Today I will talk about some single-use plastic alternatives. You can use them to eliminate single-use plastic as much as possible from your daily life. This was huge for me when I started looking into my waist. Because it’s kind of one of those things that once your eyes become open to it, you cannot unsee how many items made from plastic you use one time before you put them in a trash bin. And when you think about it, it’s just such wasteful.
And the first thing I think kind of arrogant way to use these precious resources that we have. Plastic is like a miracle material that we would not like to be where we are in the world. Today without it, we wouldn’t have the advancements that we do without the material plastic. So it doesn’t necessarily have to be the villain. However, it was not meant to be used for 15 minutes to hold our like iced chai latte and then be thrown away in the garbage.
So you might be thinking, well, what if I recycle all my plastic? They degrade every time. It’s recycled, and eventually, it is just unusable. But still does not biodegrade. So it’s still on the planet. And now that’s why we have so much plastic pollution. Why it’s in our oceans and animals and why microplastics have been found in ourselves. So it’s just such a better option to replace single-use plastic with reusable things.
5 Single-Use Plastic Alternatives
So I’m going to show you some single-use plastic alternatives today that don’t cost a lot of money, which will help you cut down on so much waste. Let’s look at this.
1. Carry Reusable Water Bottles All the Time
Okay, the first thing that is super easy to switch out is your plastic water bottles. I had a water bottle for years, so over the years that it saved me so much money to just carry around my own water bottle instead of buying one. Wherever I’m at, if you don’t already have one somewhere in your kitchen, you can use something you already have, like a juice jar. Or it was a juice jar when I bought it at a juice place.
And I just kept it and cleaned it and now could use this as my own water bottle if I wanted to. It’s super easy to get water, and you wear it these days anytime you go to Starbucks, you can ask them to fill up your water bottle. Airports like parks everywhere have water fountains. It is super easy to eliminate plastic water bottles by retraining your brain to always carry your own with you.
2. Carry Your Own Coffee Cup
Disposable coffee cups used to be a considerable waste source because I used to be such a coffee junkie. I actually prefer tea now, but still, I love to go out for tea or coffee. A great way to reduce a ton of my own personal waste was to get my own coffee, a cup that’s like a to-go cup. That I can take with me into the coffee shop might think like well aren’t those made of paper and not plastic.
Can’t you recycle them? Paper cups from like Starbucks or any coffee shop actually lined with plastic on the inside. This means they cannot be recycled because the recycling centers cannot separate the paper and plastic. Even after putting them in the recycling bin, they are not being recycled. So getting your own to go up mug is a great way to reduce your waste. And most places aren’t great about it. You just ask them to use your coffee cup instead.
Some places even give a discount. I know Starbucks does for sure. And if you are at a place where you’re getting coffee and don’t have your own mug with you, you can just say, I want it in a four-here cup. Then they will give it to you in an actual ceramic mug instead of a disposable tiptoe cup. If you’re more of a cold drink person, which I definitely am in the summer, something you can also get is your own reusable to-go cup that comes with a lid and a straw.
And just give it to them. Usually, they ask you to take the lid off, and you just hand it to them again. They might give you a discount. It’s a super-excellent way to save on waste. Let’s get your own to-go cup.
3. Use Reusable Straws
Swap out plastic straws that are totally disposable for stainless steel or glass straws. I really like these. We keep them. Because we make smoothies a ton, my husband makes some of these, and we use these. Otherwise, if you don’t use straws at home like no need to buy these.
But when you are out in public at restaurants, a great way to reduce your single-use waste is to say no straws, please. When you order a drink, tell them to send no straws. Or if they don’t put it in your drink, but they leave it on your table, just don’t use it, and you will be saving a lot of waste.
4. Get Silicone Bags
These are a fantastic option instead of Ziploc bags. You can get silicone baggies that you can wash and reuse over and over again.
5. Take Eco-friendly Grocery Bags
I love canvas bags, and I use these to shop for things in the bulk section—such dry goods like rice and beans nuts, all that kind of stuff. You’re going to see a single-use plastic at the grocery store are at checkout with all the plastic bags we use to carry our goods home. I have read that only one out of every 200 plastic bags get recycled.
A lot of people don’t know that they can’t be recycled. And are like pick up bin they have to be taken back to the grocery store. And put in a specific recycling bin or plastic bags. Many people don’t do that and don’t do that, so many get sent to landfill.
That’s why they are polluting our oceans, and they’re just what I call them is gonna scum of the earth. Because honestly, I think they’re pretty terrible and because there’s such an easy switch. So it is super easy to just take your own bag with you to the grocery store. A lot of places now are requiring this. The more eco-friendly certain cities become so but until then, make your own with you.
It is not hard, and this is mine that I love and take with me every time I go to a grocery store. After a couple times, it really becomes second nature. So if you don’t have something around your home already like a tote bag or something you can take already, you can invest in them. It is really inexpensive just about anywhere and only places them somewhere where you will see them before leaving.
So if you drive to the grocery store, put them in your front seat next to you so that you can’t get out of the car without seeing them. Or if you walk through them by your front door somewhere, so you see it. And after a couple times, it becomes second nature. And you won’t forget and if you do happen to forget a better option would be to ask for paper bags.
Because at least when you take those home, you can recycle or accomplice them all right. I hope these single-use plastic alternatives are beneficial. If you find any other options, make sure to try them, and encourage others as well.