12 Simple Swaps For A More Sustainable Lifestyle
Friendships

12 Simple Swaps For A More Sustainable Lifestyle

Just say no to single-use products.

103

A lot of establishments are beginning to ban straws after a viral video surfaced of a straw being removed from the nostril of a sea turtle. However, banning straws is just the start of a much bigger plastic problem. As consumers, we usually don't think twice about the multitude of ways we use disposable plastic products, which is something that needs to change. By making just a few lifestyle changes, you can be on your way to saving the earth from our society's plastic addiction.

1. Swap plastic water bottles for reusable glass or metal bottles.

In the United States, more than 60 million plastic water bottles are thrown away every day. These water bottles end up in landfills where they take more than 450 years to decompose. With statistics like these, swapping a plastic bottle for a reusable bottle is a no-brainer.

2. Swap plastic cutlery for bamboo or metal cutlery.

While there is not much you can do about the mass amounts of restaurants that offer plastic cutlery to customers, you can always say no when the products are offered to you. You can find really affordable alternatives on Amazon instead. If carrying around your own forks and knives that you have to take home to wash isn't for you, you can also find edible and compostable cutlery to solve this same problem.

3. Swap plastic wrap for a beeswax alternative.

This is a super easy swap that can actually save you some money in the long run. Beeswax wrap has become increasingly popular and for a good reason. Instead of being a single-use product like plastic wrap, beeswax wrap is a reusable piece of fabric that is coated in beeswax to help mold it to the container you wish to cover. It can be easily cleaned after each use, meaning buying plastic wrap can be a thing of the past.

4. Swap plastic straws for reusable straws.

While there are both advantages and disadvantages to the ban on straws, it has become a starting point for many consumers who were unaware of the consequences of their plastic consumption. If you just can't seem to say no to straws altogether, reusable metal, silicone and glass straws are readily available for a reasonable price. Sure it may seem like a hassle to have to carry around your own straw, but what seems like a small annoyance to you can help make a big difference.

5. Swap plastic toothbrushes for bamboo toothbrushes.

Have you ever thought about all of the toothbrushes you have used in your life? It's recommended that you replace your toothbrush every three months. Even though a toothbrush seems like such a small thing, over the years the number of toothbrushes thrown away adds up without you ever really thinking about it. The next time you go to replace your toothbrush try a more sustainable alternative instead. Bamboo toothbrushes are one of the most popular options, however, there are also alternatives, like the Bogobrush, made from a compostable bioplastic if a wooden toothbrush isn't something you think you would want to use.

6. Swap plastic shopping bags for reusable bags.

Swapping a plastic grocery bag for a reusable bag is one of the easiest changes you can make. Unless you live in a place like Chicago and California where they charge a bag tax, you may not really think much about all of the plastic bags you are using. So many grocery stores sell reusable bags at the checkout lanes or even offer a discount for using your own bags, making buying and using reusable bags pretty easy and affordable. While it may seem inconvenient at first, the simple switch means that there are less plastic bags floating around in our oceans.

7. Swap plastic produce bags for reusable mesh bags.

Just like grocery bags, there is an alternative to produce bags. They make produce bags in all sizes and colors, making it easy to find a bag that works for you. Plus you don't have to worry about any of the mystery chemicals used to produce the plastic produce bags.

8. Swap plastic food packaging for bulk shopping.

Shopping in bulk isn't one of the easiest things to do. Sometimes it's hard to even find a place that offers bulk shopping, or the idea of bulk shopping may just seem out of your price range. However, some grocery stores offer a bulk section with pretty competitive prices when compared with traditional packaged food. Even if you can't buy everything in bulk, the little that you can is able to make a big difference.

9. Swap plastic snack bags for reusable snack bags.

When I used to pack my lunch for school I was using plastic baggies pretty frequently. While it may seem handy, they are also terrible for the environment. Instead of using the single-use plastic baggies, switch to a fabric snack bag instead. Sure, it's a little more work to clean the bags between usage, but you should feel better knowing you aren't adding another plastic bag into the landfills.

10. Swap makeup removing wipes and for reusable alternatives.

The next time you need to take your makeup off, reach for a reusable makeup round instead of a makeup wipe or cotton round. Typically reusable makeup rounds come in their own little bag that makes cleaning in the laundry a breeze and cuts down on the amount of waste you produce every time you take off your makeup.

