Aside from the possible negative health side affects of plastic, especially when used around the foods you eat, using plastic is also a major source of trash, waste and Co2 emissions. To put it simply, plastic is a buzz kill.
Once you start looking, you’ll realise that plastic is absolutely everywhere in your home – from a simple ballpoint pen to what your shampoo comes in. While it would be impossible to remove all the plastic in your home, there are plenty of easy ways to cut down on the plastic you use or have around you.
We’ve talked about ways to limit plastic in your food and kitchen before, but today we’ll look at some simple ways for reducing the use of plastic throughout your entire home.
1. Make your own food whenever possible
Yes, it takes more of a time and money investment to begin with, but making your own food is not only healthier for you, but healthier for the environment as well and you reduce the amount of processed, packaged foods you buy – think about what your kid’s snack come in or frozen food packaging. We’re not just talking about daily meals, but sauces, condiments and other goods, when possible. Instead of buying plastic containers of salad dressing, ketchup or mayonnaise, make your own!
2. Stop using plastic food containers
Of course, this is a big one for us since we believe our reusable wax wraps are the bee’s knees, but really plastic around your food is no good and often eventually ends up in a landfill rather than being reused.
3. Buy things in bulk
Whether it’s lentils or laundry detergent, many basic goods that we use every day can be bought in bulk from stores using your own refillable container. Dry baking ingredients, such as flour, rice, beans or sugar, are obvious examples, but many stores or markets will also have oils and vinegars, or cleaning supplies available in bulk as well.
4. Create your own cleaning products
Not only does buying cleaning products from the store add to your use, and waste, of plastic bottles and containers, the products themselves often contain a ton of harmful chemicals ingredients that you really don’t want in your home or around your loved ones! There are a number of quick and easy cleaning products that only require a couple natural ingredients, such as lemon juice, baking soda or vinegar, that you already have on hand and can combine together as you need them.
5. Simply stop using plastic bags and bottles. Full stop.
Plastic water bottles are a scam all the way around – there are plenty of ways to avoid using them and so many reusable bottles on the market these days, you have no excuse for grabbing a disposable plastic bottle anymore.
6. Buy boxes instead of bottles
When buying goods from a store, try to opt for items packaged in recyclable paper or cardboard boxes instead of plastic. Glass is a good alternative as well since glass bottles can be reused or recycled more efficiently than plastic.
7. Say no to straws
Ever think of how many plastic drinking straws you and your kids have used in a lifetime? Probably a lot. If you really need to stick with using straws, invest in some long-lasting stainless steel ones to have on hand.
8. Keep plastics out of your clothes
When possible, choose to buy clothes made from natural fibres, such as cotton, hemp, linen and wool, instead of manufactured synthetic materials like polyester.
9. Avoid take out trash
We get it – while you can do your best to cook at home, sometimes grabbing takeout is the only way to go. Unfortunately a quick meal often means a lot of paper, plastic or Styrofoam waste that won’t be breaking down or disappearing anytime soon. Think ahead and take your own containers to put food in, have your own cutlery handy and make sure to ask that plastic straws, forks and spoons aren’t included with your order.
10. Switch to cloth diapers
Not only is it better for your baby’s skin to be next to real, breathable cloth instead of plastic, but the amount of waste plastic diapers produce is unbelievable.
11. Use wooden matches instead of lighters
It seems like a small thing, but changing from using disposable plastic lighters to wooden matches will make a difference over time in the amount of waste you produce.
12. Buy bar soap instead of body wash
Traditional bar soap uses less processing, plastics and packaging than liquid body wash that comes in those plastic bottles you’ll just end up throwing away.
13. Line trash bins in your house with paper bags
No plastic bags!
14. Look for natural tooth brushes
There are options out there now for natural or bamboo toothbrushes that are able to be composted or recycled instead of simply going in the rubbish bin.
15. Use natural or cloth pet toys.
When it comes to reducing plastic in your home even your pets can help out. Natural rawhide or bones and cloth based toys, like ropes, are more eco-friendly to chew and play than the plastic toys that probably litter your floor.
Though it may seem like a never ending task trying to rid your home of plastic, often little steps can make a big impact long term. What other ways have you gone about reducing plastic in your home? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook.