Inside Scoop: Here are 10 practical plastic-free replacements to green up your house and your life.
This post was submitted by Sophia Smith, beauty and style blogger, an eco-lifestyle lover, graphic designer and a DIY enthusiast. .
Wherever you look, there’s yet another convenient, cheap, albeit temporary plastic product or item on every store shelf around. Be it the wrapping on the cookies you enjoy, or the bottle of juice you got for the kids, this man-made nature pollutant has become so prevalent in our lives that we no longer notice it’s there. Sometimes it’s almost unavoidable.
And that’s precisely the problem. We’ve oversaturated the environment beyond any reason or sense, and we now need to find more eco-conscious ways to shop, ways to reduce our waste and more ways to help protect our precious planet. If you’re still new to the practice, here are some of the most common alternatives around that you can easily use instead of plastic.
10 plastic-free replacements
1. Stainless steel straws
We’ve all been to our favorite beach only to find it riddled with plastic straws peaking from every little mound of sand around, so we kindly pick them up in the hopes that others will follow suit. But, you can do much more than that when you cut out their use from your life completely, which is precisely what so many brands have also done.
Major hotel chains such as Hilton as well as coffee shops the likes of Starbucks have finally decided to swap their plastic for biodegradable straws. You, on the other hand, can use stainless steel straws at home, and ask if a coffee shop offers them instead of the plastic.
2. Bamboo-made toothbrushes
If you keep up with what your dentist has been telling you all these years, then you’ve religiously replaced your toothbrush every two to three months, right? Well, in that case, what do you think happens to all of that plastic?
Swap your regular toothbrush for a bamboo variety that is as effective as the regular model, and far easier on the environment. Some brands even offer you to subscribe to that regular plastic-free replacement so that you don’t have to worry about that, either.
3. Reusable shopping bags
We’ve all been in that stage of our life when we would hoard plastic bags in the kitchen cabinets as if our lives depended on the practice. As more markets and shops start reducing and removing plastic bags from use entirely, you can go for reusable, organic produce bags that can last you a lifetime with proper care.
4. Stainless steel water bottles
Millions of plastic water bottles end up polluting the oceans and rivers, making them one of the key culprits of our pollution crisis. However, you can instead use drink bottles made of stainless steel that also preserve the ideal temperature of your beverages. They can be used to keep your water fresh and cool in the summer heat, and your coffee hot in the cold months of winter. All without wreaking havoc on Mother Nature.
5. Beeswax wrap
Instead of those standard plastic wraps we love using to keep our food fresh and to prevent the fridge to be contaminated with a range of different odors, use beeswax-infused wrap which can be washed and reused for up to a year with proper care. You can even make your own using this DIY tutorial from Good Housekeeping. Beeswax wrap image source.
6. Wood hangers
Like to keep your clothes neat and crease or wrinkle-free? Then ditch those plastic hangers and use these wooden ones instead, as the most sensible way to organize your wardrobe without adding to plastic pollution. You can even find non-slip varieties that will keep even your heaviest garments such as your coats in their place. This is one super easy plastic-free replacement you can make.
7. “Naked” beauty bars
Why naked, you ask? Because these devoted brands don’t use any plastic in their manufacturing or their packaging, so you can either go for the naked product or get a package that’s in another long-lasting plastic-free alternative. Lush maybe the most famous name, although others are quickly adapting to the game, so you can find beauty products that are completely free of plastic such as Elate Cosmetics, a waste free cosmetic company that’s also cruelty-free, vegan and donates 2% of sales to charitable causes every year. *Image source from Elate Cosmetics.
8. Use cotton bamboo buds
This year, the UK has banned the use of plastic-stemmed cotton buds, so wherever you are, you can also find a nature-friendlier alternative that uses bamboo stems instead. Look for options that also don’t use plastic packaging, but perhaps paper or cardboard-based boxes, to make the experience completely eco-friendly.
9. Plastic-free razors
Loving smooth skin is one thing, but you can love the planet in the process, as well. Plastic razors have become a staple household item for anyone who wants to keep their grooming under control. Thankfully, you can now choose from a wide range of plastic-free razors that will not just serve their purpose perfectly, but they’ll do so for the rest of your life.
Some of the modern stainless steel razors are meant for those with expert hands, while others take little practice to get used to their sharp blades, so you can take your pick and make friends with them for as long as you dislike your hair.
10. Compostable garbage bags
You’ve already heard of biodegradable bags, but compostable garbage bags take this process a step further by speeding it up, and making it even more sustainable all around. Look for bags made of potato starch, a very durable substance, so you don’t have to worry when you need to carry heavier loads. Just make sure you choose the bags of proper thickness for your needs.
The little plastic-free replacements choices do matter. Make them today for a better tomorrow, and you’ll also set an example for those around you to hopefully start learning of other new ways they can, too, make a difference! Do you have any additional plastic-free alternatives? Share them below.
Sophia Smith is beauty and style blogger, an eco-lifestyle lover, graphic designer and a DIY enthusiast. She is very passionate about natural skincare, minimalist wardrobe, yoga and mindful living. Sophia writes mostly about beauty-related topics in her articles. She has contributed to a number of publications including: Eco Warrior Princess, Viva Glam Magazine, How to Simplify and Carousel.