Climate change and the impact it is having on our planet is no secret. We’ve become so accustomed to ease of access and convenience that we don’t think twice about the amount of waste we generate. I’m just as much to blame as anyone else, but I’ve been making conscious decisions over the past couple years to cut down on my waste. I’ve eliminated most forms of single use plastic from our home, but there is still more I can do. Here are some of my favorite sustainable products I use in my house to help cut back on single-use waste.
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Silicone Baking Mats
We’ve used these for years in our house and it has cut down on how much aluminum foil we use. Just place one of these down on your baking sheets and wash when you’re done. Better for the environment and your wallet since you won’t be re-purchasing foil as often. They can be a little tricky to get clean, so I suggest throwing them in the top rack of your dishwasher for the best clean.
Glass and Metal Straws
Turtles are awesome creatures and helping to keep our oceans clean for them and other sea creatures is important. I made the switch to metal straws and loved that I no longer felt guilty for throwing away plastic. However, I did find drinking hot coffee out of the metal to be a little too hot, and that what I drank had a slight metallic taste. This is where my glass straws came into play. I use a glass straw in my water bottle and for my coffees and smoothies. There is no change in taste to anything you drink with them. In fact I think water tastes so much cleaner when you drink it through a glass straw
Reusable Shopping Bags
I love my reusable shopping bags. Last year Connecticut started charging $0.10 to use plastic bags in stores before eliminating them. I had been using the traditional store reusable bags but wanted something a little more stylish. I found a ton of cute canvas bags from this seller on Etsy and have been using them everytime I go out. I keep the bags in my car to ensure I don’t forget to use them.
These have replaced plastic wrap. They are made with natural materials so it’s a win for you and the environment. They come in a variety of sizes so you’ll always be able to cover you leftovers, bread, or whatever else you would normally use plastic wrap for. This is the variety pack we originally picked up. Since I’ve added a few more of the medium sized wraps.
We love our Keurig but not how much waste, and how expensive, the K-cups were. We got a pack of reusable cups that we can fill with our own coffee anytime we want a cup. We grind our own beans, so our morning coffees are always fresh. Say goodbye to all those plastic pods filling up your trash and landfills, and hello to extra cash in your wallet from the savings.
Bamboo Toilet Paper
If you’re like me you probably get angry at how much plastic is used to wrap up toilet paper. The worst part is it’s not easily recycled. I went on the hunt for plastic free toilet paper and came across Reel. Not only are their rolls wrapped in recyclable paper, and shipped in a recyclable cardboard box, but it’s also tree free! Reel paper is made from bamboo which is much more sustainable than using trees. They have subscription service so you never have to worry about running low on TP again.
Reusable Storage Bags
I used to use plastic baggies daily. All my work snacks would go in a bag and be thrown away after I was finished. I bought these reusable bags and am so happy I did. This is another product that’s a win-win for your wallet and the environment. These have an easy to use seal at the top that is leakproof. I use these bags for snacks, and for freezing meat and have never had a problem.
We are at the breaking point, and if we don’t step up and do something now, our planet and everything it sustains will suffer. We don’t all have to be perfect everyday, but if everyone takes small steps to help reduce the amount of waste we produce, it will add up to make a big difference.
What are some household items you use to help cut back on waste?