You’re probably here right now because someone, somewhere said something that got you thinking about your ecological “footprint.” I have been pondering the idea of living plastic-free—or at least freer—for some time now, but the thing is I had no idea where to start. More specifically, I wasn't sure how to go about it in such a way that wouldn’t completely disrupt my daily routine.
Can you relate? I sure hope this resonates with you because you are the reason why I'm here writing this article. My hope is to share my findings with you and recommend a few simple everyday alternatives to help jump start your plastic-free lifestyle (or at least get you thinking about it). Future you deserves it.
**If you're down to make a difference but need to take ‘er slow (I feel you), scroll to the bottom and check out the 3 simple habits you can start implementing today!
Without further ado, I give you 5 everyday alternatives—plastic-free:
1. Reusable Shopping Bags
Ever since a number of grocery store chains began charging for plastic bags, I know a lot of you probably do this already. (I see you over there with your recycled totes and mesh fruit n’ veg bags!)
But the thing is, it shouldn’t stop there. If you don’t already, now is a good time to also bring that fabric tote to the mall, convenience store, and wherever else you like to go shopping. You can buy reusable shopping bags almost anywhere you go shopping nowadays, or you could be crafty, unique, and DIY:
2. Travel-sized Cutlery
Whether you’re on a plane, in class, or grabbing a quick bite to go, it’s always a good idea to carry around a mini cutlery set (Pro tip: leave the knife in your check bag when traveling). While you’re at it, buy multiple sets so you always have one on you—in your suitcase, backpack, and car.
Remember that time you packed yourself a really nice lunch but forgot the cutlery? Yeah, save yourself the 5-minute walk to buy a flimsy plastic fork that will proceed to snap off its prongs into your meal. Thank me later:
3. Glass Food Containers
Mason jars and lunch box tins are not only durable and practical but a less wasteful way to meal prep. Mason jars, for example, can be used to store rice, bulk spices, and home-made preserves. They can also be taken on the go just as easily. I personally find they do a good job at just about anything because they are also microwavable.
When I was in university, I started to use them for smoothies, iced coffee, overnight oats, salads, pasta, butter chicken with rice… you name it! One thing they cannot do is house a sandwich, but a metal sandwich box will carry the slack. (or #5 on this list will get you there just as well) If you need some inspo, save this handy mason jar meals video for later:
4. Reusable Water Bottle
There are so many companies out there making great water bottles, there’s literally no reason for you to keep buying the plastic ones. Water quality isn’t even a viable excuse anymore. No joke, a company called GRAYL created a water bottle that can purify water anywhere… it’s actually insane. One would say it's the "holy GRAYL" of water bottles (I had to). Backpackers rejoice!
If you just need something to take you from point A to point B, my everyday bottle of choice is this glass one from Contigo:
I’ve been using this bottle just shy of two years and haven’t looked back ever since!
5. Beeswax Food Wrap
Not only is it fun to play with, but beeswax food wrap will also keep your food fresher longer thanks to the beeswax’s naturally antimicrobial properties. From fresh produce to leftovers, this stuff has you covered. Literally. You can buy beeswax food wrap in a variety of sizes, too! Or, save a few bucks and just DIY (because I know you’re resourceful):
3 Simple Habits You Can Start Implementing TODAY:
- Say “hell no!” to plastic straws.
- Say “hell no!” to plastic bags.
- If you NEED to use a disposable coffee cup, say “hell no!” to the lid.
These tips may seem like small fish, but in reality, every bit counts and simply cutting out the three items above will make a massive impact. Plus, sea turtles everywhere will thank you.
HELLO, RIPPLE EFFECT!