If you think about it, single use products make no sense at all. That’s part of the problem. In our throwaway society, we don’t think about it. Continuing the theme of my recent post about eliminating aluminum foil and plastic wrap, I’ve listed below other products you can try cutting out (or at least cutting back on).
Plastic bags – the movement to bring reusable bags food shopping is becoming well established. In fact, some cities and towns have eliminated them all together or charge for plastic bags. Start bringing reusable bags on your other errands as well. Make it a challenge to always bring them with you. Earmark some for food, some for clothes, etc. (Don’t forget to occasionally wash your reusable bags too.)
Plastic food baggies – they are hard to live without, but you can wash and reuse them a couple of times. Reusable cloth sandwich and biocompostable baggies are more available now as well. A good rule of thumb, plastics and food don't go together.
Paper Napkins – cloth napkins are prettier, more durable, and certainly more eco-friendly than paper ones. Aim to use cloth napkins at most meals and keep recycled paper ones only as backup.
Paper Plates and Paper Cups – There is no doubt about their convenience, but they are totally wasteful, especially the plastic ones. For outdoor (or indoor) dining, consider dishwasher and oven safe enamelware. Lightweight and unbreakable, enamelware is perfect for camping or picnics too and comes in fun designs.
Plastic Water Bottles – There really is no reason to buy plastic water bottles. They shouldn’t be reused and they don’t biodegrade. Use glasses at home and stainless steel or BPA-free water bottles for transporting.
Facial Tissues – this is one of those single use items you probably just want to cut back on rather than eliminate. I gave my husband some old-fashioned handkerchiefs and he loves them. Use them a few times, throw them in the wash and then reuse!
Dryer Sheets – There are lots of alternatives to conventional dryer sheets that aren’t made with chemical fabric softeners and soaked in toxic fragrances. Several natural brands use vegetable derived softening agents and essential oils instead. Reusable dryer balls made with PVC-free plastic or felt make the most sense to me – they soften clothes without chemicals, reduce drying time and save energy.
Cutting back on or eliminating single use products helps not only the earth, but your pocketbook as well. What single use products have you eliminated from your daily life? Email me - I’d love to know.
For more ideas or green living tips, visit greenwithbetsy.com.