more plastic than we need to. And while we can’t always avoid it, there are ways to reduce plastic use in your home. Here are ten of them:
1. Don’t Use Plastic Food Containers
Start by eliminating plastic food containers from your home. Instead, store your food in plastic-free containers. You can use glass or reusable wax wraps, depending on the item.
2. Don’t Buy in Plastic
A lot of the foods we buy come in plastic containers that we have zero use for afterwards. Whenever you can, buy items in bulk and without the plastic. Measure out your own fruits and veggies, use refillable containers, or skip the plastic bag and just stick the barcode on the item itself when possible. Ask your local store how you can shop with them without buying anything in plastic.
3. Change Your Mattress
Your current mattress may contain plastic elements that help it sustain its shape or that help keep it safe during a fire. If this is the case, look into a naturally made fiberglass free mattress that will be just as safe but that will also be kinder on your skin and better for the environment.
4. Stop Drinking from Plastic Bottles
Plastic bottles are probably at the top of the list of plastic items we have in our homes. Make a conscious choice to stop using them completely. Get yourself a water bottle, and buy items in glass, cardboard, or cans. Take a drink with you when leaving the house, so you don’t have to buy a plastic bottle of water when you’re out and about.
5. Don’t Use Straws
If you like to use a straw for your favorite beverage, you can find a plastic-free alternative that you can either reuse or recycle. There are glass or metal straws you can wash, which would be the ideal solution. Alternatively, if you hate the idea of using the same straw twice, there are recyclable cardboard ones.
6. Reconsider Your Takeout
A lot of takeout comes in plastic containers or with a lot of styrofoam or paper waste. Consider cutting down on the number of times you order in. Make your own meals instead. It will be healthier and more affordable, and you can even make it quicker than takeout if you prepare a 15-minute easy meal for yourself. You can also consider a delivery service that doesn’t use plastic.
7. Buy Soaps
While a lot of shower, bath, and hair products now come in recyclable packaging, you can take your efforts a step further by purchasing a bar of soap instead of a shower gel. There are shampoos and conditioners in soap form as well, and brands like Lush and The Body Shop also offer reusable containers you can take to the store to refill instead of ordering a new product.
8. Reconsider Your Cleaning Tools
There are plenty of cleaning items you can also swap out for greener alternatives. For example, you can use natural sponges instead of wet wipes for cleaning. You can also get wool dryer balls instead of dryer paper, and it will make your laundry just as fresh. Get rid of any single-use cleaning items and invest in those made from natural materials that you can wash and reuse multiple times.
9. Don’t Use Plastic Bags in the Trash Can
Handling the trash can be difficult without a plastic bag. If you can, create a compost bin outdoors, where you can get rid of the majority of your food-related waste. You can also line your trash can with paper bags if you make sure you manage your bin better so that there are no leaks.
10. Say No to Fast Fashion
The clothes we wear are often the biggest contributor to global warming. Instead of buying more affordable items from popular brands, invest in high-quality pieces made from natural materials that will last you decades. Create a capsule wardrobe that you will be proud of, and don’t be afraid of the higher price tag. It will be worth it in the long run.
Every small step you take towards reducing the amount of plastic in your home will pay off over time. Look around you and pick a place to start.
By Sarah Kaminski
Sarah is a life enjoyer, positivity seeker, and a curiosity enthusiast. She is passionate about an eco-friendly lifestyle and adores her cats. She is an avid reader who loves to travel when time allows.