12 Plastics To Ditch To Live A More Sustainable Life

12 Plastics To Ditch To Live A More Sustainable Life

Did you forget to reduce, reuse, and recycle?
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Society is constantly changing an improving, but we still tend to hang around plastic. So many eco-friendly options are becoming available, but people are still using items that we should've said no to from the start. Below, you will find plastic items that you can cut out of your life and what you can replace them with.

1. Straws.

I have preached this so hard to everyone around me. Cut straws out of your life. As a college student that eats on campus, we get drinks that come in paper cups, with a plastic lid and a straw. Why not use that paper cup like you use just about all of your cups? Drink right from the edge. Easy solution there. Are you picky though? "You don't know who has touched the rim of that cup." Well, think again, because I've heard all of the excuses.

You can use straws without using plastic. Surprise! Stainless steel straws exist, and they're here to change your life. They are reusable, and they come with a cleaner. Easy dishwashing on the go.

2. Plastic silverware.

Everyone needs to eat and unless you're at home, or at a restaurant, you're most likely using plastic utensils. Well not anymore, because I have two options for you. Silverware can be reusable and come in a case for storing, it all depends on whether you would rather use stainless steel, or bamboo.

3. Toothbrushes.

Your toothbrush needs to be replaced every 3 to 4 months. That is 3 or 4 times in a year. If you replace your toothbrush as often as you're supposed to, after 20 years that can add up to 60 toothbrushes. And that will go on for the rest of your life, and not just for you. But for everyone around you. Bamboo toothbrushes are completely sustainable, for you and the environment. If you want to go the extra step, you can even get a bamboo toothbrush infused with charcoal to get those pearly whites. Traveling? You can even get a bamboo case for your toothbrush

4. Grocery bags.

Do I really need to include a link? Your local grocery store is most likely selling reusable grocery bags. Invest in some, please.

5. Plastic bags in general.

Like I just said. Grocery bags can be used just about anywhere. If you bring a reusable bag into a store and kindly ask the cashier to put it in your bags, they won't turn you down.

6. Cling wrap.

Cling wrap can get pricey, and you might not even want to buy it. So here's a tutorial on how to make your own reusable cling wrap out of cloth.

If you're not as talented, or just lazy, click on this link and order it straight from the internet. The good news is, it's washable, reusable, and compostable.

7. Cotton pads.

No more taking off your makeup with a cotton pad and throwing it away. Use these makeup remover pads that you can put right in the wash with your other towels, and use the next day. If you're feeling extra fancy, they come in multiple colors.

Another alternative is to use coconut oil to take your makeup off. I just dip my finger in the container, and smooth it around my face and then use a normal washcloth to wipe the extra off. Coconut oil acts as a great moisturizer, so it won't hurt if you leave any on your face.

8. Dryer sheets.

Ditch those dryer sheets. Dryer balls are in. They don't just get the job done, but they reduce drying time and are reusable!

Not a fan of how large they are and still want to use dryer sheets. That's fine... as long as you use these compostable dryer sheets.

9. Water bottles.

This is another one I don't need to include a link for. If you're still going about your day without a reusable water bottle, you're wrong. You can go in just about any store and buy one, whether it's a reusable plastic, glass, or stainless steel water bottle. Even a reusable plastic water bottle is better than a single-use plastic water bottle.

10. Garbage bags.

Garbage bags are a thing you can't reuse. Instead, composting options are available. Hefty makes a compostable garbage bag. Hefty. You read that right. Not everything has to be a small name company where you're not really sure if you can trust it or not. And, they just so happen to be one of the cheapest options on Amazon.

11. Tupperware.

You get your bang for your buck with this glass Tupperware set. Plastic Tupperware isn't the worst thing you could do. It's still reusable. You might as well go big or go home. With glass Tupperware, you can put it in the oven to cook delicious dishes.

12. Packaged produce.

Please, start bringing your own containers to put food in. First off, it is so much healthier for you to buy fresh produce. Secondly, when you buy packaged produce, you're wasting so much plastic. Those bags that you would normally toss your apples and bananas in? They can be replaced. Bonus: they're machine washable. Buy reusable produce bags.


Some items really aren't reusable. I get that. When you're shopping for daily needs, look at what can be reused multiple times. Read the labels to see if it is machine safe to wash, or even if it's compostable. Composting can be a chore, but it will pay off in the long run.

The list could really go on and on and on and on and on. You may only be on this Earth for a few decades, but you might as well do what you can to save it for the future.

Cover Image Credit: Mali Maeder

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I'm A Christian And I Have A Tattoo

Stop judging me for it.
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Like most people, I turned 18 years old during the course of my senior year of high school.

I'll never forget the months prior to my birthday, though, because I spent hours making a decision that would be with me forever, the decision of where I would go to get my first tattoo and where that tattoo would go, and of course I spent a lot of time deciding on the font, the colors, and all of the other aspects of the tattoo I wanted.

Throughout this time, two things stood firm 1) the fact that I was going to get a tattoo, and 2) the six letter name that it would consist of.

Now, three years later, I'm 21 years old and I still get the occasional dirty look at church on Sunday or in line at Walmart, and more often than not this look is accompanied by the following words: “Why would you do that to your body when God says not to?"

A few weeks ago at a new church, a woman came up to me and said, “How can you consider yourself a Christian when you have that blasphemous thing on your foot?", I simply smiled at her and said: “God bless you, have a good week." I let it roll off of my back, I've spent the past three years letting it “roll off of my back"… but I think it's time that I speak up.

