According to EPA, in 2017, plastic waste was 35.4 million tons in the United States, which results in an estimated 234lb of plastic waste per person per year.
So how do we tackle this? Households aren’t the only contributors to the problem, of course—restaurants and commercial businesses are also major contributors—but making a change at home is an easy way to start. Changing a few household habits will not only help the environment but also can save you money in the end.
1. Say no to plastic containers
Most plastic containers are recyclable, but an alternative to storing food is with food-grade silicone containers. Unlike rigid plastic, silicone doesn’t crack, dry out, or rot over time—meaning you won’t have to replace it as often. Plus, it’s lightweight, saves space, and is made from an abundant natural resource.
ZipTop makes freezer, dishwasher, and microwave safe silicone containers. Their containers are made from 100% Platinum Silicone, the purest Food Grade Silicone available. No need to rummage for lids, the containers stand up, stay open, and zip shut, making it a sustainable alternative to plastic. It’s also lightweight, ideal for taking lunch, snacks, and more on the go.
2. Switch to reusable wraps
Glad wrap, cling wrap, plastic film—regardless of what you call it, it’s a single-use plastic harmful to the environment.
Instead, try Bee’s wrap, a certified organic cotton wrap coated in sustainably sourced beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin. Pack lunches, store food, and wrap leftovers with the reusable wrap, which is also washable. The pretty prints are just a bonus.
3. Use only green cleaners
Most general household cleaners are full of chemicals, some harmful to humans and the environment. They can also be pricey. Instead of reaching for a bottle on the shelf, make your own ‘green’ cleaner with a few household staples.
For an all-purpose cleaner, simply mix together two cups of white vinegar with two cups of water and keep it in a spray bottle for next time. You can also add a few drops of essential oils for fragrance. This is also great as a carpet stain remover.
There are also brands like Branch Basics and Blueland who are dedicated to green cleaning. Their products include dishwashing tablets, hand soap, and glass cleaner which are all non-toxic and come in refillable bottles.
4. Stop using microplastics
Did you know that every time you rinse and wring out your dish sponge, you’re squeezing harmful microplastics into the ocean?
Choose a dishcloth or sponge made from recyclable materials such as paper and agave or a natural sea sponge. They are still reusable but without any harmful microplastics.
There are also organic loofahs and plant-based sponges that will do the job. The non-scratch earth-friendly sponge from Mioeco is a great option. They also have reusable “unpaper” towels, which are versatile, ecofriendly, and money saver. No need to buy rolls of paper towels anymore.
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