2021 is the year we wave goodbye to disposables and say hello to reusables!
The first step to living a low-waste lifestyle is to cut back on single-use plastic, so you can reduce your carbon footprint and save the world from unnecessary waste. Simply replacing one of your everyday disposable items with a reusable one can make a big difference in offsetting your environmental impact.
Ready to kickstart your journey to sustainability? Here are 10 disposable items you can easily swap out for more eco-friendly (and cost-efficient) options today
While most single-use Ziploc bags are recyclable, a lot of them don’t get recycled because the plastic gets caught in recycling machinery, damaging equipment. So where does it end up? In the trash, which then gets dumped in landfills. Make the planet a little greener by replacing your disposable Ziploc bags with reusable snack bags made with eco-friendly material the earth will love. Not only are they super stylish, but they’re also really easy to clean.
Plastic wrap may save your sandwich, but it won’t help the planet. Instead of using a disposable kitchen staple that contributes to microplastics in our oceans, we suggest reaching for beeswax food wraps. Not only are they eco-friendly, they’re also cost-efficient and come in a bunch of fun colours and patterns—so you can wrap your food in style.
Did you know? 57 million straws are used daily in Canada. Single-use plastics like straws make up the most of plastic litter found in freshwater environments like our lakes, rivers, and streams. Sip sustainably using these fun, eco-friendly options made for the straw-obsessed:
Disposable napkins and paper towels result in 254 million tons of trash globally, every year. Swap your paper towels and napkins out with towels made from high-quality, quick-drying microfibre, which are more environmentally friendly and offer numerous benefits you won’t get with paper ones:
Most makeup wipes are single-use and often get flushed down the toilet or thrown in the trash, only to wind up in landfills where it takes years for them to break down. Give the planet a break by using reusable microfibre cloths and washable pads, which makes removing makeup a cinch! Bonus: they’re much easier to clean than standard washcloths and are gentler on your skin.
Replace your disposable dryer sheets with a cheaper (and healthier) sustainable alternative like wool dryer balls. They’re easy to use and great for catching lint and reducing static. If you’re looking for the greenest option out there, nothing beats air drying your clothes. Though we recommend only doing that during warmer seasons.
Fun fact: a family of four can save $6,180 per year by simply switching out bottled water for a reusable bottle made of stainless steel or BPA-free material. If you don’t like tap water, then install a water filter. It’s still a greener and more cost-effective solution than buying plastic bottles of water that will only wind up in a landfill or floating in our oceans.
You might be surprised to know that most paper filters are bleached with chlorine, which is harmful to the environment when thrown out. For a more sustainable option, reach for a reusable coffee filter. 1 reusable coffee filter can replace approximately 365 disposable coffee filters per year. If you’re having trouble getting your hands on a reusable filter, then buy unbleached filters, which are not as good sustainable ones, but still better than bleached paper filters.
We’ve got news for you: The pump for your soap dispenser is not recyclable.
Instead of buying soap bottles that can’t be fully recycled, buy your soap in bulk. That way you can either refill your existing container or purchase a reusable soap dispenser made of glass and fill that one up.
If you don’t own a reusable bag, what are you waiting for? 15 billion plastic bags are disposed of every year in Canada, making single-use plastic one of the biggest contributors to global waste. Not only are reusable bags more durable, they’re also machine-washable, flexible, super stylish and come in materials like canvas, cotton, jute or polyester. Best of all, many are cheap and can be bought at your local grocery store. How convenient is that?
Changing your habits won’t happen overnight. Start by making a list of all the disposables you use at home and tackle them one at a time. It’s important to start small and work your way up. Before you know it, you’ll be living a more sustainable life that results in less waste and a happier, healthier planet.
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