When I was 8 years old, I lost my sister.

She passed away, after suffering from Childhood Cancer for a great deal of my childhood. Growing up, she had always been my best friend, and going through life after she passed was hard because I felt like even though I knew she was with me, I didn't have something to visually tribute to her – a way to memorialize her.

I, being a Christian and believing in Heaven, wanted to show my sister who was looking down on me that even though she was gone – she could still walk with me every day. I wanted it for me, for her. I wanted to have that connection, for her to always be a part of who I am on the outside – just as much as she is a part of who I am on the inside.

After getting my tattoo, I faced a lot of negativity. I would have Leviticus 19:28 thrown in my face more times than I cared to mention. I would be frowned on by various friends, and even some family. I was told a few times that markings on my body would send me to hell – that was my personal favorite.

You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks on you: I am the LORD.
Leviticus 19:28

The more I heard these things, the more I wanted to scream. I didn't though. I didn't let the harsh things said about me and my choice change the love I have for the Lord, for my sister, or for the new precious memento on my left foot. I began to study my Bible more, and when I came to the verse that had been thrown in my face many times before – I came to a realization.

Reading the verses surrounding verse 28, I realized that God was speaking to the covenant people of Israel. He was warning them to stay away from the religious ways of the people surrounding them. Verse 28 wasn't directed to what we, in today's society, see as tattoos – it was meant in the context of the cultic practice of marking one's self in the realm of cultic worship.

26 "You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor practice divination or soothsaying. 27 You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard. 28 'You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD. 29 'Do not profane your daughter by making her a harlot, so that the land will not fall to harlotry and the land become full of lewdness. 30 'You shall keep My sabbaths and revere My sanctuary; I am the LORD. 31 'Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God."
Leviticus 19:26–31

The more I have studied my Bible over the past few years, the more I pity those who rely on one verse in the Old Testament to judge and degrade those, like myself, who made the decision to get a tattoo for whatever reason they may have for doing so.

This is because, you see, in the New Testament it is said that believers are not bound by the laws of the Old Testament – if we were, there would be no shellfish or pork on the menus of various Christian homes. While some see tattoos as a modification of God's creation, it could also be argued that pierced ears, haircuts, braces, or even fixing a cleft lip are no different.

24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor."
Galatians 3:24-25

In Galatians, we read that the Old Testament law was created to lead people to Jesus. However, we know that Jesus has come and died on the cross for our sins. He has saved us, therefore we are no longer held to this law in order to have a relationship with the Lord. Our relationship with Him comes from believing that Jesus came to Earth to die on a cross for our sins, and repenting of our sins – accepting Jesus as our Savior.

I am a Christian, I have a relationship with the Lord that is stronger than it has ever been, and - I HAVE A TATTOO.

I have a beautiful memento on my left foot that reminds me that my sister walks with me through every day of my life. She walked with me down the red carpet at my senior prom, she walked with me across the stage the day I graduated from high school, and she continues to be with me throughout every important moment of my life.

My tattoo is beautiful. My tattoo reminds me that I am never alone. My tattoo is perfect.

Stop judging me for it.

Cover Image Credit: Courtney Johnson

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The Pulse Affect

Where do we stand 2 years later?

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It's been 2 years since the infamous Pulse shooting and everyone, including myself, is still affected. I remember so clearly how I was too scared to go to any pride events afterward. I knew that's what the shooter wanted, was for us all to retreat back into the closest we so bravely came out of, but still, I couldn't bring myself to leave the bed.

The news had hit me harder than any of the previous shooting. While it was still a mass shooting such as what was happening at the schools, the target was more specific. He went in there with the mind of not just killing people, but people associated with the LGBT community. The scene was so horrible, that some of the first responders have even mentioned having PTSD still from the scene.

The news had sunk everyone's heart and many flocked to social media just to find out if friends were there or not. The toll was 49 innocent people who had lost their lives to a despicable individual I refuse to name. I feel he received too much attention in the media as it was.

It also didn't take long for the focus to switch from the victims to the "how could we prevent this"—which isn't a bad question, but the two sides who seemed to differ on opinions so much just turned it into yet another screaming match. That being said, those who weren't on the extreme end of it found themselves seeking comfort from each other. For many people, this attack did scare them, but I think within the horrifying event came a new sense of community.

For those who had family or friends that were victims of such an attack, my heart goes out to you. The mourning doesn't stop, and while I know there are no words that can be strung together to bring closure, I can show my support and continue to fight for equality and help educate whoever I can. The tragedy isn't something I wish on anyone, and the wound stills fresh to me despite not having any personal connections to anyone.

To end this story on a hopeful note, today people are doing positive things in honor of the victims of the pulse attack. One article writes about a couple who spends their time cleaning up the area of litter and mentions others donating money, objects, or their own time in hopes to help anyone in need. One direct quote from this article is "Last year, more than 2,500 people volunteered their time in support of Acts of Love and Kindness, and while there was no official tally yet for this year's outpouring, it seems likely that many will go uncounted."

I encourage people today to reach out to one another, no matter orientation or identity. Love one another and don't let things strip others of their human qualities. We are all human and have the ability to do good. The shooting was tragic, but we should not let it keep us from celebrating who we are and embracing each other with open arms. Don't let the worlds hate scare you or stifle your creativity. We will not let anyone push us back into the dark, no better their best effort. Live on and keep your heart open to love.

Cover Image Credit:


https://www.pexels.com/photo/people-gathered-near-building-holding-flag-at-daytime-919194/

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