11. Swap disposable coffee cups for reusable cups.

As a college student, I drink a lot of coffee. Normally that would mean a lot of plastic and paper cups getting thrown away. However, coffee shops like Starbucks offer incentives to change this. Every time you use your own cup, they offer a $0.10 discount on your drink. Not only are you reducing waste, but you're saving money too, making using your own cup a no-brainer.

12. Swap single-use paper baking cups for reusable silicone cups.

Buying reusable baking cups really isn't any more expensive than the paper cups, but instead of throwing them away each time, you are able to reuse them. If you love to bake but don't love the trash it makes, switching to reusable silicone baking cups is the best thing you can do.

Even if you only choose to make one of the above sustainable changes, you should still feel good about the amount of trash you are saving from ending up in a landfill.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

For a long time, Goya has been a staple in some Latino households. People carry around jars of Adobo when they eat at friend's houses and packets of Sazón Goya can be found in almost everyone's pantry. Many BuzzFeed lists, videos, and memes aimed at Latinos reference Goya somewhere.

But in a year that just keeps hitting us with bad news, Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue said that Trump was an "incredible builder" and that the US was "blessed" to have him as president at a White House event on Thursday.

Keep Reading... Show less

Honey has been a staple in my Ayurvedic skincare routine since I was a kid and my grandmother used to make me homemade paste-like face masks by mixing chickpea flour, turmeric, honey, and yogurt together.

I now use honey head to toe — on my hair to make it extra shiny, on my face for its natural smoothing and anti-bacterial properties, and the rest of my body for its extreme textural and brightening benefits. Some people even use it on their armpits for honey's lightening effect on the skin.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

People Are Eating Salads For Breakfast, And It's About Time

As Americans we know we all need to eat more fruits and veggies, why not do it at breakfast?

I first started seeing a dietitian in late 2017. At the time, I was the heaviest I've ever been at about 210 lbs. At the first appointment, my dietitian asked me to record what I ate in a food diary so she could better understand my habits and give me better direction in changing my lifestyle. I did exactly that and returned a week later, diary in hand. After a cursory glance at the pages, she first remarked at how few fruits and vegetables I ate. Deep down I had already known that, but what I didn't know then was that I was far from being alone in that respect. According to a Times article, about 90 percent of Americans don't consume enough fruits and vegetables to meet current dietary guidelines. It's hardly rocket science as to why that is — many of our diets consist mainly of carbs and non-planted based protein. This isn't to say that carbs and protein are the devils; they're both parts of a balanced diet. However, vegetables and fruit are also part of a balanced diet — a part that often gets neglected. So, when I see people on Instagram eating salad for breakfast, I think to myself "It's about time!"

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Founders Of Color Q&A: Yarlap's MaryEllen Reider On Destigmatizing Women's Health

The father-daughter duo co-founded the brand and has since generated a passionate, dedicated community of women.

MaryEllen Reider

I was lucky enough to meet MaryEllen Reider over a decade ago as a fellow freshman in college. Since then, I had the luxury of being able to witness her evolution from the faithful companion I went to my first job fair with to the woman who is now a pioneer in destigmatizing the portrayal of women's reproductive health.

Keep Reading... Show less

My favorite Editor was feeling under the weather yesterday. All I wanted was to make her a vegan iced matcha latte. With distance forbidding it, I instead decided to write up this quick, easy recipe. I made it to be vegan and organic for optimal health benefits.

Matcha green tea is made from grounded green tea leaf and it comes with the most antioxidant boost ever.

Keep Reading... Show less

This coffee brand is USDA organic. Newman's Own Keurig coffee flavors are all organic. They have French Roast, Decaf, and a Special Blend. I'm in a committed relationship with the French Roast flavor. The smell alone from dispensing 1 cup of coffee sets a whole cafe jazz vibe.

I'm already relaxed when I smell the coffee all ready for dressing. The way I make my coffee is simple and sweet, literally. I add a spoon of organic brown sugar and a splash of organic almond vanilla milk. This cup of coffee has changed my life forever. I have never been so productive in my life and I truly believe it's because the coffee is organic.

Keep Reading... Show less

These organic, cruelty-free skincare products are great for hot, sweaty summers. I use them every day, so you will find my honest opinion about them all. I highly recommend using organic products because they are least likely to be harmful to your body.

This may seem like an extra step when it comes to your beauty routine, but it's really easy. These 5 products could be the start of your next beauty venture.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments