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 The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Abortion Bans Are Only A Small Part Of The Republican War On Women

These bans expose the Republican Party for what it truly is.

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This week, several states passed laws that ban abortion after six to eight weeks of pregnancy, before most women even know that they're pregnant. The most egregious of these is Alabama — the state has banned abortion except for in cases of danger to the mother. Exceptions in the cases of rape and incest were actively voted against by the state legislature. Under the new law, any doctor who is caught giving an abortion would be sentenced to 99 years in prison, and the woman would be charged with murder.

Apart from the fact that this explicitly violates the decision of Roe v. Wade (which is the point), this is only a small part of the slow but steady degradation of women's rights by Republicans in the United States. To anyone who believes that this is simply about people being "pro-life" or "saving the children," then tell them to look at what happens after the fetus is carried to term.

Republicans oppose forcing fathers to be involved in the lives of their children that were forcibly carried to term, desires to cut food stamps and make it more difficult to feed said child, cut funding for affordable housing to make it more difficult for them to find homes, cut spending to public education so these children can't move up the social ladder, and refuse to offer the woman or her child health insurance to keep them both healthy. What about efforts to prevent pregnancy? Republicans also oppose funding birth control and contraception, as well as opposing comprehensive sexual education. To them, the only feasible solution is to simply keep your legs shut. They oppose all of these things because it is, in their eyes, a violation of individual rights to force people to do something. The bill also makes women who get abortions felons, and felons can't vote. I'll let you finish putting those two together.

If you view it from this framework, it would seem like Republicans are being extremely hypocritical by violating the personal freedoms of pregnant women, but if you look at it from the view of restricting social mobility for women, then it makes perfect sense. The Republican dogma of "individual rights" and "personal responsibility" is a socially acceptable facade that they use to cover up their true intentions of protecting the status quo and protect those in power. About any Republican policy, ask yourself: does this disperse power or consolidate it? Whether it be education, healthcare, the environment, or the economy, Republicans love to keep power away from the average citizen and give it to the small number of people that they deem "deserving" of it because of their race, gender, wealth, or power. This is the case with abortion as well; Power is being taken from women, and being given back to men in a reversal of the Feminist Movement of the 1970s.

Republicans don't believe in systemic issues. They believe that everyone has the same opportunity to succeed regardless of what point they started. This is why they love capitalism so much. It acts as some sort of great filter in which only those who deserve power can make it to the top. It's also why they hate social policies; they think that helping people who can't help themselves changes the hierarchy in a negative way by giving people who don't "deserve" power, power. Of course, we know that just because you have money and power doesn't mean you earned it fair and square, and even if Republicans believe it, it wouldn't change anything because it wouldn't change how they want to distribute power.

In short, Republican policies, including abortion, leave the average American with less money, less protection, less education, worse health, less opportunity, fewer rights, and less freedom. This is NOT a side effect. This is the point. Regardless of what Republicans will tell you about "inalienable rights" and how everyone is equal, in reality, they believe that some people and groups are more deserving of rights than others, and the group that deserves rights the most are the ones "that will do the best with them." To Republicans, this group consists of the wealthy, the powerful, and the white — the mega-rich, the CEOs of large companies, gun owners and Christians.

So, who do Republicans think deserve power and give it to? People who look and think like them. This, however, begs the question: Who do they want to take it from?

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